To plagarise the club’s song:  Ashington is full of pubs, bookies and chip shops…..and a promoted football team.  They were wonderful.

I can’t imagine there have been many more one-sided, emphatic victories in a play-off match at this level.  The Colliers dominated from start to finish, playing with poise, control and attractive, attacking football.  And they were backed from start to finish by their fans who travelled to the Peak District in their numbers.

The team hit the ground running, with a couple of strong attacks down the left, with Jordan Summerly producing some dangerous crosses.  The first was only partially cleared to Craig Spooner who hit a shot wide right and then a second that Ben Harmison headed on to the top of the goal netting.  Other promising moves by Ashington came unstuck with poor touches in and around the Glossop box.

Glossop forced the first save by Karl Dryden in the 21st minute – Jack Hopkins hitting a shot from more than 20 yards out, that the keeper stopped diving down to his left.

It was another dangerous attack down the left that set up the Colliers’ first goal – Harmison burying a cross by Summerly from the left – giving them a fully deserved lead after they had controlled most of the game.

For their part, Glossop weren’t able to muster much of an attacking threat.  Louis White sent a high, spinning ball into the Ashington goalmouth that Dryden had to watch all the way before taking and then Keaton Mulvey hit a ball into the Colliers area without any team mate close to getting on the end of it.

Ashington took control of the second half from the early minutes. Paul Robinson hit a curling shot, with the ball bending wide of the target and then Harmison was inches away from converting a Ben Sampson cross.  They didn’t have long to wait to double their lead.  In the 66th minute Sampson found Harmison with a fine pass before the No. 5 stroked the ball past Glossop keeper Craig Ellison.

The tie was done and dusted three minutes later.

Full back Andrew Cartwright hit a pile driver of a free kick that Ellison couldn’t hold on to.  Spooner was quickest to react and the No. 7 struck home after picking up the loose ball.  It capped a fine, dominant performance by the visitors.

Even a downpour of biblical proportions failed to dampen spirits on and off the pitch, despite a couple of late Glossop attacks:  Dryden punched a corner as it sailed under the bar and then the keeper pulled off a second save to deny Glossop captain Nathan Valentine who came close with a powerful header.

The final whistle was the cue for communal celebrations as the players went over to the travelling fans to mark their achievement.  They had secured promotion after a long, gruelling season.

As a gracious Glossop fan said on Twitter after the game:  “You lads were absolutely superb today.  Attractive football; best of luck for next season.  Ashington fans were class too, safe travels back.”

(PS:  Torrential rain left several parts of the pitch covered with standing water.  If the deluge had started half an hour earlier, you wonder if the match would have been completed.  Luckily the rain gods were looking down favourably on the Colliers.)

Mike Snowdon