Ashington came back down to earth with a bump on Saturday when they were defeated by relegation threatened Washington at Woodhorn Lane.
After turning in one of their best displays of the season the previous week which culminated in a 4-1 success over Seaham Red Star, the Colliers plummeted to the other end of the scale against their visitors.
The Wearsiders arrived at Woodhorn Lane after being hit for ten against Sunderland RCA – but on Saturday they fended off a bright start from the hosts before cruising into a 4-0 lead with all the goals coming inside a 20-minute spell prior to the interval.
Following a throw-in from the left by Luke Salmon, Kyle Downey, on his return to the starting line-up, drove wide, then on the quarter hour keeper Dan Gladstone repelled a shot from Downey with Paul Antony’s follow up effort striking a defender.
Minutes later the Colliers had the first of three shouts for a penalty for handball in the game turned down by Bishop Auckland-based referee Shane Sugden after Ben Harmison had headed on another throw-in from Salmon.
Then in the 25th minute the Mechanics went ahead when Robbie Williamson rifled the ball home from 20 yards following a cross from the left.
Four minutes later Dale Pearson had an opportunity to equalise but Gladstone performed superbly well as the striker attempted to dink the ball over the advancing keeper.
Washington doubled their lead on 33 minutes. Salmon controlled a cross from the left but as he attempted to clear, stood on the ball and fell over. Ryhs Evans was clean through and he went on to shoot wide of Grant.
Incredibly the visitors took their tally to four with two goals in as many minutes on the stroke of half-time.
They got in behind the home defence and when Matthew Waters supplied the cross from the left, Evans had the simple task of tapping home from close range.
Grant denied Waters with an excellent save to his left then Evans went close to a hat-trick as his effort swerved before thudding against the bar.
However, in the first minute of time added on, Jake Pickard waltzed through a couple of defenders inside the area until he had his heels clipped by Jonathan Tiffoney. The referee pointed to the spot and Waters stepped up to send Grant the wrong way with the penalty.
Within a minute of the resumption, Ashington reduced the leeway when Ryan McGorrigan slotted home at the far post following a cross from the left by Ben Harmison.
The Colliers had two further claims for a penalty turned down within seconds of each other before Lee McAndrew replaced Downey. And within a minute the substitute was the provider of a cross which saw Ben Harmison head powerfully home into the top corner.
A shot from Josh Winthrop cannoned off James Harmison’s head to dip just over his own crossbar before McGorrigan drove wide.
McAndrew and Ben Harmison saw efforts blocked then a shot from Pearson was held by Gladstone.
With time running out, Ben Harmison flicked on a throw from Salmon but McAndrew volleyed wide at the far post, then after Pearson was just off target, a chip from Ben Sampson was claimed by Gladstone.
Before the match, players, officials and spectators observed a minute’s silence as a mark of respect to Bill Sampson – a supporter and former player – who passed away last week.
On Saturday, Ashington travel to face Marske United before the Colliers host FA Vase finalists South Shields at Woodhorn Lane on Tuesday, April 18.
Ashington: Grant, Tiffoney (Henderson 57), Salmon, Antony, J Harmison, Christensen, Sampson, McGorrigan, Downey (McAndrew 57), B Harmison, Pearson. Subs not used: Buchanan, R Bell, Hall.