It appears that the fictitious comic strip character ‘Roy of the Rovers’ is hovering over the Ashington camp these days. A couple of weeks ago in their Buildbase FA Vase game at Newcastle Benfield, the home side were trailing 2-0 before leaving the Wansbeck side devastated as they fought back to win 3-2.
On Tuesday the tables were turned – on this occasion in favour of the Colliers. Two-nil behind to the Ebac Northern League second division outfit and with a shock result on the cards, Ian Skinner’s men rallied in a barnstorming finish to score three in the final quarter of an hour.
And on an inclement evening with a cross field wind and swirling and driving rain - the two teams put on an outstanding show which thrilled the brilliant turn out of 281 supporters.
The Woodhorn Lane surface certainly stood the test after being battered by hours of incessant rain and was in pristine condition thanks to the sterling efforts of groundsman Scott Robson.
Both sides made a bright start. But the ENL first division side found themselves trailing after 18 minutes when out of the blue, Blyth Town striker Johnson netted the first of a notable brace on the night, curling a superb left footer inside the stanchion from 22 yards.
In the second half Ashington continued to pile on the pressure and the visitors goal led a charmed life. Inside a ten minutes spell, Briggs sliced over; a cross from Luke Salmon – who was outstanding on the night down the left – was just missed by the incoming McGorrigan; Salmon charged through but was blocked by Corkhill; Briggs fed Salmon who was blocked by a defender then Blyth cleared off the line following a Danny Anderson corner on the left.
And when Johnson pounced on an under hit back pass by Aziakonou to drive a crisp right footer past Adam McHugh to double Blyth’s lead, home supporters were stunned into silence.
However, a key turning point arrived when McHugh made a superb save to prevent a third, as he turned the ball around for a corner to deny Kurtis Dodds.
Back came Ashington and in the 76th minute, they eventually found a way through when Ross applied the finish to a Salmon cross..
Further chances came and went, but they got back on terms in the 88th minute when Sampson’s cross was played on by Briggs for Salmon to blast in.
If the scores were level at full time, the match was to be decided by a penalty shoot out.
On 90 minutes, who else but Corkhill finger-tipped an effort from substitute Craig Spooner around.
But two minutes into injury time, Summerly’s cross from the left found McGorrigan who rifled the ball into the roof of the net for a dramatic winner.