By Brian Bennett | Photo: Ian Brodie

Andrew Cartwright confidently stroked home a penalty which booked Ashington their place in the play off final this coming Saturday – then the 28 year old defender said he’s a stranger to taking spot kicks!

Trailing to a first half penalty converted by Bishop Auckland skipper Craig Gott, Ashington simply had to get back on level terms as a minimum requirement if they wanted to keep their promotion hopes alive and Cartwright’s right foot did the trick.

“I don’t normally take them (penalties) but we’ve had a few takers this season and when we got the award, I stepped forward and was delighted when the ball hit the back of the net,” said the Newcastle-born defender, “We couldn’t believe it when the penalty was given against us in the first half but we’ve got a group of players who have got character and we know that if we go behind in a game, we can come back.”

Gosforth-based Cartwright – who runs his own football coaching company – could have added a second near the end with a free-kick: “The ball was going in but the ‘keeper (Ryan Catterick) made a great save,” he said, “To be honest I thought we deserved to win comfortably in the end because we played really well and had loads of chances in the second half to put the game to bed. They (Bishop Auckland) dug in to be fair but I just think we have got so much quality and when our attitude and desire is right then nobody should beat us. Second half we were fantastic and some of our football and some of the little link up play on the edge of the box to get people ‘in’ was excellent.”

Cartwright said getting to the play off final is amazing: “We are looking forward to the game,” He said, “It means everything to the players, the club and the community so hopefully we can kick on and take the club out of this division.”