Middleton believed his side would go on and win game

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DISAPPOINTED Ashington CFC manager Gary Middleton admitted that he thought his side were going to go on and win Saturday’s match against West Auckland after Andrew Johnson’s headed effort had pulled the Colliers back into the contest at 2-1.

Middleton said: “To be fair, and give them there due, the players have stuck at it and kept going.

“We’ve got back into it at 2-1 and I thought we were going to go on and win it.

“I thought we created four or five really good opportunities but we haven’t taken them, and keeping clean sheets and scoring goals wins games of football, and we haven’t done that again today.”

Middleton said Phill Bell’s first half penalty miss was a key turning point and revealed he issued a directive to his side at half-time to maintain the same level of performance.

“Early doors, the game was even against a well organised and strong West Auckland team and we should have taken the lead with the penalty but it wasn’t to be,” he added.

“Then ten minutes later they scored from a penalty so we’ve come in at half-time 1-0 down.

“We said to the lads to keep playing the way that they were and to try and get at West Auckland down the outsides with a bit of pace.

“I thought we started the second half well and created quite a few opportunities.

“Johnson had a great chance to score but their lad has kicked the ball off the line, then they’ve virtually gone straight up the field and Brown has scored to make it 2-0.

“I thought we deserved something out of the game – at least a point – but we’ve been beaten by what I thought was a very, very good team.”