ASHINGTON went down to their second defeat of the season when they lost by the odd goal in three against Bishop Auckland at Heritage Park on Wednesday night.
Trailing 2-0 at half-time, the Colliers played well in the second period and produced an excellent finish to the game – but failed to disguise a below performance in the first half.
Indeed the first 45 minutes was poor fare full stop with the home side the better outfit.
In the tenth minute a three-man move almost paid dividends for Bishops.
Keeper Peter Jeffries found Sonny Andrews down the right who fed a pass inside for Andrew Johnson, but keeper Karl Dryden intercepted, scooping the ball away from the striker.
However, on the quarter hour, Bishops went ahead.
Andrews again found Johnson whose left footer was pushed around for a corner on the left by Dryden.
Stephen Salvin floated over the flag kick where Johnson’s glancing header took a deflection to find the net.
The Colliers were struggling to find any rhythm or fluency and their best opening of the half came in the 37th minute when Mark O’Dea’s whipped centre from the right went across the face of the six-yard box, begging for the final touch to be added.
The Colliers suffered a huge blow on the stroke of half-time when Bishops added a second.
A ball played into the danger zone from the left went across Dryden allowing Andrews the opportunity to stab home.
Ashington upped their game considerably after the break with Phil Cave – the visitors’ best performer on the night – unleashing a drive which was finger tipped over by Jeffries, with skipper Craig Scott heading wide the resultant corner.
Ten minutes in and a run down the right by Louis Storey saw him slip the ball through for James Taylor whose effort was saved by the legs of Jeffries.
Then Gareth Bainbridge lined up an effort which brought a diving save out of the home keeper.
However, in the 62nd minute the Colliers reduced the arrears with an outstanding finish from Bainbridge.
Taylor was the supplier of a pass through to the striker who wriggled free of his marker and curled the ball wide of Jeffries.
Within the space of a couple of minutes, Cave forced another save out of Jeffries and in the 72nd minute a long ball out of defence by Gareth Williams found Marc Walton but the striker lost out.
With Ashington pressing for an equaliser and Bishops looking to counter attack, the final quarter hour brought much excitement.
Three minutes from time a lob from Andrews hit the post then in the third minute of time added on for stoppages, an effort by Walton was blocked by Jeffries.
Ashington: Dryden, Williams, Cave, Antony, Storey, Scott (Little 84 mins), Taylor, O’Dea, Walton, Bainbridge, Johnson. Subs not used: Dugdale, Atkin, Bond.