ASHINGTON manager Gary Middleton was “more than happy with three points” as his side defeated Newton Aycliffe 3-1 at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday.
But the boss admitted words were said at half-time following a disjointed opening period performance.
“First half I thought we started off particularly well and looked comfortable and we took a well deserved lead,” he said.
“Then for about the last 25 minutes I didn’t think we got going.
“We played OK the first 15 minutes and then we sat off, and to be fair, Newton Aycliffe dictated for the last half hour.
“We were getting out-bossed across the middle of the park and they deservedly got an equaliser.
“It was disappointing from being comfortable and looking like we could step up a gear, but because we didn’t do that we let them into the game, and even our second goal on the stroke of half-time came against the run of play.
“It proved that it wasn’t going to take much to open them up, and the couple of times we played some useful football we looked like we could hurt them.
“We had a good discussion at half-time about what the midfield four and the back four needed to be doing and sorted out the organisation side of things.
“We needed to pick it up because we were in second gear and needed to be in third and fourth.
“However, I was more than happy second half – I thought we played some better football, but there is still room for loads of improvement.
“I thought the organisation of the 11 was better. We played with a more narrow midfield four because they were playing 4-3-3 and it was outdoing us.
“It was unfortunate that we didn’t score more goals but the third was a fantastic finish by James Taylor.”
Meanwhile coach Richie Bond has left the club due to working commitments.
Boss Middleton said: “Richie couldn’t get to every game and it was causing a strain because he was working night shift them coming to a match at noon after being up all night.
“I’d like to thank him for his services.”