Middleton tells players not to be down hearted

Ashington midfielder Kyle Oliver was instrumental in Ashington's dominant midfield against Whitley Bay. Picture by Ian Appleby
Ashington midfielder Kyle Oliver was instrumental in Ashington's dominant midfield against Whitley Bay. Picture by Ian Appleby
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Ashington boss Gary Middleton admitted after his side had lost by a single goal against Whitley Bay at Hillheads on Saturday that he told his squad not to be too despondent.

Middleton said: “I was disappointed with the result – but not the performance.

“I have just told the lads in the dressing room not to be too down hearted.

“The season pans out over the whole campaign, and whilst I think the last two performances have been disappointing in that we haven’t got the three points or at least something out of them, I couldn’t fault the lads with how they played today.”

Middleton thought his side could have done with a bit of luck.

“The performance and character of the lads was good over the 90 minutes,” he said.

“There wasn’t an awful lot in it today but I thought we lacked a little bit rub of the green and had we got that then we could have got something out of the game.

“We controlled the match for long periods without testing the keeper and we put some good balls into the box.

“With Whitley playing three centre halves it was quite difficult to get clear opportunities for Glen (Taylor) and David (Carson) and we didn’t open them up.

“But I was happy with the performance – and I told the lads that.”

Chris Moore’s goal shortly before the interval proved to be the all important strike.

“For the goal we could probably have done better,” he said.

“Whitley Bay have never opened us up but that’s football and we need to pick ourselves up and go again.”

Middleton also admitted that he had been to see referee Dean Chapman as to why his side had not been awarded a penalty kick when Glen Taylor went to ground in the fifth minute.

“I went in to see the referee,” said the Colliers boss.

“He said he had not seen it so what can you do? We didn’t get the award, but we just move on.”

He continued: “In football you need a little bit rub of the green and if we look back over the recent wins over Bishop Auckland and Newton Aycliffe, they were great performances.

“There we had the rub of the green because against Aycliffe we were hanging on for the last five minutes and we got through it.

“Putting the last two games into perspective (against Consett and Whitley Bay), yes, it’s disappointing that we especially haven’t got something at Hillheads but on the 90 minutes there wasn’t much between us and they have just shaded it.”

Middleton is hoping that his side will ‘home in’ on a glut of league fixtures at Woodhorn Lane – 12 at home as opposed to three away after Tuesday night’s scheduled clash (January 7) against table toppers Celtic Nation.

“Consett and Whitley Bay are hard places to go too as we have just found out,” he said.

“We have had a hard run of matches but with lots of home games to come we will see where we finish. We have done terrific this season but we need to be judged at the end of it.”