By Brian Bennett | Photo: Ian Brodie

Skipper Ben Harmison said the Ashington players were always confident they would score in their crunch match against Bishop Auckland on Saturday which finished 1-1.

Craig Gott scored with a penalty for the two blues on the half hour mark before Andrew Cartwright levelled matters in the 62nd minute when he was also on target from a spot kick: “We just had to get the ball down and play and we knew that the goal would come,” said Harmison, “We knew we needed to score but we had to be patient and Carty (Andrew Cartwright) has got us back on terms.”

Ashington led Bishops by two points before the game and knew a draw would cement their place in the play off: “Our aim was to come to Bishops and make sure we had another game next week in the play off,” he said, “We didn’t come here just for a point – but we were happy to take one! I thought both teams probably got a bit nervous. The first half was a little scrappy but after the break, I thought we absolutely destroyed them and on another day could have scored four or five. We’ve had loads of chances but the Bishops ‘keeper (Ryan Catterick) has had a great game.”

Harmison – Ashington’s top scorer with 22 in all competitions – missed two glorious opportunities himself to add to his tally in the second period and said: “For the first, it was a great ball in from Jordan (Summerly) and I just wanted to make contact for the header and go back across goal but the ‘keeper got it. The second one, Scott Heslop has put me in and I should have taken a touch really.”

Harmison thought three games in a week took its toll on the players: “I was really, really tired,” he said, “We showed heavy legs on a heavy pitch and the way we finished was probably because we had had a game on the Tuesday and a bit of fatigue had set in – but we got over the line and we’re all delighted.”