Glen Taylor took his goals tally for the season to 18 on Wednesday night as Ashington bounced back from Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Crook with a 3-0 victory over local rivals Morpeth Town at Craik Park.
Taylor struck a double with a goal in each half and fellow striker Marc Walton converted a second half penalty against a plucky Morpeth side who on the night belied their third from bottom placing.
Indeed the Highwaymen, despite trailing early in the game, were the better side in the first period but paid the penalty in more ways than one for poor finishing.
Ashington started brightly and went ahead in the eighth minute.
Sam Norris tracked back to win the ball and found Glen Taylor who was clipped in the area by Jordan Fry with referee Shaun Hudson immediately pointing to the spot.
Walton smacked a firmly struck effort against the base of the post and when the rebound fell into the path of Taylor, he made no mistake with a left footer into the far corner of the net.
Three minutes later the Colliers could so easily have doubled their advantage.
Walton glanced on from Norris to Kyle Oliver and his cross was met by Briggs, who sent a flying header narrowly wide of the upright.
Morpeth’s first real threat came midway through the period but Steven Anderson’s effort was easily held by keeper Karl Dryden.
Nevertheless, the home side, with Stephen Forster prominent down the flank,- continued to make inroads with Sean Taylor firing over on two occasions, Andrew Keenan driving off target and Dryden again foiling Anderson.
However, five minutes into the second period Ashington got a vital second goal – from the trusty right foot of Taylor.
The striker latched onto a through ball from skipper Andrew Johnson who had received from Walton, and he gave keeper Steven Mundy no chance with a rasping effort from the right hand side of the penalty area.
On the hour, Anderson had a marvellous opening as Ashington were caught on the counter but Dryden came to his side’s rescue, blocking well at the near post.
Then in the 65th minute Ashington added a third from another penalty award with the home side reduced to ten men as David Hiftle received his marching orders.
Walton and Glen Taylor played a delightful one-two with the latter’s precision pass over the top of the Morpeth defence finding Walton who was upended from behind just as he was about to pull the trigger.
Hiftle was red carded by referee Hudson before Walton calmly slotted home from the spot.
Still Morpeth kept going and Dryden was forced to palm away a header from substitute Michael Fenwick, then at the other end Johnson found sub David Carson who tried to curl the ball around Mundy but was off target.
The final piece of action came in the dying minutes when Walton got on the end of a Lee Scott free kick but saw his effort saved by the legs of Mundy.
As third placed Celtic Nation won 4-1 at Crook, the win saw no change with the Colliers tucked behind the Carlisle-based outfit in the Ebac Northern League’s first division table.
Ashington: Dryden, L Scott, Blandford, Oliver, J Taylor, Christensen, Norris (Carson 58 mins), Johnson, Walton, G Taylor (Lough 73 mins), Briggs (Downey 70 mins). Subs not used: McGorrigan, Race.