Harmison critical of costly mistakes as Ashington lose at home

Ashington manager Steve Harmison. Picture by Ian Appleby - www.ianapplebyimages.com
Ashington manager Steve Harmison. Picture by Ian Appleby - www.ianapplebyimages.com
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Ashington FC manager Steve Harmison blamed mistakes for Tuesday night’s 5-1 home defeat to a well drilled Newcastle Benfield outfit.

Harmison’s side, who trailed 3-1 at the interval and then went 5-1 behind by the hour mark, missed two second half penalties.

The Woodhorn Lane boss said: “Mistakes are costing us goals.

“It was a bizarre game from our point of view. We gave goals away just like we did at the start of the season where it looks like your defenders are at fault – only it is about defending all over the pitch where the whole 11 have got to work as a team.

“Over the last two games we have made mistakes in areas, have not got the ball back and it has cost us goals.

“We have had matches where we have been winning, like against Whitley Bay, Sunderland Ryhope, and the results against Morpeth and others where we have been very, very good with our tempo and intensity.

“All of that was at a high level and I think we have played against two sides in Easington and Newcastle Benfield who have done exactly the same and that’s why we have lost.

“Their passing and movement and energy was good, their tempo high, whereas I thought we were a yard off the pace, were lack lustre and lethargic.”

He continued: “We can say we had two penalties which had we scored from them would have pulled the score back to 5-3, but our keeper Conor Grant has made one save other than picking the ball out of his net five times, so it was all a little bit weird.

“However, if you make mistakes no matter where on the pitch against good players, you are going to get punished and that’s what we have done.

“We didn’t pick any second balls up, we weren’t close enough to our men and the tempo and energy levels seemed to be low.

“We go again on Saturday at home to West Allotment Celtic, another side not too dissimilar to Newcastle Benfield will work hard.

“They normally play on a good pitch so they will try to play football and although they are going through a transitional period, they will be bang up for the game because the players will be wanting to impress the new manager.”