By Brian Bennett

Skipper Ben Harmison climbed out of his sick bed to help Ashington to a narrow 2-1 win over Newcastle Benfield at Sam Smith’s Park on Friday night.

But afterwards the 37 year old stated that the most important thing was his side taking the three points: “At the end of the day, it’s irrelevant how the points come – a win is a win,” he said, “We know how hard it is to play against Newcastle Benfield and it doesn’t matter whether you are one or two goals up against them, the players they have got can hurt you which probably showed when we had our backs against the wall for the last 20 minutes.”

He continued: “Benfield started quick but the players they have got are all young, lively and fit. Their movement was good and they passed the ball well – and it took us around 10- 15 minutes to get used to things. Once we did that and kept our shape, we knew we would get chances because we have got players in our side who will take them. Dan Maguire for instance just needed one chance (to score), dinking the ball over the ‘keeper after a great move.”

He continued: “We started the second half well which we have done for the last few games. But for some reason, we stopped going forward in the last 20 minutes and let them back into it with a goal and our ‘keeper Karl Dryden has made some great saves.”

Harmison, who played for 78 minutes before being substituted, admitted that ‘flu had left him ‘wiped out’: “I came home early from nightshift at 3am in the morning feeling wiped out,” he added, “I felt weak and had no energy. Today (Friday) is the first day where I’ve felt a bit better and the manager (Ian Skinner) knew about the situation and asked me to contribute whatever I could. However at this time of the year you are also going to get niggles and injuries.”

He concluded: “It was a great win for us and the three points was all we needed. We are chalking games off one by one and we’re not bothered about anybody else – instead everyone else can worry about us.”