ASHINGTONcambe back from a two goal deficit to claim a point against Marske United at Woodhorn Lane on Tuesday night.
And the tie was played in front of manager Gary Middleton, who continues to recuperate from viral meningitis.
The Colliers dominated the first 45 minutes and played some neat and slick approach work, yet they found themselves two goals behind at the interval as Markse hit them on the break with David Onions bagging a brace.
Indeed the striker had Ashington in a right stew as early as the eight minute.
The visitors raided down the left flank and when the ball was crossed into the danger zone, Onions applied the finishing touch. Andrew Johnson and skipper Liam Atkin were both blocked out before on the quarter hour, Onions fed Daniel Lambert who fired a great chance across the face of the goal.
Callum Little went close before the Teesiders doubled their advantage five minutes before the break.
Ashington were again caught out on the counter attack and when the pacy Lambert raided down the right flank his initial shot was blocked at the near post by Phil Cave.
However the ball found its way back to Lambert who crossed for Onions to score from close range.
Early in the second period, Johnson was twice denied in quick succession and Walton drove wide before on the hour, a scintillating move involving Gareth Williams, Johnson, Mark O’Dea and Walton ended with the latter applying a heavy first touch and his eventual shot was blocked.
Little was not far away with a rasping 25 yarder then play switched immediately to the other end where home ‘keeper Karl Dryden foiled Karl Charlton.
Tom Marron had an effort headed away from the six yards box by Williams who then ventured upfield and got on the end of a pass from Little to steer a long range shot which ‘keeper Scott Allison clutched. However in the 71st minute, the Colliers reduced the deficit – through top marksman Walton.
They were awarded a free-kick 22 yards out and Walton – who scored with a restart from a similar distance when the sides met a few weeks ago in the FA Cup – repeated the trick, firing wide of Allison and inside the corner.
Craig Scott was only inches away after connecting from a Phil Cave flag kick before Walton – who netted a hat-trick in that Cup game on Teeside – got the equaliser in the 78th minute.
Substitute Andrew Dobbie who had only been introduced two minutes earlier, swung over a cross from the right and Walton did the rest, bursting through and rifling home an unstoppable right footer past Allison.
Game on it most certainly was and four minutes later, Walton latched onto a through ball from Little and looked set to complete his hat-trick until his shot was blocked by Allison. Still the Colliers looked for a winner and they had three golden chances in stoppage time.
Antony’s cross from the right was pushed out by Allison but Little side footed over when well placed.
Then Allison pulled off a wonder save finger tipping a goalbound 20 yards drive from Antony around the post with O’Dea heading the resultant corner from Cave over the bar.
Ashington: Dryden, Williams, Cave, Antony, Atkin, Scott, Storey (Dobbie 76 minutes), O’Dea, Walton, Johnson, Little. Subs not used: Moscrop, Bond, Bainbridge.