Ashington FC manager Steve Harmison thought three aspects shone brightly as the Colliers overcome a determined challenge by Easington on Saturday before booking there place in the next round of the FA Vase.
A delighted boss said after his side had emerged 2-1 winners: “First and foremost, I thought it was an excellent game of football. Our display against Guisborough in midweek had been excellent with the way we worked, but the performance today was a magnificent show of character, strength and determination.
“Those qualities shone through for the football club to progress.
“We are going through a time where everything that could possibly go wrong is.
“Liam Atkin pulled up in the warm-up with a stomach injury so we had to shuffle the pack and bring in James Harmison.
“We signed young Tom Gilbey, who played for 45 minutes against us for Durham University, and we had to put him on for 20 minutes; Joe Race really shouldn’t have gone anywhere near the pitch because he has been struggling with his groin and we are trying to manage him and get him back.
“Joe has gone on as sub as a favour because it was all hands on deck, and every one of my players to a man worked their socks off.
“I could go on because Kyle Oliver, Dylan Williamson, Gareth Williams and Matty Grieve all got injuries in the first half.
“Ben Harmison has had to play 90 minutes up front and he hasn’t really played a competitive game of football for years. Nevertheless, I thought he was outstanding with his calmness under pressure, apart from the chance he missed.
“I thought the back four stood up against a good side and defended well, and although we are lacking in midfield at the minute, the simple fact is that there is not a fit body amongst them with all four carrying injuries.
“On today’s match, If you are looking at quality, I thought we had enough because this was Easington’s big game and that bit of quality has won the tie for us.
“We got off to a great start but didn’t capitalise on it and credit has to go to Easington because they worked their socks off to stay in the game.
“They made things very difficult for us and I thought they played some really nice football, and if I was their manager, I’d have felt as if my side deserved something out of the game.
“But I said that in our loss against Guisborough, so it’s swings and roundabouts.
“I was very impressed by the way they performed and I’d like to think they will get promoted because they are a decent side who play football the right way.”
“Performances are one thing but results see the confidence levels go higher.
“I was pleased and proud of the 16 Ashington players who stood up to the task today because it’s not an easy place to come too.”