Harmison enjoys taking point from his favourite ground

Ashington manager Steve Harmison. Picture by Ian Appleby - www.ianapplebyimages.com
Ashington manager Steve Harmison. Picture by Ian Appleby - www.ianapplebyimages.com

It was purely coincidental that on Saturday as The Sound of Music reached the half way mark in its two-week run at Newcastle’s Theatre Royal, that Ashington manager Steve Harmison should come across one of his ‘favourite things’ as the Colliers played Dunston at the UTS Stadium.

Harmison’s battlers gained a deserved point from a 0-0 draw, and the boss was not only quick to praise his own side but pour undiluted credit on the officials at the Gateshead-based club.

“This was a very good point for us and I love coming to Dunston,” he said.

“It was my favourite ground as a kid and I think the people here deserve enormous credit because it is a fantastically well run club.

“My dad (Jimmy) played here for two and a half to three years, it’s a great place and I believe the committee here are the best in non league football.

“They make me feel so welcome. The manager Billy Irwin and assistant Tony Harrison are super people and personally it’s always special coming to places where good people are.” Reflecting on the 90 minutes, Harmison said: “Considering it was 0-0 it was a fantastic game of football.

“It was a shame there were no goals because I thought both teams had a really good go to try and win the game, and for 25 minutes, we had six forwards on the field and Dunston did the same.

“But I was enormously proud of the application and the desire of my lads to do things that isn’t natural to them, like Chris Moore being in centre midfield, Liam Atkin at right back and Paul Dunn playing higher up the pitch.

“To go that extra yard was a credit to the group and with a bit of luck we might have nicked a victory in the end.

“Having said that, I’m not sure there was a winner out there.

“I would have been aggrieved had we lost and I’m sure Billy would have felt the same if his side had missed out, so all in all, a point was a fair result.

“We rode our luck a little bit but we had some good chances and I thought we were first class with the work rate and endeavour from every single player.

“I said recently that I didn’t think my side could battle it out, but today they not only proved me wrong but set the benchmark.

“My team showed a desire to help each other out, which is something that we need, and especially in the Northern League.

“We said to them at half-time that we had earned the right to win the game because we had battled hard for 45 minutes whereas normally we switch off and lose the game.

“This time we kept going for 90 minutes but we didn’t get that key chance to nail it.

“All in all it was two good sides who went hard at each other and there were a lot of positives.

“My lads raised their game - and we are heading in the right direction.”