Middleton proud of his team’s commitment

Ashington's James Taylor, playing at centre back, in an aerial challenge during Saturday's game at Guisborough. Picture by Ian Appleby
Ashington's James Taylor, playing at centre back, in an aerial challenge during Saturday's game at Guisborough. Picture by Ian Appleby

Ashington manager Gary Middleton said he was proud of his squad after the beleaguered outfit had dug deep to earn a point against Guisborough Town on Saturday.

The Woodhorn Lane boss praised his wafer thin squad to the hilt following the 1-1 draw on Teesside and spoke passionately about how they had wore the Ashington badge on their sleeves.

A forthright Middleton said after the final whistle: “On the whole I’m thrilled to bits and over the moon with the point today.

“I thought the players one to 12 were fantastic and they wore the badge of Ashington Football Club on their sleeves.

“Everyone has shown their worth today and just where do you start with man of the match performances?

“I thought James Taylor was outstanding, Scott Blandford was very good, Lee Scott once again put in a really good shift, Andrew Johnson was a threat all the time and held the team together and Glen Taylor was again mammoth up front.”

But Middleton said there was so much more to admire from his side.

He added: “With the resources we have got personnel wise at the moment, we are asking players that have not played much football like Joe Race, Lee Scott, Scott Blandford and Andy Dugdale just to get through 90 minutes.

“Today we had a back four made up of players all of whom were playing out of position, so to come down here and get a point was terrific.

“It’s a really difficult place to come too and I’m not sure how many times I have travelled down here as a manager and got anything.

“It isn’t easy because we are down to below the bare bones, but once again we showed a great attitude and character and the manner in the way we went about our business was highly commendable.”

Reflecting on the match itself, Middleton said: “I thought we started really brightly in the opening period. We had an idea of how they would want to play and we pressed them high in the first half hour.

“We scored once but it wouldn’t have been an injustice had we got three or four.

“They came into the game and were bright up top and then unfortunately we have made a mistake – an individual error in our middle third – which has caused a goal because they have got the penalty from it.”

Middleton bemoaned that his side did not get the rub of the green.

“Second half it was a little bit backs to the wall for us,” he said.

“But when we got possession, we hit them on the counter attack and looked quite dangerous.

“The game really went from end to end and I thought we were a bit unfortunate not to get a little bit rub of the green when we did get opportunities around the box.”

The boss will this week look to add to his squad.

He added: “We are trying to bring players in and we’ll have Kyle Oliver back for the Newcastle Benfield game on Saturday.

“However, I simply cannot fault my lads, they have been fantastic and we’ve now stretched our run to six games unbeaten.”