Shunted into the sidings after consecutive home defeats against Spennymoor Town and Bedlington in recent weeks, the Colliers’ train got back on track with a deserved victory against an in-form Billingham Synthonia on Saturday.
After being idle for the past fortnight since the debacle performance in the derby, goals in the first half from James Novak and Kyle Oliver and a beauty by Glen Taylor proved sufficient.
And even though Gary Middleton’s side never quite hit top gear, they nevertheless did more than enough to warrant all three points, which takes their tally to 60 for the season with 11 games remaining.
They could have gone in front as early as the sixth minute when David Carson had a cross turned over the bar by a Synners defender.
And from the resultant corner on the left, Glen Taylor nodded the ball across for Craig Scott who misdirected his header over.
At the other end, the quick-thinking and ever alert Karl Dryden was forced to race out to claw a through ball from Matthew Osmond off the toes of Michael Sweet.
But Middleton’s side retaliated and after keeper Sebastian Furness had collected a header from Glen Taylor, Andrew Johnson had an opportunity when he went through the inside left channel but saw his shot blocked by the advancing Furness.
Sweet then volleyed over before the Colliers took the lead midway though the period, with Novak, on his full debut, registering his first goal for the club since joining from Whitley Bay.
Johnson and Glen Taylor fashioned a one-two and when the former was halted by a tackle inside the area, the ball ran into the path of Novak who drove a crisp left footed effort wide of Furness and inside the far corner.
Ashington continued to threaten before James Taylor found Glen Taylor who laid the ball off for Oliver whose instinctive right footer from distance scraped the bar.
However, the home side doubled their lead five minutes before the break with Oliver on the mark for the sixth time this season.
Johnson was played in by a back header from a defender and he advanced to the byline before cutting the ball back for Oliver, who from 12 yards applied a cool and clinical low finish with his right foot wide of Furness.
Now firmly in the driving seat, Ashington did not want the half to end and in the closing minutes could have added to the tally.
Glen Taylor latched onto a through ball from Lance McGlen down the right to beat a defender, but his cross just eluded the incoming Johnson at the far post.
Then Carson slipped two men on a run down the flank only to slide the ball narrowly wide.
Seven minutes into the second half, Synners got back into the game after Kris Hughes was clipped by McGlen inside the area. Referee Shaun Hudson immediately pointed to the spot and Sweet effortlessly despatched the penalty into the far corner.
Despite playing into the wind, Ashington kept their visitors at bay whilst also looking to add a third.
Johnson had a shot held at the second attempt by Furness then James Taylor and Novak schemed the next move which saw Johnson lift his centre across the face of the goal.
Glen Taylor had an effort fisted down by the visiting stopper whilst for Billingham, Fred Woodhouse struck a 20 yarder wide and Hughes saw Dryden palm away a dangerous in-swinging corner from the left.
However, five minutes from the end of normal time, Glen Taylor scored his 28th goal of the season to effectively seal the points.
The industrious Oliver found Carson on the right and when he delivered an inviting cross to the far post, Glen Taylor netted with a bullet like header between Furness and the upright.
Ashington: Dryden, McGlen, Blandford, Oliver, C Scott, Christensen, Carson, J Taylor, Johnson, G Taylor, Novak. Subs not used: Norris, Walton, Downey, L Scott, Barnard.
On Saturday Ashington are at home to local rivals Morpeth Town (3pm) before the Colliers travel to face Hebburn Town on Tuesday, March 4.