Ashington coach Anderson pleased but frustrated with draw at Marske

Ashington FC coach Lee Anderson. Picture by Ian Appleby -
Ashington FC coach Lee Anderson. Picture by Ian Appleby -

With manager Steve Harmison unavailable for the game at Marske, Ian Skinner and Lee Anderson took the reins.

After the game, coach Anderson said he was satisfied with the hard work and effort that the team had put into the 1-1 draw.

“After the last couple of matches we’ve been working behind the scenes on a change in shape and approach,” he said.

“Basic errors have gifted our opposition goals so we’ve been out of the games before we’ve been able to build into them.

“We couldn’t allow that to happen today so went back to basics, making sure we got our defending right as a team; being solid organised and disciplined.

“We ensured we are working hard to get behind the ball when we lose possession and make it as difficult as possible for the opposition to get behind us.

“I’m pleased to say that’s exactly what we did today.”

In outlining how the game had gone, Anderson said: “Our goalkeeper and defence were strong and dominant. They cleared their lines and shaped up well.

“When you set up the way we did you concede territory, but because the midfield and front two worked like Trojans we were able to frustrate, control and dictate the pace of the game and play it our way.”

Anderson was delighted that his side took an early lead.

He said: “Our goal was simple but quality. Kyle’s corner kick delivery was top drawer and Ben’s run and header matched it.

“When the ball comes into that kind of area with pace and he attacks it he’s so powerful it’s very difficult to defend against.

“We could have went two up with Ben again causing all sorts of problems. The ball sat up too high following a good save from their keeper and unfortunately he couldn’t keep it down and direct it on to the target.

“We fully deserved the lead at half-time.”

Anderson said there was little to do at half-time.

“We purposely didn’t say much during the break so the lads could reflect on their obvious good work and recover,” he said.

“We knew it was going to take another mammoth effort second half to either build or retain our lead as Marske are a good side.

“We started the second period looking comfortable but yet again we conceded another avoidable goal.

“We should have cleared the danger following a corner, but in fairness to the Marske lad, when the ball dropped to him he rifled the chance in well.”

The red card for Paul Anthony disappointed Anderson.

He said: “We lost Paul to a second yellow and I must say I thought he was unlucky.

“His challenge was more clumsy than wild and didn’t warrant a booking.

“I was personally disappointed with the reaction of the Marske camp. It wasn’t necessary in a well contested game, in my opinion.

“I felt that influenced the referee’s decision, which could have proved costly, but the lads’ response was strong.

“We used McAndrew and McGorrigan from the bench and they were superb, continuing where Bulford and Downey left off.

“With a man down we knew we had to graft double hard and they both went to work with Sampson in the middle of the park breaking things up and also breaking forward at any given opportunity.”

In the last few minutes Ashington had chances to take all three points.

Anderson added: “We actually created a couple of good chances late on. In fact I thought we could have nicked it at the end with a penalty. It was a clear one for me, both hands were on Ryan’s back, pushing him under the ball when he had a clear headed chance close in.

“Conor made one terrific save second half but other than that I felt we had the some good opportunities even with ten men and quite possibly could have won the game.”

Overall Anderson declared himself happy with both the application of his team and the overall result.

He said: “In summary the players put in a performance that they all could be proud of.

“Losing Buchanan to a broken big toe was a big blow for us, as well as having others missing due to work commitments/injury.

“We were down on numbers so the lads deserve great credit.

“Ryan McGorrigan finished work at 2pm and raced straight down to the game to help the boys out.

“It showed great stuff from him and it’s exactly what we need more of.

“It just goes to show what we are capable of when we bring our game and approach a situation with the right attitudes, work ethic, spirit and belief.

“When we do that we are a match for anyone. That’s the reason Harmy, Skins, myself are as frustrated, because we are proud.

“Consistency is the key to success and unfortunately we haven’t been able to find that anywhere near enough this season.

“We all have to take collective responsibility for that and will try even harder to put that right.”