Middleton delighted with comfortable win

GARY Middleton had no hesitation in applauding the efforts of his players following a week where 13 goals rained in for the Colliers at Woodhorn Lane.

After Bishop Auckland were hit for seven on Tuesday, Penrith received six of the best.

But the Ashington manager admitted the strong blustery wind had caused problems against the Cumbrians.

“It was a tricky game because of the conditions,” he said afterwards.

“Obviously with a strong wind blowing right down the ground and the surface of the pitch not being at its best, I thought we took a little while to get going.

“But from scoring with the penalty, which Phill Bell knocked away in great style, we always looked in control.”

For the boss, it was very much a case of his players continuing where they left off against Bishop Auckland in midweek.

He added: “I thought some of our play was very similar to how we had played on Tuesday night against Bishop Auckland ,which I was pleased with because we asked the lads to be a bit more consistent with that type of football and I thought in part today, it was.

“We were comfortable winners at the end of the day but the wind was always going to be a major problem.

“It was difficult playing against it in the second half for us even though I thought we scored some good quality goals.”

Middleton singled out several of his squad for praise.

“There were some decent performances again today,” he said.

“I thought Phill (Bell) worked tirelessly, James Taylor was very good in the midfield and Liam Atkin looked cool and composed at the back whilst the three goals Andrew Johnson scored were outstanding.”

The boss again showered praise on Bell: “He’s been fantastic for us in the three games which he has played,” said Middleton.

“His attitude and his workrate just adds to the teamwork ethic which we like at Ashington, and on the plus side he has scored goals.

“We were disappointed when we lost Jamie Clarke but I think Phill gives us another dimension to the squad and we’re over the moon that we have got him back.

“Bell and Godsmark up top looks a great partnership and one that can cause all sorts of problems to back fours.”