Ashington boss blames Vase defeat on missed chances and mistakes

Ashington manager Steve Harmison in the dugout Picture by Ian Appleby -
Ashington manager Steve Harmison in the dugout Picture by Ian Appleby -

Ashington manager Steve Harmison cited missed chances coupled with ‘cardinal elementary mistakes’ as the major reasons why his side bowed out of the FA Vase on Saturday.

His side went down to a 2-0 defeat against Northern League second division outfit Easington Colliery.

A clearly disappointed Harmison emerged from the dressing room and said: “I am speechless to what has happened and what we have witnessed today.

“We’ve missed chance after chance and have made two or three mistakes which have cost two goals.

“We talk about decision making, not so much complacency, but they worked harder than us all over the pitch.

“You come here, and no disrespect to them as they are doing well in the second division of the Ebac Northern League, and it’s their cup final.

“Supporters of Ashington can say we created chances and missed them, and that aspect was enough for us to do something in the game, but the harsh reality is if you don’t score or do the simple things well then you get punished because you leave yourself open to mistakes , and that’s what we did.

“We didn’t play anywhere near to where we have been playing and we panicked in the second half with a lot of thoughts on ‘it’s going to happen’, only it didn’t.

“We have played two FA games this year against sides we should have won and we have made the same mistakes and ended up chasing both games and shooting ourselves in the foot by not being able to put the ball into the back of the net, whilst at the same time making cardinal elementary mistakes to give the opposition a fighting chance, which today was a goal in the first half and then a second with ten minutes to go.

“We can say things didn’t go right for us and make any excuse under the sun, but the harsh reality is we had at least ten chances in that game.

“People say the Easington goalkeeper got the man of the match award, but that’s his job.

“Many a time our stopper Conor Grant has been brilliant for us, and I expect that because it is his job to keep the ball out.

“Then we make elementary mistakes which puts us under pressure.

“We weren’t good enough, it was as simple as that irrespective of how much possession or chances we had.

“At the end of the day if you don’t put the ball into the back of the net you don’t win football matches.”

Harmison was also disappointed with certain aspects during the contest.

“Fair play to Easington, who went through to the next round, but I wasn’t happy with the way things were conducted today, like the time wasting,” he added.

“I thought we should have had a penalty too. In our game against Morpeth, Lee McAndrew was penalised for handball and Morpeth were awarded a penalty, and today the same incident occurred in the Easington box.

“I also thought the tackle on Ryan Bell was a red card, it was poor, and has left Ryan with a nasty gash on his leg. The same lad then got the second goal for Easington and all of that culminates in our day to be fair.”