Ashington win, but boss is still ‘frustrated’

After a run of three home matches in a week, Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner saw his side emerge with a haul of four points from nine following the 1-1 draw against Whitley Bay and Saturday’s 2-1 win over Northallerton Town.

Monday, 23rd August 2021, 12:52 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 9:37 am
Action from the midweek game between Ashington and Whitley Bay which ended 1-1. Picture by Keith Saint.

But whilst being reasonably happy with the result against the North Yorkshire outfit, the Woodhorn Lane boss said it was a ‘frustrating performance’ by his side: “I don’t think anyone would say that we didn’t deserve to win the game,” he said afterwards, “but the manner in which we won it could have been better.

"People might look at that statement and ask ‘what on earth is he talking about because he has won a game of football and that’s all that matters – and it is.

“To say it was a frustrating performance probably sums it up. We dominated the ball for long periods but our play was a little bit slow at times. I just thought we could have moved the ball a little bit quicker. That said, we managed to get ourselves into a 2-0 lead at half time and we were pleased with that.”

He added: “At half time we talked about going out second half and doing things right and about seeing if we could start really brightly – and we did.

“The other aspect was that it might allow us to get one or two players off the pitch because I’m conscious that I’ve been trying to rotate the team to keep everybody fresh. There is one or two who have played nearly every minute of every game and that’s tough bearing in mind we are eight or nine games in now having only been playing for three weeks.

"But as it transpired, it didn’t really work like that. Again we had some good chances – Ryan (McGorrigan) had a one on one where the ‘keeper has made a great save with his leg then another stinging shot by Ryan saw the ‘keeper make a save by tipping the ball over. Bobby (Taylor) had a shot then Ryan’s had another effort which has bounced off the keeper. Dean Briggs had an opportunity from great link up play where Jordan (Summerly) has pulled the ball back from on the edge of the box – so we’ve had chances to put the game to bed – but we haven’t quite managed to do that.”

With 21 minutes to go, Michael Rae pulled a goal back for the visitors and Skinner said: “Lack lustre defending has cost us – and after that, the whole psychological thing kicks in where we start to get deeper and people start making daft decisions and all of a sudden, the ball becomes like a hot potato which affects our composure and possession.

To be fair when the referee adds five minutes on, sometimes that creates more panic stations but I thought it calmed us a little bit and we saw out the last few minutes.”

The boss had words of praise for ‘keeper Karl Dryden - who has come into the side for the injured Adam McHugh - and striker Ryan McGorrigan: “I thought Karl’s handling and positional play was excellent,” he said, “He has turned in two very good performances which obviously keeps the pressure on in that department.”

Of McGorrigan, the boss said: “I thought Ryan (McGorrigan) worked really hard - he did really, really well. He was a threat and scored a good goal and he’s been great since he came to the club pre season.”