Ashington head coach calls an end to ‘hard luck stories’

Ashington FC head coach Ian Skinner. Picture by Ian Appleby
Ashington FC head coach Ian Skinner. Picture by Ian Appleby
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After watching his side go down 2-1 against Ryhope CW on Saturday, Ashington FC head coach Ian Skinner reeled off several reasons why his outfit are still searching for their first win since December.

However, Skinner categorically stated that ‘hard luck’ stories have now been banished as the Woodhorn Lane side try to find that winning formula again.

He said: “Potentially the result could again be classed as cruel but the hard luck stories have got to stop.

“Mistakes are costing us and we have got to put an end to this run, which is one win in nine.

“In the dressing room we have had some discussions, which obviously will remain private, but collectively as a group including the management team and all the support team, we have got to get back to wining football matches again.

“At the moment, and I’m being brutally honest, we have got some players who are out of form and it’s difficult.

“You have got to get back to doing the basic things well and try and get your form back but that is not working.”

He continued: “I thought Ryhope out-battled us, out-worked us and the two goals we conceded were really, really poor.

“The first was a ball from the back which has travelled a long way into the box. Two of our players have missed it and James Ellis has tapped it in to get them level at 1-1.

“Conor Grant has made an error for the second goal but I’m not going to get after him because it’s a one of those situations when a goalkeeper makes a mistake it tends to lead to a goal.

“Conor has been one of our better players this season and at 0-0 he made a great one-on-one save which kept us in the game.

“I’m certainly not going to lay any blame at Conor’s door, although he himself is disappointed because he knows he should have done better.

“We didn’t start the second half anywhere near good enough and after going 2-1 behind, we tried to be brave and made a triple substitution in an attempt to get more people forward.

“However, we started to rush things and that in turn leads to sloppiness.

“We were guilty of not taking care of the ball and giving it away too easily in good areas.

“We had a lot of pressure late on but I can’t remember us working the Ryhope goalkeeper, and that was another frustrating aspect.”

Skinner added that the squad should be bolstered ahead of Saturday’s home clash against neighbours Whitley Bay.

“Players are starting to return and we have added two to the squad in Ryan McGorrigan and Dale Pearson so there is now a little bit of competition for places,” he said.

“Today we had 17 to choose from and by next weekend Ben Harmison will be back from suspension; Shaun Henderson will return after sickness as well as Shaun Bell who was ruled out at Ryhope due to working commitments.

“Pearson will be available and there’s a possibility Craig Scott might be closer to a comeback because he trained this past week. That would boost our squad which can only be good.”