Harmison has no sympathy for his beaten Ashington side

Ashington could not breach the Bishop Auckland defence during their 2-0 away defeat. Picture by Ian Appleby - www.ianapplebyimages.com
Ashington could not breach the Bishop Auckland defence during their 2-0 away defeat. Picture by Ian Appleby - www.ianapplebyimages.com

Ashington manager Steve Harmison had no sympathy for his outfit after Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Bishop Auckland.

He offered no excuses and said his outfit were not good enough.

“The reason why we have three 1-0 victories is because we have played for 90 minutes, but in this match I thought we got into the game for the last five minutes of the first half and for half an hour throughout,” he said.

“We didn’t turn up first half when the wind was in our favour.

“Yes, we are in transition, and yes, we are in change and the lads are lacking in confidence – and it’s an easy thing to make excuses.

“But I’m not going to stand here and make any because we weren’t good enough, it’s as simple as that.”

He continued: “People will argue that Bishops had a little bit of luck for the two goals, but if you work hard and do the right things, you earn the right to have a little bit of luck and I’m not sure we earned the right to get any.

“Some might say we deserved a point and that the 2-0 score line was harsh on us, but you get what you are given.

“The home side are a physical strong outfit and did well.”

A concern for Harmison is his sides form on their travels.

“I just think when the players come away from home, they don’t seem to have the confidence and burning desire to get on the ball and really express themselves like they do at Woodhorn Lane,” he said.

“That is something which I think needs to be addressed. They have got to be prepared to do things when it’s ugly, soak up pressure then show that little bit of quality we have got, because at the minute we are making mistakes by giving the ball away and putting ourselves under pressure.

“Lance (McGlen) was a bit unfortunate with the second, but when Bishops got a bit of luck for the first goal, we got caught in possession in a position where we dwelled on the ball and it was our fault.

“That typified what we were guilty of doing, putting ourselves under pressure and letting the opposition in and eventually they are going to get through.”

Harmison was mystified as his side were anonymous in the first period.

He added: “I don’t know why we didn’t turn up, whether it was a bit of complacency and they thought they just had to go on the park and do it, I don’t know.

“Every game ends and every game starts exactly the same. You have got to earn the right to play; get into the game and win the contest.

“To be fair, people might say we were unlucky after our second half display, but I thought Bishop Auckland earned the right to win the game.”

Harmison blooded Michael King and John Priestner as second half substitutes, who along with Jonathan Giles have been signed from Durham University.

And he was pleased by what he saw from the duo.

“Michael (King) came on and did really well,” said the boss.

“He certainly looks as if he can play football and John (Priestner) is a natural left back and another who has been playing College football, so hopefully he’ll get up to speed.

“Young Giles will come in with an injection of pace, which should also be a boost for us, and although he didn’t feature today, is an out and out wide player so there is always a positive outlook.

“On top of that, Andrew Johnson came on for the final quarter hour and will continue building his fitness towards the game against West Allotment Celtic.

“That was always the goal with Andrew, to rein him in and keep him back for when we start to play teams in and around us when we’ll be a lot stronger.”