Ashington FC head coach Ian Skinner said he was proud of the players despite watching his side go down to a 2-0 defeat by Penrith at Frenchfields Park on Saturday.
Skinner commented afterwards: “It’s a strange assessment because anyone who wasn’t at the match and reads these comments will probably be flabbergasted - but I was actually quite proud of the players.
“After Wednesday night’s 3-1 defeat by North Shields, we challenged them before the game about showing a little bit more desire and work ethic and I think we got that in abundance.
“Some onlookers said afterwards they thought we merited a point - but I would even go as far to say that I thought we deserved all three.
“We had the majority of possession; some very good chances and were the better team for the opening half hour.
“They have scored a goal which has come from two miskicks.
“There was a little bit of banter with the lad [Darren Rea] who was taking the free kick from in front of our dugout because we were telling him to be careful as it was slippy. He hit it and turned around to us and said “I shanked that” and it has dropped for Mathew Read who has tried to hook it and help it on and the ball has gone into the far corner of the net.”
He continued: “Before the goal, we have missed two one on ones.
“Lee McAndrew has lifted the ball over the bar then Dan O’Reilly has hit the ‘keeper - but players don’t miss chances on purpose so we don’t knock them for that.
“However your fear is that they come back to bite you and on this occasion they have. We went in trailing at the interval and I said to the lads to keep playing the way we were because we would create some more chances - but the fine line was we needed to take them.”
He went on: “Second half we again got into some good areas and had opportunities but our final ball or decision making was poor.
“Penrith have had one or two chances on the break which was always going to happen as we were pushing on.
“Jonathan Tiffoney has hit the bar for us with a great strike and then there was bit of a scramble at the back post where the goalkeeper is lying on the floor and knows nothing about the ball hitting him and if I’m honest I thought then that it wasn’t going to be our day.
“After 90 plus minutes they have broke away and won a free-kick on the edge of the box and it’s one of those where Martyn Coleman has drilled it low, the wall has jumped and the ball has gone under it and into the net.
“But I think the players can be proud of their performances.
“They did everything we asked of them and I thought we were the better team throughout but football is about putting the ball in the net.
“We have probably shaded the number of chances but whereas we haven’t taken any of ours, they have bagged two and won the game.”