Harmison critical of defensive errors as Morpeth put five past Ashington

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

Ashington FC manager Steve Harmison was left shaking his head in disbelief after his side shipped three goals in the opening 12 minutes of their derby clash away to Morpeth Town on Monday night.

And when the full-time whistle went, the Colliers were on the wrong end of a 5-1 defeat.

Harmison said: “You just cannot give goals away like we did. Our game plan at the start was to limit mistakes and try to play in their area and put pressure on them, and also to be aware at set-pieces because Morpeth are very strong from them and have scored a load this year.

“Of the goals we conceded, one stemmed from our throw-in and we ended up giving a corner away through recklessness; another came from our free kick on the half way line and within seconds the ball is in the back of our net again, then I thought it was a soft penalty which led to their fourth.

“Similarly, we gave four goals away against Washington on Saturday and it gives you a massive mountain to climb.

“We gave them three goals in the first half and you cannot give any team in the Ebac Northern League that, and especially against the quality which Morpeth have got.

“I did think the attitude and effort from my players was a lot better than at the weekend [against Washington] – it had to be – but you can sugar coat it any way you want.

“We are not getting done by good play, we are beating ourselves by making mistakes, whereas opposing teams are not making errors.

“We can look at many aspects but it comes down to decision making, concentration and risk taking, and in our last two games, it’s been so negative that it has been ridiculous.

“You set your team up to go out with a game plan, but the very two things we said to them not to do, they did.

“Morpeth are a good side and they have two big games coming up this week, and I’m just disappointed that they haven’t had to work as hard as they should have done to win this game.”

Harmison was disappointed with the referee.

“Three or four times in the first half he didn’t give what Ben Sampson got done for with the Morpeth penalty,” he said.

“He gave Ashington a free kick on the halfway line for the same thing he should have given in the box which would have been a penalty to us.”