North Shields’ six-game winning streak was ended by a managerless Ashington side who won 5-1.
The Colliers had to deal with the departure of joint-managers Steve Harmison and Tom Wade on Friday night, but that only seemed to have spurred the visitors on.
Ashington carried a 2-0 lead to half-time and a man advantage thanks to goals from Michael Chilton and Steve Harmison and Lee Mason’s dismissal for the Robins.
Gary Ormston pulled one back through his 50th minute penalty, but that was as good as it got for the 10 men Shields and Luke Salmon, Craig Scott and Ben Harmison rounded off a dominant win.
Ashington may have had a turbulent time off the field, but that didn’t stop them from ending North Shields’ seven-match winning run – with five different scorers.
The closest the Robins came from opening the scoring was when Dean Holmes went one on one with Connor Grant, though the goalkeeper brilliantly denied him.
The Colliers ridded the early Shields pressure, and got their reward on the half hour mark. Chilton, recently signed from Morpeth Town, met Dale Pearson’s fabulous cross as the striker converted.
Pearson then showed similar striking instinct to Chilton as he was in the right place at the right time to capitalise on Kyle Hayes parry to double the visitors lead.
Mason then lost his head minutes before the break as he was shown a straight red card by referee Michael Andrews.
The hosts had a mountain to climb at half-time but give themselves the best chance of making a comeback when Ormston slotted home a 50th minute penalty after Paul Robinson was fouled.
But the Robins struggled to build on the early momentum where inevitably, the one-man disadvantage proved too difficult against a side who have taken points off the Northern League big guns.
In the 68th minute, Salmon effectively made sure of the win when he lifted the ball over Hayes into the top corner.
Eight minutes later, stand-in manager Scott prodded home a fourth as Hayes could only parry the first attempt.
Harmison then came off the bench to get his name on the score sheet when Hayes once more could not hold the first effort – giving the big striker the easiest of goals.