By Brian Bennett | Photo: Ian Brodie

Ben Sampson admitted that his eyes ‘lit up’ when the chance came for to him to score his first goal of the season in Ashington’s 2-1 win over Grimsby Borough on Saturday.

The Colliers had gone behind to an opener from Caine Winfarrah but three minutes later Sampson pounced on an opportunity to level: “We played a little bit different today which allowed me to get forward more than normal,” said the 25 year old afterwards, “After running into the box, Karl Ross got in behind their defence to reach the by-line and cross and seeing the ball come towards me, my eyes lit up. When you haven’t scored all season and its February, you’re a bit nervous – but it was an open goal really and I just tucked it away.”

After being out for a number of weeks through injury, Ashington-born Sampson was handed a start in midfield: “It was tough but I was fine,” he added, “I was cramping up a bit towards the end but to be fair, considering the time of year, it was a pretty good surface. It was one of those games where you dig in and get the result and sometimes they are the best. I thought we deserved it. Ross Coombe has pulled off a great save from a penalty but the game should have been out of sight.”

Sampson – a civil servant who is based in Pegswood – is hoping the side can kick on: “I love it at Ashington both on and off the pitch and the lads are great,” he said, “To be honest over the course of this season, we sometimes haven’t had the results we deserve but hopefully we can kick on and reach a league position which reflects the performances we have put in.”

Ashington manager Ian Skinner said: “Ben has missed quite a few games with a little bit of an injury so we eased him back in gently. We didn’t take any risks with him at Dunston but we managed to get him on the pitch at home to West Allotment Celtic and he did well when he came on. Ben offers us energy; he covers ground well; he’s got a good range of passing; can break the play up and drive and carry the ball. He got a start today with a bit of a change of shape from us and I thought he did really, really well and should be pleased with his overall performance.”