Ashington FC assistant manager Perry Briggs believed their were several negative factors which amalgamated to send the Colliers spiralling to a 2-0 reverse against Newcastle Benfield at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday.
Manager Gary Middleton’s number two said: “First half I thought we were out battled and I didn’t think we were at the races.
“The players looked lethargic yet at half-time we could have gone in all square at 1-1 because we had a couple of chances at the death with Benfield blocking on the line.
“However, the goal we conceded was poor from our point of view because Taylor has run through 30 to 40 yards unchallenged and you cannot defend like that.
“At half-time we spoke about getting near to people, tracking runners and improving on doing the ugly side of the game, which I thought we did do after the break.
“I thought we were the better side for the first 20 to 25 minutes and we tried to get the ball down and pass it on a poor pitch, but we lacked a cutting edge and a bit of imagination in the final third.
“We won the battle second half and it has taken a classy goal from Paul Brayson to finish us off, and there is nothing you can do about that type of finish.
“I said before the contest that mistakes lose you games and those two have proved costly, even though our performance was average.”
Briggs was confident the Colliers could have taken the derby day performance against Bedlington into the Benfield clash.
“I thought after the Bedlington result where standards were set, we may have kick started a little bit,” he said.
“The energy levels at Bedlington were what we have lacked all season coupled to a commitment to win.
“In football you have got to set your stall out and win your battles, but we haven’t done that today and been punished for it, and at the moment it’s one step forward and two back.”
Ashington travel to face Jarrow Roofing on Saturday but they will be without lynchpin Craig Scott who has returned to his London base.
“Craig has come in for two games against Bedlington and Newcastle Benfield and has done really well,” said Briggs.
“We have missed his leadership and his absence is a massive hole to fill.
“I thought we missed Steven Shaw’s energy in the middle of the park against Benfield but we move on and Saturday’s clash will be another tough game where we will have got to dig in and stick together.”