Harmison calls for another Ashington win on Saturday

Ashington manager Steve Harmison.
Ashington manager Steve Harmison.

Ashington boss Steve Harmison was ecstatic on Wednesday night after his relegation threatened side pulled off one of the shock results of the season with a 4-3 victory over title challengers Shildon.

Glen Taylor took the headlines with a glowing hat-trick and Tony Stephenson was also on target as the Colliers turned in their best performance of the season.

However, Harmison was quick to put the win into context.

“The result tonight will only be a good one if we win at home to West Allotment Celtic on Saturday,” he said.

“We have secured three points but are in a relegation fight and we need another six to make us within a shout of being safe.

“Having 44 points would take some catching, but we still have to get there and that’s our priority from now on.”

Drooling after the victory at Dean Street, Harmison added: “I thought the lads were fantastic.

“It was a great game of football between two sides who were excellent on the night.

“We have played for 90 minutes against a Shildon side who made it hard for us. But we knew that the injection of pace from Dylan Williamson, Tony Stephenson and Joe Moscrop would trouble them, and it was great to see Glen Taylor get back onto the score sheet.”

Harmison was beset with problems before the contest with a limited number of players to select from.

He said: “It was a good win in a way that there was a lot of adversity because we had two players drop out, the second at 3pm on the afternoon, which was disappointing and which left us short.

“Consequently we had to go with only two on the bench and a reserve keeper, so it was very much a case of the players having to roll their sleeves up.

“Having travelled in rush hour traffic for 80 minutes we said to the players ‘what’s the point of coming all the way here and not putting on a show or putting the effort in’.

“Ideally we would liked to have protected James Harmison and Wayne Buchanan in view of the match on Saturday because we didn’t particularly want them to play two games in a week.

“James has a bust hand and was originally going to miss out but had to play because players have let us down.”

Meanwhile the boss welcomed skipper Andrew Johnson back with open arms.

“It’s a great bonus to see the club captain back on the field, running at people left and right - and everything seems to be going fine for him,” he said.

“We seem to like playing midweek and against big teams, and I think in the last two weeks we have played against the best football team in the league (Guisborough) and won 1-0 and in Shildon, we have just defeated the team who for me are going to win the league.

“If they don’t then it will be their own fault because it is in their hands.

“They are a big, powerful side with great movement.

“What I can’t understand is the position we find ourselves in because of the players we have got, but the truth is that we haven’t shown the right application to win football matches.

“Tonight, however, the lads were fantastic and brilliant – every single one of them.”