Middleton critical of all round performance

GARY Middleton said he was bitterly disappointed by his side’s all round showing and subsequent 2-1 defeat at the hands of neighbours Whitley Bay on Saturday.

The Woodhorn Lane boss held an immediate inquest in the dressing room following the final whistle.

“We needed to pick things up second half and be a bit more positive in our forward play when we had the ball,” he said.

“We wanted to look like we could threaten the Whitley Bay defence with the quality which we had, but I was bitterly disappointed with the performance after the break – in fact the whole performance – and I’ve sat them down there for 15 minutes.”

During the interval, Middleton had forewarned his outfit that the next goal would be crucial.

“We said the first 20 minutes were going to be vitally important and the next goal crucial and they have scored with a great finish by Fawcett,” he said.

“But we gave them three opportunities for the equaliser where we did not clear our lines, nor have we put any pressure on the ball and it kept coming back.

“The goal gave them the impetus whereas we never got going whatsoever.

“I thought our general play was poor and we never played on the top three.

“We have three strikers on the pitch and we’ve never actually gone in behind Whitley Bay.”

The boss said he found it hard to separate the two outfits in the first period.

“I didn’t think there was much in it in the first half,” he said.

“There were two teams out there neither of whom were going for the jugular.

“There was not a great deal of football being played on a pretty atrocious pitch, I must say, and I don’t think there was a lot to do for either keeper.

“Tuesday’s win at Billingham was a decent pick me up for us, but whereas we beat the teams at the bottom, we need to do the same to the better sides like those in the top six.

“We fall short and that’s our problem.”

Defender Gareth Williams has left the Colliers to link up with Newcastle Benfield.