New Ashington signing Bulford makes an immediate impact

Andrew Bulford on signing for Ashington FC. Picture by Gav Perry
Andrew Bulford on signing for Ashington FC. Picture by Gav Perry

Ashington’s latest signing Andrew Bulford came off the bench to hit a late winner against Durham City at a bitterly cold Consett ground on Saturday.

Bulford netted in the 86th minute to make it a good week for the Colliers, who had defeated neighbours Whitley Bay 4-3 in midweek.

Newcastle-born Bulford admitted that Ashington’s reputation in non league football circles was endorsed by his close friend Michael Dixon who linked up with the Woodhorn Lane club in October.

The 29-year-old said: “I’m happy to join. I wasn’t playing at South Shields and Ashington have always been a big club when I have played in Northern League football and they have a good reputation.

“I played for seven years at Dunston UTS alongside Michael [Dixon] and he had enough praise to say about Ashington, so I took him at his trust and I’m here now.”

Bulford, who was introduced in the 64th minute as a substitute for the injured Dylan Williamson, was delighted with his goal, as well as the result against Durham.

“I managed to make that half yard to get my shot off, and although I got a lucky deflection, I was pleased the ball found the back of the net because I thought we deserved to win,” he said.

“If the game had ended in a draw I don’t think it would have been a fair result.”

Four seasons ago the proven striker fulfilled a boyhood ambition at Wembley when he scored both goals for Dunston in their 2-0 FA Vase final triumph over West Auckland.

He said: “As a kid it’s always a dream to play at the home of football.

“To score one goal was magical but it’s a great feeling to get two.

“However although I will never forget the occasion as well as being proud of the achievement, that is in the past.”

Ashington boss Steve Harmison, who tried to capture Bulford earlier in the campaign, was pleased to get him on board.

“Andrew can run in behind and give us something a little bit different,” he said

“The reason for signing him was his experience. There are players in our dressing room now who have won things. My 30 or nearly 30-year-old players - Michael Dixon, Andrew Bulford and James Harmison - have all medals.

“They have got the experience but also a winning mentality and that’s a good spine for a team which we are trying to build with young and exciting players around them.

“I’m pleased to get Andrew. We tried before he joined South Shields but thankfully we have got him now and he came up trumps today with the winning goal.”