Defeat to Morpeth hard to take for Ashington boss Harmison

Ashington captain Andrew Johnson holds off a Morpeth defender. Picture by Ian Appleby -
Ashington captain Andrew Johnson holds off a Morpeth defender. Picture by Ian Appleby -

Ashington FC manager Steve Harmison admitted after Morpeth had won the derby 3-1 at Woodhorn Lane that defeat was hard to take.

Harmison said: “I’m struggling to find words because this defeat was a hard one to take.

“For 60 to 65 minutes I thought we were the best team, yet Morpeth deserved to win.

“We made mistakes, which we have been doing all season, and put ourselves under pressure.

“We got ourselves into a position to win the game, then to lose it, and it was all our doing.

“We controlled and dictated to a good side for 45 minutes in the first half.

“We didn’t let them pass the ball, get control of proceedings or let them do what they do best.

“Then for the first 15 minutes of the second half we stopped doing what we do, and in this league if you give quality half a chance then they will punish you.

“We stood off them and didn’t really move the ball. We started helping it on and we didn’t do what we had done in the first half.

“For the last 15 to 20 minutes of the game, people may say that Morpeth took their foot off the gas and sat back, but when we started moving the ball, got closer to people and stopped them from playing, we were the better team again.

“We missed a few chances – but then that is the story of our season so far, and a lot of the game summed our campaign up.

“You could argue there were positives because we did things which we haven’t done for a while, but it’s a results business.

“I don’t think Morpeth won it – I thought we gave them it.

“We stopped them playing their natural game then all of a sudden we put ourselves under pressure.

“It probably was a game of two halves but at the end of the day it comes down to results.

“We were terrible last week at Seaham and got a point, this week we got beat 3-1 and that’s the harsh reality of playing adult sport.

“I have people playing in positions which are a bit alien to them and we have got good players but they are not playing well enough at present.

“We have got to find a formula to get people back fit and maybe bring one or two players in to freshen the group up, and we need to get out of this predicament because we are just flashes at this moment in time.”

Mechack Kanda has returned to Gateshead after his 28 days loan whilst Harmison signed his brother Ben.

“Kanda was carrying a little bit of an injury so it wasn’t something which we explored more,” said the boss.

“Ben was only the bench today because Lewis Robson was playing for Gateshead Youth team in the FA Youth Cup on Monday and we needed a 16th man.

“He’s watched enough football to understand what the Northern League is about.”