Ashington head coach believes his side deserved a point

North Shields striker Gareth Bainbridge. Picture by Ally Middleton
North Shields striker Gareth Bainbridge. Picture by Ally Middleton

Ashington FC head coach Ian Skinner believed his side deserved to get something from Tuesday’s derby clash against North Shields.

The Colliers were forced to play the final 40 minutes with ten men after the dismissal of Ryan Bell.

And they almost held out with keeper Conor Grant turning in a five-star showing.

But former Collier Gareth Bainbridge popped up with a 90th minute winner to sink his former club.

Skinner said: “The longer the game went on, for all of the effort and endeavour, I thought we were going to get something which we would have deserved.

“In the grand scheme of things, Conor has made three unbelievable saves to keep us in the game – one in the first half with a really good strong wrist and then two top drawer efforts in the second period.

“With those I thought it could be our day and we might just hold on.

“Then with four minutes to go there is a free kick awarded to us in the top corner and it was a ‘stick’ or ‘twist’ situation.

“I’ll be honest, my instruction was to ‘stick’ and keep the ball and take a 0-0 draw, but the players decided that they wanted to ‘twist’ and play the ball in.

“Nothing came of the free kick and a couple of minutes later we conceded.

“But I’m not going to knock the players for that, because if they want to try and win the game, then so be it.

“With ten men you hope that you are going to get at least a point.

“When we played North Shields ten days ago, I questioned some of our players’ work rate. But to a man I think they have rammed that statement back down my throat.

“I thought Shields were probably the better of the two teams early on, and then 15 minutes in we started to get a foothold into the game.

“However, we were guilty of going too long too early, then as the half wore on I felt we put one or two decent passages of play together and a lot of the action was in the their half.

“Credit to Shields. We have had a couple of decent openings at goal, but whenever we seemed to fashion a chance, there was always a body thrown in the way as they got blocks in and defended manfully.

“Second half there was not a lot in it. Ryan Bell’s sending off had an impact against a side who are well organised and who moved the ball around relatively well.

“I didn’t think they [Shields] were at their best, but that is credit to our lads.

“When we went a man down, we had to reshuffle a little bit but we tried to stay positive.

“Most teams would go 4-4-1 but we tried to keep two up front because we really wanted to win the game.

“A turning point came when Andrew Johnson went through and the Shields keeper Sean McCafferty has made a good save.

“If we had scored then we really would have had something to hold onto but overall, it was disappointing not to get anything from the game.”