Ashington turned in one of their best performances of the season on Tuesday night as they swept Newcastle Benfield aside in what was a comfortable 3-0 victory at Woodhorn Lane.
They dominated the game from start to finish with Craig Scott giving them an early lead and David Carson scoring towards the end of the contest.
But the goal of the night came from Kyle Downey, who opened his account for the Black & Whites with a spectacular effort shortly after the interval.
Glen Taylor stroked wide before the Colliers edged in front on the ten minute mark from a corner on the right.
Andrew Johnson floated the ball over where Craig Scott’s header from 12 yards crept inside the far post wide of keeper Andrew Grainger.
The lead could have been doubled midway through the half after James Taylor had performed exceptionally well before delivering a cross from the byline, but the ball struck Johnson on the knee and rolled wide.
Johnson then lashed over before the Ashington skipper had a shot saved one handed by Grainger following a great move involving Kyle Oliver, Carson and Marc Walton.
Shortly before half-time, Billy Irons cut inside but sliced across the face of the goal, then ex-Ashington player Steven Baptist flashed an effort wide from the edge of the area.
Two minutes inside the second period, Downey increased Ashington’s lead.
Scott headed an Oliver free kick back into the middle where Downey teed the ball up for himself then struck a terrific left foot volley from 20 yards which found the corner of the net as Grainger grasped thin air.
Ashington continued to play some scintillating football and another incisive move on 65 minutes following a sliced clearance from Grainger saw Downey and Glen Taylor work together to set up Dean Briggs, but the substitute fired tamely at the keeper.
Carson went close then at the other end, the out-rushing Dryden produced a fine tackle to thwart Irons.
Ashington got a deserved third three minutes from the end of normal time following another excellent move.
Glen Taylor’s measured pass from the right found substitute Lee Scott who played the ball short to Carson.
The midfielder turned striker cut neatly inside the area before lashing home from ten yards wide of Grainger.
Apart from serving up some delightful football, Ashington’s work rate on the night was a distinct feature in a display which saw Gary Middleton’s side move up two places to fourth from top spot in the first division of the Ebac Northern League table.
Ashington: Dryden, J Taylor, Lough, Oliver, C Scott, Christensen, Carson, Johnson, Walton (Briggs 61 mins), G Taylor, Downey (L Scott 72 mins). Subs not used: McGorrigan, Norris, Barnard.