Frustration in Ashington camp as postponements continue

Ashington FC assistant manager Ian Skinner. Picture by Ian Appleby -
Ashington FC assistant manager Ian Skinner. Picture by Ian Appleby -

Ashington FC head coach Ian Skinner said frustration perfectly sums up the current atmosphere in the dressing room at Woodhorn Lane.

Skinner was speaking within minutes of the Colliers suffering a tenth successive cancellation when even the all weather pitch at Consett, where they were due to face Durham City on Saturday, failed to beat the elements.

He said: “Seven centimetres of snow fell on the Consett 3G pitch and sub zero temperatures led to that freezing, which consequently saw the game postponed, which is extremely disappointing.

“Frustration is a word I’m getting sick of using but it sums up the mood of the camp.

“I publicly stated last week that the light at the end of the tunnel for us was the game against Durham because of the 3G surface, but even that light was switched off.

“I walked across the pitch at Woodhorn Lane on Thursday night at training and our home game against Newcastle Benfield this coming Saturday (January 23) must be in doubt because the pitch is an absolute bog.

“It had a light covering of snow on it but it is unsafe underfoot and it doesn’t take a stud, it probably takes an ankle.

“The only saving grace is that frost helps in terms of the water in the pitch will freeze and firm it up then that frost will have to defrost, which makes water and people say it will be just as wet but that never materialises.

“All we can ask is for some brighter weather and a driving wind to just help dry it out.”

He added: “When the Durham game was scrubbed we hastily arranged a friendly on the 3G at the Hirst Welfare against Whickham from the Ebac Northern League’s second division, so the players would still get to play a game, but it’s difficult.

“The lads were fully professional and played to the level we expected them to play, but at the end of the day, psychologically it’s still a friendly.

“And that showed the previous week in the friendly against Ryton after we came out of the traps flying.

“We got a comfortable foothold in the game moving into a four-goal lead, but the intensity dropped a little bit, which is natural because – and without being disrespectful to Ryton – the game is put to bed.

“When we the players in at half-time it was a case of challenging them again to be ruthless and to lift the tempo again.

“They needed to get something out of it and you only get out what you put in, and it’s difficult to go flat out for the 90 minutes.

“But we have got to keep focused and the players will be fully prepared for whenever we return to action.”

Ashington are due to face North Shields at the Daren Persson Stadium on Wednesday, January 20, in the quarter-final of the Northumberland Senior Cup before hosting Newcastle Benfield on Saturday.