Shaun Vipond struck a stoppage time winner for Jarrow Roofing on Saturday which condemned Ashington to their 12th league defeat of the season.
But while the midfielder will surely not score an easier goal in his career, the Colliers were left shaking their heads in disbelief as to how they lost this encounter on a cold and windy day on South Tyneside.
They twice went in front only to be pegged back then missed golden chances before Vipond had the final say in a see-sawing second period with Roofing climbing up to joint third in the Ebac Northern League’s First Division.
The visitors made a positive start to proceedings and in the fourth minute, Lewis Davison found Andrew Johnson down the left flank but when he crossed from the by line, there was no Ashington player in the box lending support.
Malky Morien then had an effort which ballooned off David Brown – who was making his second debut for the Wansbeck side – and collected by Conor Grant before the keeper kept Roofing at bay minutes later with a brilliant stop.
Peter Leven, Morien and Paul Gardiner linked neatly and the latter looked a certain scorer until Grant blocked from point blank range.
Play switched immediately to the other end with Davison out-muscling Wayne Phillips to find Glen Taylor and when he played the ball in, James Taylor’s effort was cleared off the line by Danny Carson with Andy Ferrell going close from the rebound.
Brave play by Lance McGlen saw him clear in the nick of time from a Morien cross then Corey Barnes had a shot with the outside of his right boot held by Grant.
On the half hour following a throw-in by Phil Airey, Glen Taylor met a centre from James Taylor but headed wide and just before the interval, Grant clawed down an effort from Vipond.
Two minutes into the second period, Ashington pieced together a great move involving Steven Shaw, Davison, Johnson, Kyle Downey and Glen Taylor with the latter’s shot hitting the bar, although any score would not have stood as the referee whistled for offside.
Grant collected a drive from Philips and Ferrell cleared off the line to deny Jack Errington before the Colliers went ahead in the 58th minute through James Taylor. Following a corner, Johnson crossed to the far post where the ball was superbly hooked back by Glen Taylor for James Taylor who coolly cut inside a defender then blasted home left-footed wide of keeper Alan Greenan.But within two minutes Jarrow restored parity when Errington glanced home inside the far post after a cross from the right. Greenan denied Johnson before a simple three-man move could so easily have nudged the visitors ahead again.
Johnson headed on a goal-kick from Grant which put Glen Taylor clear but his effort from 16 yards was superbly pushed away to safety by Greenan.
However, 55 seconds later a left-footed cross into the box by Airey found Johnson who flicked the ball over Greenan and into the net. Yet again, the lead was short-lived as four minutes later, Phillips drove home the equaliser following a cross from the right. The action was relentless and after Brown had hacked the ball clear off the line to deny Morien after a Phillips cut-back, the home centre forward cut inside two defenders but fired wide of Grant’s left-hand post.
In the 89th minute, Glen Taylor laid the ball off from another Johnson cross for Downey whose 15-yarder smacked against the bar. Then within a minute, Johnson’s pass set up Glen Taylor but the striker missed a sitter from seven yards, blasting over.
However, there was one final twist in a pulsating second period as Jarrow seized on a wayward cross-field pass by substitute Kyle Oliver and when the ball was played into the area, ex-Ashington midfielder Paul Gardiner clipped his shot wide of Grant. The in-running Vipond tapped into an empty net from two yards to complete a story of Roy of the Rovers proportions for the Roofers.
On Saturday, Ashington are at home to Crook Town (3pm) then the Colliers travel to face Bishop Auckland on Tuesday in the Brooks Mileson Memorial League Cup (7.30pm kick-off).
Ashington: Grant, Airey, Davison, Ferrell (Oliver 78 minutes), McGlen, Brown, J Taylor, Shaw, Johnson, G Taylor, Downey. Subs not used: Stephenson, Egen, McClelland, Barnard (gk).
Referee: Chris Ellis