Middleton blames defeat on failure to make possession count

Ashington manager Gary Middleton blamed his side’s failure to make possession and pressure count during the first half as being the catalyst for their 2-0 defeat at the hands of Celtic Nation on Saturday.

Middleton said: “I thought we started the game well without creating loads of clear cut chances or working the keeper with some good play leading up to the final third.

“But we wasted good opportunities with a poor pass or by not having a shot on target.

“Our play had not been bad but Celtic Nation – who had looked a good side when we played them at Ashington recently – grew into the game and were the better team for the final quarter hour of the first half.

“We gave the ball away too easily and Matty Grieve’s clearance and a poor touch from Glen Taylor gave possession back to the home side who went on and scored the opening goal.

“Second half we huffed and puffed but never got going, and it was frustrating because I was expecting a bit more from my outfit.

“However, playing these games in this league proves that when you are given your spell, you have got to make it count – just like a game of chess.

“We had possession and pressure in the first period and had them on the rack but didn’t take advantage.

“When they had their spell they scored, which gives them the advantage because their heads are up and they then have a goal to hang onto.”