ASHINGTON CFC manager Gary Middleton labelled his side’s performance over Whitley Bay on Saturday as being one of their best of the season.
Middleton said afterwards: “I thought it was an outstanding performance – and one of our best this season without a doubt.
Middleton praised his keeper Karl Dryden for some outstanding saves.
“After we went 1-0 up they probably had a ten minutes spell where Karl has pulled off two or three really good saves,” he said.
“He was outstanding, but it wasn’t backs to the wall stuff over the 90 minutes.
“I thought we were comfortable when we led 1-0 – I was quite happy and I thought we played some good football.
“I also believed there was more to come from us.”
However, the boss reckoned his team could have done even better.
He added: “We could have put them under a lot more pressure when we got them turned around and got into wide areas with Godsmark and Johnson on the flanks.”
Despite a second goal early in the second half, Middleton was disappointed his side did not go on to score more.
“It was a good delivery by Chris Scott from the corner and Andrew Johnson has attacked the ball well to rise and steer a smashing header into the bottom corner,” he said.
“After that I thought we played some good football on the counter attack.
“Whitley Bay threw everything at us and we created quite a few half chances which I was a bit disappointed that we couldn’t go on to score from.
“They’ve played three and four up front the last 15-20 minutes and were going to put us under pressure, but I thought not a back five – more of a back ten defended superbly without them creating too many chances.
“Defensively we were sound and I thought what our keeper Karl Dryden had to do, he did terrifically well for us.”
Despite a two-goal buffer, Middleton was cautious: “We were aware the Bay always score late goals and at 2-0 I was never ever comfortable because they have got aerial threat with David Coulson.
“But it was a terrific performance to beat the team who are in for the league championship.
“We have now beaten Shildon - as good a footballing team as in the league – then we’ve defeated the FA Vase finalists, and I don’t think their manager Ian Chandler will mind me saying this but we were probably playing against their best team out there, with the exception of Paul Robinson.
“And why not? They are trying to win the league so they are going to put there strongest team out.”