Harmison feels Ashington could have won

Ashington FC manager Steve Harmison thought his side ought to have won a full blooded encounter against Dunston UTS on Saturday.

Monday, 20th March 2017, 3:49 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 9:49 am
Ashington manager Steve Harmison. Picture by Ian Appleby - www.ianapplebyimages.com

Wayne Buchanan’s 80th minute header cancelled out a first half opener from Dale Burrell.

But the boss – who admitted that his side were given a half-time roasting – was left disappointed with a point for the second time in five days following the 1-1 draw against Whitley Bay in midweek.

“It’s been two disappointing draws in a week, to be honest,” he conceded afterwards.

“First half we were really poor and we had to tell the lads at the interval that the performance was not acceptable.

“However, if we had played in the first period as we did after the break, I’m fully confident that we would have won the game.

“Second half we turned it around and were the Ashington we wanted to be, creating a few chances and getting into some decent positions.

“As a rule I always say you get what you deserve but not today.

“I thought the referee had a really good game, but I was disappointed by some inconsistency and interpretation over a couple of decisions.

“Andrew Bulford’s late goal which was ruled out should have stood and arguably Dunston should have been down to at least ten possibly nine players as one raised their hands and the other led with his head.

“Since I became manager, I’ve had two or three of my own players sent off for less than I witnessed today.”

He added: “We started brightly and did well. We hit the post then conceded and stopped.

“And because we are low on confidence we got ourselves in a position where we started feeling sorry for ourselves again.

“We had to fight our way out of that by a rollicking at half time and we got ourselves back in the game.

“Second half we pressed and pushed and were really good and two draws in a week suggests we have turned the tide a little bit after the West Allotment defeat.

“Conditions were tough and the pitch heavy and I thought Dunston played well and had some players who stood out.

“In the first half there were two incidents where the referee allowed play to continue because he said the player wasn’t interfering with play.

“For the goal which was disallowed, the officials’ interpretation of the offside rule said that Kyle [Downey] was going towards the ball.

“Andrew Bulford ran past Kyle Downey and with his second touch, Bulford has put the ball into the back of the net. Downey got nowhere near and the way the rule is Downey should not have been flagged offside.”