Newcastle Benfield’s player manager Steve Bowey was delighted on Saturday night after his buoyant outfit had toppled Ashington 2-1 in their FA Vase clash at Sam Smiths Park.
Bowey, sidelined from playing after recently undergoing an operation on his big toe, said: “I thought we bossed the game and deserved to win.
“It looked as if we could score every time we went forward, which is a good thing, but Ashington were good on the counter attack and I think that’s what they played for today – to soak the pressure up then try to hit us.
“In the first period we dominated play and created chance after chance in difficult conditions against a very good Ashington side.
“We put them on the back foot, got them turned well and squeezed the game.
“We also had one or two great performances from the likes of Michael Riley, who was always going to create something, and up front Paul Brayson will always give any defence a hard time.”
Bowey admitted that his side had to be alert against the Colliers.
“Credit to Ashington who never gave up,” he said.
“They scored with a good goal but we could have stopped that in terms of us getting out to the ball a bit quicker.
“That was the only disappointing thing today. Ashington had a right go in the second half by pumping good balls into the box, but we defended well and they didn’t get down the sides nor did they create a lot of chances in open play, which is pleasing on our behalf.
“They did get a few lucky breaks and have a bit of pace in the side.
“Andrew Johnson is a good act and is always dangerous, and with Glen Taylor up front you cannot afford to switch off – and today our back four and keeper Andrew Grainger certainly didn’t.”
Bowey paid a glowing tribute to Colliers custodian Conor Grant.
“The lad was fantastic,” he said.
“The first half in particular he’s made two or three stops which were not just good saves, they were world class.
“If it had been any other keeper we would probably have been two or three up at half-time and the game done and dusted.
“I’d love to see the video of the saves and I’m sure Conor would too. That’s what keepers are there for and well done to the lad today.”