A goal in each half from joint strikers Ben Harmison and David Dormand proved enough for Ashington to sweep Washington aside on Saturday and extend their recent unbeaten run in the league to four matches.
Despite appalling conditions with the match played in torrential rain at times, the Colliers produced some excellent football and were worthy winners – but both sides deserve credit for producing an interesting tussle.
Woodhorn Lane boss Steve Harmison made three changes from the team who defeated Seaham Red Star the previous week.
Conor Grant returned in goal for Luc Glasper, skipper Craig Scott slotted into the centre of defence for James Harmison whilst Dan O’Reilly made his full debut coming in for the injured Lee McAndrew.
The Wansbeck side made a positive and bright start knocking the ball around with confidence and in the fifth minute, Ben Sampson and Paul Antony schemed a move which put Luke Salmon through into the area but he was blocked out.
Washington’s first threat came in the 19th minute when Marc Costello played the ball through for Matthew Waters but he dragged a right foot shot wide.
Back came Ashington and in the 26th minute, they knocked on the Washington door when Antony and Salmon combined but when the latter crossed, Shaun Bell’s header was pushed away by home ‘keeper Dale Connor.
From the resultant corner on the left taken by Antony, Craig Scott headed across the face of goal. However 60 seconds later, the visitors took the lead when Ben Harmison netted his third league goal in as many matches.
David Dormand met a cross from the right by Shaun Henderson but after Connor had repelled his initial effort, his follow up was blocked by a defender. The ball ran free to Harmison who kept his cool and stroked home from close range.
Before the break, Connor saved from Harmison and O’Reilly before a sizzling 20 yarder from Sampson flashed narrowly wide of the upright.
Ashington made a great start to the second period as Dormand pounced to score his seventh goal of the campaign.
Antony sprayed a pass out to Henderson on the right flank and when he crossed, Ben Harmison laid the ball off for Dormand who turned on a sixpence and lashed the ball into the top corner of the net. After that,
Ashington looked to add to their tally although clear cut chances were limited.
O’Reilly blasted over then Dormand had a header clutched by Connor from an Antony corner.
On 75 minutes O’Reilly was foiled by the ‘keeper then within a minute of being introduced as a substitute, Andrew Bulford had the ball in the net from a Sampson through pass but was ruled offside. And it was Sampson who had the final opportunity - but he too was denied by Connor.
On Tuesday November 8, the Colliers host Marske United (7.45pm kick-off) then on Saturday, November 12, Ashington are at home to Bishop Auckland (3pm). Tuesday week, November 15 sees Steve Harmison’s outfit meet Ryhope CW at Woodhorn Lane in the second round of the League Cup.
Ashington: Grant, Henderson, Salmon, Antony, Scott (J Harmison 46 minutes), Buchanan, Sampson, S Bell, Dormand (Bulford 76 minutes), B Harmison, O’Reilly. Subs not used: Gunn, Downey, Christensen.
Referee: Chris Ellis