Tom Wade applauded the high level of performance from both playing squads as his Blyth Spartans side ran out 5-2 winners of their friendly clash with Ashington at Woodhorn Lane on Friday night.
And while praising his own side, Wade was also complimentary about the Colliers.
He said: “There were contrasting styles of play between the two sides.
“Ashington were very strong and had willing runners up top who caused us a lot of problems, and in the first half we didn’t deal with them as well as we should have done.
“After the interval we put a bit more experience on the park and got a lot of chances on the ball.
“It was a very competitive game where Ashington did exceptionally well, and whilst we have been together for a while now, Steve (Harmison) is trying to build a team for this season.
“It was a good game played at a very high tempo, which is what we want, but the bottom line is both outfits are striving for fitness. There are no points given for winning friendlies.
“I thought both of us got a lot of fitness out of the contest.
“We won the game, but that is irrelevant really as Ashington could have scored a few more goals near the end.”
Wade waxed lyrical about second half hat-trick hero Michael Richardson whilst also singling out other members of his squad including newcomer Sean Reid.
“Richardson is a top, top player and is very special,” he said.
“First half I thought Paul Robinson and Neal Hooks did well whilst Damen Mullen and Sean Reid were both fantastic.
“Reid is a young lad and has got a great future ahead of him.
“It was a tremendous game of football because a lot of local lads were playing, which is what it is all about.”
Wade also believes the Woodhorn Lane side are augmenting well.
“I think Ashington are moving in the right direction,” he added.
“The right management team are in place, they have some good players and we at Blyth are hoping they are going to kick on and do exceptionally well this coming season.”