Billingham Synthonia boss Micky Watson thought Ashington’s quality was the deciding factor after his side had gone down 3-1 at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday.
An honest Watson – who had seen his side sitting second from top of the current form guide before the contest – said: “I thought Ashington deserved to win the game.
“We gave away two bad goals in what were bad conditions.
“I felt we did well for 30 minutes during the second half but I thought Ashington dug in deep and showed their quality – of which they had more than us today.
“We conceded one goal in the first half and if we could have just kept the game at 1-0 by half-time who knows, but the second (goal) was really poor from ourselves.”
He continued: “We did get ourselves back into it with the penalty and although it was a decent game, I just thought the better side won on the day.
“I thought both sets of players performed decently on what was not the best of pitches and in windy conditions, which always spoils football.
“We have done well and had a great run until we lost a local derby game against Guisborough last week.
“I asked for a little bit more effort and desire from the players today – and I thought I got that.
“But I have got no complaints, Ashington showed a bit more quality than ourselves which won them the game in the end.”