ASHINGTON CFC manager Gary Middleton was full of admiration for his players – and the club’s supporters – after they claimed the scalp of Vauxhall Motors in the FA Cup on Tuesday night.
The Colliers came away from second qualifying round replay in Ellesmere Port with a 1-0 win thanks to an early Andrew Johnson goal.
Following the victory, a beaming Middleton said: “Make no mistake about it, this was a fantastic result for the club.
“We showed true resilience to win the tie over two legs and great character to come back after being 3-1 down in the first game with 20 minutes remaining.
“Not only that, we have had to travel four hours on a coach to go to Liverpool for the rematch, and I cannot praise the players enough for putting in such a performance after boarding the coach following a shift at work.
“We were outstanding and fully deserved our victory.
“We were not hanging on at the end and even the Vauxhall players said that we were full value for our success as they left the pitch.”
Reflecting on the first period, Middleton said: “We started the game well and should have been one up in the first minute through Jonny Godsmark before Andrew Johnson did put us ahead.
“They put us under pressure, which they were always going to do, and our keeper Karl Dryden has made three great saves.
“But by the same token, Johnson could have put us 2-0 up shortly before the interval.
“Second half I thought we were better and really restricted Vauxhall to two or three half chances, and we played on the counter very well.
“Stephen Young should have done better four minutes from time with an opportunity, which had he taken it would have sewn the game up, but the lads showed great character.
“There were some good performances and it would be hard to pick out individuals.”
Middleton also praised the visiting fans: “We took a bus load of supporters with us and it was like having an extra man,” he said.
“The players rose to it to be fair and it was added in to the result.”