Harmison had hoped his Ashington side could force a penalty shoot-out

Ashington manager Steve Harmison in the dugout Picture by Ian Appleby - www.ianapplebyimages.com
Ashington manager Steve Harmison in the dugout Picture by Ian Appleby - www.ianapplebyimages.com
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Ashington FC manager Steve Harmison summed up his sides exit from the Techflow Group Northumberland Senior Cup in one word – disappointing.

The Colliers bowed out of the competition 2-1 after extra time against North Shields at the Daren Persson Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Following the defeat, the Woodhorn Lane boss said: “North Shields had a lot of the first half whilst we had a lot of the second half. We didn’t create a great deal to be honest but then at the end, the rub of the green has gone their way as the ball has dropped in a nice position for them to score.

“We were hanging on for penalties, we were desperate for it to go to a shoot-out simply because of the tired bodies on the pitch.

“We were trying to get them to hold the ball and do things but the lads were out on their feet and I couldn’t fault anything they have done.

“The effort both last Saturday at Guisborough and tonight was unbelievable. And if that’s what I can get, the quality will follow.

“We missed some big players, but from a club point of view, we didn’t have anybody else personnel wise to choose from.

“It would have been great had it gone to penalties, but good luck to North Shields, they played some lovely football and their movement was excellent.

“We rode our luck at times but we defended very well and restricted them to shots from outside the area.

“Even though North Shields had chances, our keeper Conor Grant didn’t have to make many saves.

“And to take it to extra time and be on the verge of penalties, the result was disappointing for everyone in that dressing room.”

Harmison said his squad were ravaged by a variety of factors.

“From where we were at the start of the match, having players not eligible, unavailable due to work and our captain [Andrew Johnson] sidelined with flu, we had to have a game plan to stay in the contest because of the personnel we had,” he said.

“Some of my players were carrying injuries – James Taylor played for 55 minutes, Paul Dunn 120 minutes, Gareth Williams, who has not played for a long time the best part of 90 minutes, and James Harmison should never have been in the line-up whilst Lee Scott was struggling.

“We went to Shields with a sob story yet I’m disappointed after the game. Disappointed for the people who aren’t playing because this clash was played three months since the date of the original tie and we must have lost nine players and consequently were down to the bare bones.”