Harmison praises quality as Ashington beat Whitley Bay

Ashington manager Steve Harmison in the dugout Picture by Ian Appleby - www.ianapplebyimages.com
Ashington manager Steve Harmison in the dugout Picture by Ian Appleby - www.ianapplebyimages.com

Ashington manager Steve Harmison believed it was a bit of quality which proved decisive after his side had claimed a 2-1 victory over Whitley Bay at Hillheads on Tuesday night.

An Andrew Johnson goal deep into added time earned the Colliers a 2-1 win.

Following the contest, Harmison said: “I thought we had that extra bit of work rate and when we produced the quality it got us over the line.

“This was a fantastic win, you don’t beat teams three or four leagues higher like Whitley Bay did during their FA Cup run if you aren’t a good side.

“It was a game between two good sides who played well on a slow pitch. Both wanted to play football and the refreshing thing was that when it went to 1-1 both wanted to go on and win the game.

“Neither team wanted to stick the ball into the corner and run the clock down.

“Luckily we have come out on the good side of it. We were standing on the sidelines thinking is this going to be another night like at Sunderland RCA where we put in this hard work for one point, but we managed to get the result.

“We got that little bit of luck and you need that, but the lads are working harder than they were six weeks ago and that’s why the results have turned for us.

“We’ve brought a couple of new faces in, people who are putting good shifts in, and it was a great bonus for us that we got over an hour out of Kyle Oliver.

“The two lads in midfield, Michael Dixon and Kyle Downey, were excellent whilst our two wide players, Chris Moore and Andrew Johnson, had a lot of space to control the game.”

He went on: “I thought the lads played really, really well. We defended well, although we went to sleep once which cost us the goal and that is the fine margins which are happening at the moment.

“When we concede, we get goal of the season contenders against us, but the work rate, effort and togetherness which we had at the end of last season has returned and that’s why we got that goal [the winner].

“Two weeks ago, the ball just didn’t bounce for us in the box. Tonight Johnson has got the bounce and scored a very good goal, and although Whitley Bay boss Paddy Atkinson will be feeling aggrieved that they didn’t get a point out of the game, I thought we just edged it.

“There are three or four times this season where we have thrown so much effort into matches and got a point or lost – and I think it’s swings and roundabouts.

“It was like a cup tie and well played to Whitley Bay. There are some players on there side who spent a bit of time with us and they are a good side.”