Middleton admits Ashington fortunate to take three points

Marc Walton finds the net after a great run by Andrew Johnson to grab a last minute winner for Ashington. Picture by Ian Appleby
Marc Walton finds the net after a great run by Andrew Johnson to grab a last minute winner for Ashington. Picture by Ian Appleby
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Ashington manager Gary Middleton admitted that his side had been fortunate to leave Meadow Park with all three points on Saturday after a 2-1 victory over relegation threatened Sunderland RCA.

A brace of goals from striker Marc Walton – the second which came two minutes from the end of normal time at the end of the game – ensured the victory.

But Middleton said afterwards: “Make no mistake about it, I was pleased for us to get three points because I thought we rode our luck.

“The first half we started quite well and took the lead with a great finish by Walton, but from thereon in I thought we lacked a little bit of stability.”

The boss was aware of the threat being caused by the RCA forwards and thought the home side earned a deserved leveller on the stroke of half-time.

“I thought the top two for RCA caused a lot of problems for our defence and we did not quite cope with it,” he said.

“We struggled with their movement and I did not think we worked collectively as a team to close them down and stop them from creating openings.

“When they got the equaliser it was nothing more than they deserved.”

Middleton saw an improvement from his own side after the break.

He added: “I thought the second half was slightly better than the first.

“We put James Taylor into midfield which I thought made a difference.

“He screened the ball through to the strikers much better for the last 30 minutes of the game, during which time I also reckoned that we were the better team, and if any side were going to score it was us.”

Middleton praised skipper Andrew Johnson for his performance.

“It was a superb piece of play by Johnson on the left which has created the opening for Walton to score,” he said.

“Sometimes you do not get what you deserve in football.

“Today you could argue that RCA deserved more than they got, which was nothing, but we have also experienced games this season where that has happened.

“Give my lads their due, they kept on going and this is not an easy place to come too.

“RCA are a side who are in the relegation zone and scrapping for everything.

“Their players have got big hearts and are fighting for their first division lives, so although a bit relieved, I was nevertheless happy to come away with the three points.”