It could have been double figures – Middleton

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Ashington manager Gary Middleton was delighted with his side’s 8-1 hammering of Billingham Town on Saturday – but said the downside of the win had been the sending off of defender Kyle Oliver.

The Colliers trailed within a minute but bounced back and the result was a mirror image of the score line when the teams met at Woodhorn Lane last season.

The boss said: “It was a very good win in the end with some really positive attacking play, but it didn’t start well.

“We had just spoken before going out about defending properly and then we concede in the first minute.

“But to be fair, once they have gone a goal up, I thought we dictated the rest of the game with some good play throughout.”

Middleton believed the game should have been over as a contest by the interval.

“We missed chances and it could easily have been double figures,” he added.

“We have come in 2-1 at half-time and the game should have been wrapped up.

“But we kept at it and to score eight goals away from home against any team in the Northern League is fantastic.”

Middleton gave special mention to several members of his squad.

“There were some good performances today,” he said.

“I thought James Taylor was outstanding once again; Craig Scott was back to his old self at centre half; David Carson worked really hard and not only took his goal superbly but led the line very well with Glen Taylor.

“On top of that, Andrew Johnson was also outstanding – Billingham could not live with him all day – with his running with the ball and his creativity to be admired.”

But Middleton was disappointed with the dismissal of Oliver.

He added: “The only down side on the day was obviously the sending off.

“I thought it was extremely harsh and we are going to lose him for three games.”

Meanwhile Middleton, who is on the lookout to bolster his squad, revealed that skipper Liam Atkin could be ruled out for six to eight weeks with a torn thigh muscle picked up in the away clash at Penrith.