Middleton admits Ashington ‘got out of jail’

Defender James Novak scored Ashington's opening goal in the first half of their game against Jarrow Roofing. Picture by Ian Appleby - www.ianapplebyimages.com
Defender James Novak scored Ashington's opening goal in the first half of their game against Jarrow Roofing. Picture by Ian Appleby - www.ianapplebyimages.com

Ashington boss Gary Middleton was far from disheartened after looking on and seeing his side blow away a 2-0 lead against Jarrow Roofing on Saturday.

The boss even admitted that his team were fortunate to take a point as the woodwork came to their rescue in the dying seconds of the encounter.

Middleton said: “I was not too disappointed. I must be honest and say we got out of jail at the end so I thought it was a good point for the first game of the season.

“The most positive thing for me was the way we played.

“I thought we performed very well first half where we passed the ball – and some of the link up and combination play from the top three was really good.”

The decision by the visitors to thrust centre half and skipper Daniel Kirkup up front proved an astute move by Middleton’s opposite number, Richie McLoughlin.

“I thought we controlled the game in the second half up until the last 15 minutes when they pushed Kirkup up,” added Middleton.

“But I’ve just said to the lads, I’m not sure how we would defend against that any better.

“We have no 6ft 2ins tall players in our side and Kirkup must be above that, and it’s difficult to play against a team which are going to bash the ball forward and feed off the scraps, which they did very well for 20 minutes, by the way.”

He continued: “We were comfortable without a doubt at 2-0, but if a team are going to put you under pressure by pushing the centre half up front, when he is standing head and shoulders above everyone else, I’m not sure what we could have done differently.

“A two-goal lead is a vulnerable score line because as happened when they got one back, their heads were up and ours went down.

“I’m not disappointed. Although they have had two very good chances at the end I thought over the 90 minutes it was a fair point and there are loads of positives to look forward too from a lot of performances out there.

“We were playing against a Jarrow team who were on a roll from last season and who have brought some top quality players in – but we have got players to come in who were missing today so I was quite happy.”