Middleton looking for a ruthless streak in final third

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Ashington CFC manager Gary Middleton said his side need to be a bit more ruthless in the final third of the field after they had wrapped up a 3-1 victory over Hebburn Town at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday.

The Colliers had Kyle Oliver, Glen Taylor and Marc Walton on target – but Middleton was left disappointed as his outfit failed to show enough quality up front.

“All in all, three points is pleasing against any opposition in this league because there are no easy games,” he said.

“But we need to be a bit more ruthless in the final third and to tidy up our play in that area.

“We have had lots of opportunities where we have entered that part of the pitch and not made the keeper work, and we need to be better at that.

“With the amount of possession and opportunities we had, I was disappointed it only ended 3-1.

“The game should have been finished in the first half but we didn’t show enough quality in the final third where it matters, and it always gives the opposition a chance.”

The boss was, however, happy with the way his team began proceedings.

“I thought we started off really well, playing with a good tempo for the first ten to 15 minutes,” he said.

“We had a lot of the ball without having many opportunities to score, and the Hebburn keeper made a couple of good saves, but then Kyle Oliver has whipped the ball in and opened the scoring with a great goal.”

Middleton felt second 45 minutes were identical.

“The second half panned out much the same as the first period,” he said.

“We had good spells where we looked really threatening in good areas with Sam Norris, Andrew Johnson, Glen Taylor and Marc Walton all looking dangerous.

“We got the second goal from Glen Taylor after a great delivery from Walton then the third has come from a penalty.”

And the boss gave credit to Saturday’s opponents, adding: “Hebburn grew into the game and were a plucky team who kept going throughout the 90 minutes.

“We were a bit lackadaisical and didn’t clear our lines and Marc Costello has hit a great strike into the top corner for them.”