Ashington broke new ground on Saturday with a first ever visit to Ryhope CW – but they returned empty handed.
Instead an all too recurring theme saw them plummet to another defeat, their ninth reverse of the season from 14 starts on the road.
Dan O’Reilly put the Colliers in front but goals either side of the interval from James Ellis and Joseph Melvin turned the game on its head.
Following the midweek defeat at Bishop Auckland, Ashington made one change with Scott Canham replacing the unavailable Scott Bell.
They opened brightly, but in the fourth minute it took a brilliant piece of defending from Wayne Buchanan to shut out Melvin.
Ashington’s response saw Scott Canham play the ball through for David Dormand whose effort was blocked by ex-Whitley Bay defender Leon Ryan.
On the quarter hour, Buchanan came to the rescue again. Ellis’s drive was repelled by keeper Conor Grant and the follow up header from Matthew Weirs was goalbound until Buchanan cleared off the line.
However, Ashington grew into the game and took the lead in the 28th minute. Andrew Bulford’s shot was blocked but the rebound fell to Canham whose drive was nodded into the net from close range by O’Reilly.
Ben Sampson fired over from 20 yards before Ryhope drew level seven minutes from the break. A long diagonal ball from the right reached the far post where Ellis lashed across Grant and into the far corner.
On the stroke of half-time, a searching pass from James Harmison found Luke Salmon on the left who volleyed the ball across goal but no Ashington player was on hand to apply the finishing touch.
The home side showed more urgency at the start of the second half, and breaking from an Ashington free kick Kyle Davis pulled the ball across the face of the goal with Ellis, who slid in at the back post, unable to connect.
That was a warning which the visitors failed to heed and in the 54th minute they fell behind.
Weirs played the ball through and when Grant parried an effort from Ellis, the ball fell kindly to Melvin who side-footed in.
On the hour Ashington made a triple substitution including an outing for new signing Ryan McGorrigan, and ten minutes later Sampson played the ball through for McGorrigan who fired wide with a first time right footer.
Melvin and Davis squandered opportunities to add to Ryhope’s lead, then in the 88th minute Thomas Bott was shown a straight red card for a foul on Bulford, who would have been clean through.
In the closing stages, Salmon directed a goal ward volley from 25 yards which was comfortably held by keeper Jonathan Ball then when play switched, Davis was foiled by Grant.
On Saturday Ashington host neighbours Whitley Bay, kick-off 3pm, then the Colliers are at home to Newcastle Benfield in the League Cup on Tuesday, January 17.
Ashington: Grant, Tiffoney (Bell 62), Salmon, Antony, J Harmison, Buchanan, Sampson, Canham (Downey 62), Bulford, Dormand (McGorrigan 62), O’Reilly. Subs not used: Christensen, Glasper.