Harmison admits Ashington’s season has not been good enough

Ashington FC manager Steve Harmison.
Ashington FC manager Steve Harmison.

Ashington FC manager Steve Harmison saw his side end the campaign on a winning note with a 3-2 victory over Wembley-bound Morpeth Town on Saturday.

But the boss said the season had not been good enough for the club.

In a game which see-sawed one way then the other, Sean Taylor’s brace was not enough for the Highwaymen as the Colliers edged home courtesy of goals from skipper Andrew Johnson, Matty Grieve and substitute James Taylor.

The Woodhorn Lane boss said: “It was a good win because there were a lot of tired bodies out on that pitch.

“Morpeth and ourselves have played a terrific amount of games in recent weeks, so the quality was never ever going to be what it should be.

“I thought both sides tried to win a game which was end to end and we have come out on the good side of it.

“We showed a lot of character after the 8-1 defeat by Shildon on Wednesday night, which was beyond embarrassing and certainly not acceptable or good enough to be associated with Ashington FC.

“It was unfortunate because we had injuries and were literally down to the bare bones, and credit to the reserves who helped us out again with two lads [Adam Bains and Craig Webb] coming along to be on the bench.

We had three subs against Morpeth who we couldn’t have carrying injuries and we fielded probably the 11 fittest bodies we could

“I brought James Loughborough into the midfield and first half he ran his race and I thought he did a good job for us.

“I’m pleased we showed character today and the effort from everyone was good.

“The back four were excellent, the two centre halves [James Harmison and Matty Grieve] especially put their bodies and heads in the way to block, and it was good to see three separate goal scorers

“Johnson’s was an excellent equaliser and it was great for Matty [Grieve] and James [Taylor] to get onto the score sheet too.

“It was nice for us to finish with a win and I’m very pleased.

“However, it didn’t dispel the disappointment of Wednesday night against Shildon where harsh words were said during and at the end of that game.

“I got a reaction today, but I don’t really want reactions, I want us to be pro-active and you shouldn’t have to have three games which we have just had leading into this game.

“However, if I’m brutally honest, the season hasn’t been good enough for Ashington.

“We have had things go against us which have been out of our control, but even still this club should not be finishing 12th in the league, and that is something which needs to be addressed in the summer.

“Whether it’s a change of mentality and attitude, there are a lot of things which come into the equation and there will probably be a lot of personnel change.”

Harmison’s parting shot was to send best wishes to Morpeth in their bid to lift the FA Vase when they face Hereford at Wembley on Sunday week.

“Today we were hopefully playing against the FA vase winners – and I really mean that,” he said.

“I’d like Morpeth to go on and clinch the Vase – not for the Northern League but for teams in the Northumberland area and for people like their chairman Ken Beattie and manager Nicky Gray.”