Ashington FC manager Steve Bowey said he was delighted with a tough workout - despite a 4-0 defeat against Blyth Spartans on Tuesday night, writes Brian Bennett.
The Colliers went into the clash at Croft Park holding a 100 per cent record after three pre season friendlies but once Sean Reid and Jamie Holmes had struck first half goals for the Spartans, the result was never in doubt.
A quick fire brace on the hour by Bradley Fewster took Blyth’s tally to four and Bowey, reflecting on a contest which was littered with chances, said: “It was an excellent workout. Obviously Blyth from the Conference North League - who finished just outside the play offs last season - are a very good outfit and it showed tonight as they oozed class.
“They have got some very good players and we were tested defensively but there were a lot of positives for us to take out of the game. We may have lost 4-0 but we created seven or eight great opportunities and it was also pleasing to see a lot of our young lads come through what was a tough test.
“We conceded two early goals in the first half and again two quickly after the interval and we could so easily have folded. But our attitude was good and we stuck to our game plan and kept our shape. Putting the result aside,
“I was delighted with the whole round performance which included some solid performances.” He continued: “We had won our previous three games before tonight but this was always going to be a tough test and we had to dig in at times. Blyth brought some very quick lads on second half who caused us a lot of problems but it was an excellent game in terms of match fitness and mental fitness.
“We could have switched off on numerous occasions during the 90 minutes and tumbled to a heavy defeat and it was a credit to my lads that despite getting tired, they kept going.”
Bowey came on himself as a second half substitute and said: “I played for half an hour and nearly scored with a free kick into the top corner. It would have been nice to have netted but I’m feeling good and fit and have definitely got something to offer. I still love the game and whilst I have got that hunger and desire to play then I will continue to do so. I’ve just had my 44th birthday - and we’ve just had a laugh in the dressing room as I’m 27 years older than one of our lads who came on after me which is unbelievable.”
*Ashington’s next warm up encounter is on Friday (July 20) when they make the short journey to face Bedlington Terriers (7.30pm kick-off).