By Brian Bennett

Charlie Exley netted his second goal of the season for Ashington when he scored the opener with a header in their 2-1 win over Stocksbridge Park Steels on Saturday.

And the Newcastle-born left back admitted afterwards that he ‘backed’ himself to score: “It sounds like a cliché but I knew the ball was going to come to the back post and it was just a case of me timing my run right,” he said “I knew if I could get in behind, that I would hit the target and I’m always of the opinion that if I can get a half a yard on anyone, I’ll win the header. That may sound quite a confident and over arrogant thing to say – but I back myself to go with a header because I think people underestimate me for my size and today I got quite a good jump and timed it quite well.”

Exley thought Ashington’s ‘quality’ came to the fore: “As a defender clean sheets are what you want first and foremost and I think we nullified Stocksbridge a lot today forcing them to play long balls. Once we settled in different spells of the game, we showed our quality at times which ultimately got us the two goals and it was a massive win for us. Over the past few matches we have been quite unfortunate with little lapses in concentration which ultimately have been very costly but moving forward I think if we iron those out we’ll be a decent outfit.” The 23 year old also revealed that he is enjoying the rivalry for the left back spot with Jordan Summerly: “Its great competition I have with Jordan,” said Exley, “We know we have to play well with the other right behind – and it is going to make us better players. From my point of view when I’m on the park, it’s just a case of looking to be a constant threat and making sure I defend well.”