Middleton applauds ‘great performance’ in FA Vase

Ashington's Marc Walton with one of his many attempts at goal in the FA Vase ties against Thackley. Picture by Ian Appleby.
Ashington's Marc Walton with one of his many attempts at goal in the FA Vase ties against Thackley. Picture by Ian Appleby.
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Ashington CFC manager Gary Middleton hailed his side’s ‘great performance’ after they had progressed into the last 32 of the FA Vase with a 1-0 victory over Thackley at Woodhorn Lane.

A delighted Middleton said: “I thought we started the game really well and played some good football.

“We were solid in defence and going forward looked organised without really creating any good goalscoring opportunities.

“As the first half wore on we ended up with some decent half chances, which on another day might have gone in.

“However, we looked in control and it was a great move started by Kyle Oliver and continued by Sam Norris – who looked a threat in the first half – which led to the goal, with Norris putting a great ball in which Andrew Johnson has stuck away.

“To be fair, the way the game swayed where we must have had an awful lot of possession, we would have been disappointed had we not come in with a lead, and I thought the score line at half-time was fair.”

Middleton reflected on early chances in the second period which were missed.

“Thackley had a couple of half chances in the first period where Karl (Dryden) has pulled off a couple of good saves, and second half we knew that we were going to have to dig in,” he said.

“We had a couple of really good opportunities early doors after the break when we really needed to put one of those away just to calm everyone down and kill the game off a bit.

“Had we taken our foot off the pedal at any time they would have hit us because the two lads they had up top were quite lively and ran the channels quite well.

“But I thought apart from Karl having to make what I would term comfortable saves, which you would expect him to deal with, although the threat was there from Thackley, our character shone through.

“My lads dug in as an 11 and again on the times where we have counter attacked and hit them on the break, we looked dangerous to kill the game off without getting that goal, which was frustrating.

“Before the game we said there were no easy games in the Vase, and this has been proved today.

“We knew we would have to be at the top of our game and the lads have done that.

“Thackley are a good outfit who are second in their league and we have dealt with them in a really professional manner in what was a great performance.”