Ashington copped a Dunston backlash at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday.
The Gateshead-based outfit secured a comfortable 4-2 victory and the margin could have been far greater had it not been for an outstanding display between the posts by home stopper Conor Grant.
Dunston manager Billy Irwin had asked his players for a reaction following what he described as being a ‘shambles’ of a display in a 2-0 defeat at Newcastle Benfield in midweek, which brought an 11-match unbeaten run to an end.
“I was naturally delighted with both the result and the performance,” he said.
“I asked the lads for a reaction after our defeat at Newcastle Benfield, where we were a shambles really, and they responded.
“We had been on an 11-game unbeaten run with ten wins and one draw before the match in midweek.
“The lads have gone out and given that performance – but that’s what we are like.
“Woodhorn Lane is a tough place to come too and although things are not going the way Ashington would want at the moment, they nevertheless have some really good players and the firepower up top will always cause defences problems.”
Irwin drooled about his side’s display.
“I thought we played some great stuff,” he said.
“And anyone watching would have seen we got our right rewards.
“First half I thought we could have had a penalty before we took the lead, and although we went a bit scrappy for periods and caused our own downfall through not defending properly when they got two back in the second period, I thought we thoroughly deserved our win.
“If we had only won 3-2 or 2-1 it would have been an injustice to the lads after the way they played, and I don’t think Ashington could have complained had we come away after scoring seven or more.”
Irwin paid a glowing tribute to Ashington keeper Conor Grant – and at the same time insisted his side need to ‘kick on’.
“Grant is a top, top goalkeeper,” he said.
“He pulled off a few one-on-ones and we should have been out of sight a lot earlier than we were had it not been for him.
“But coming here and getting the three points is the main thing.
“Now we need to kick on to be in the top four of the league by the turn of the year and to be pushing. That’s the aim.”