Middleton hails Ashington’s performance the best in his time as manager

Scorer of Ashington's first goal in the win over Whitley David Carson. Picture by Ian Appleby
Scorer of Ashington's first goal in the win over Whitley David Carson. Picture by Ian Appleby

An upbeat Gary Middleton said after Saturday’s 2-1 derby victory over Whitley Bay that he could not speak highly enough of the players and labelled their performance as good as any during his management with the Woodhorn Lane outfit.

David Carson and Glen Taylor got the vital goals in the first period before Paul Chow halved the deficit from the penalty spot on the hour.

And Middleton said it was a fantastic result.

“With us being extremely short on personnel, I cannot speak highly enough of the lads and due to the circumstances, that’s as good a performance from an Ashington team that I have had in my five years,” he said.

“I thought the determination, grit, quality at times and desire to try and win the game of football speaks volumes.

“We also have some lads playing with injuries whilst we only had one recognised outfield substitute, and all things considered, this was a fantastic result for us.”

Middleton said he thought his side were a threat.

He added: “I thought we started the game well. The first half was very even. They were a threat at all times with their set pieces when they put the ball into the box for Paul Chow and Ash Davis, but I thought we dealt well with it and then when we got possession we were always a threat going forward through Andrew Johnson, David Carson and Sam Norris.”

Ashington’s two goals delighted Middleton.

“We scored the first from a goalkeeping error,” he said, “but Carson still had a lot to do from where he has received the ball and he has taken the goal really well.

“And it was a great set piece between Johnson who took the corner and Glen Taylor who scored because they actually spoke about it before the flag kick was taken and knew exactly what they were doing.

“Consequently we have gone in at half-time with a 2-0 lead, which was pleasing, but obviously I knew that would not be the end of the game as Bay boss Ian Chandler would fire his side up.”

Middleton stressed that the result was the all important issue on the day.

“I thought apart from the penalty which we conceded, that we defended very, very well as an 11 and countered on Whitley Bay particularly well and caused them problems,” he said.

“We could have had more goals but the main thing today was getting the result. We did just that and it’s a fantastic win for us.”