21 Jan 2020 in Post Match Interview
SKINNER: “I’M JUST DELIGHTED THE LADS GOT SOME REWARD”
By Brian Bennett
Ashington FC Ian Skinner said after the goal-less draw against West Auckland at the Wanted Stadium on Saturday he was just delighted that his side had emerged with some reward.
Skinner’s outfit put in an unbelievably gruelling shift on a stamina-sapping pitch – and the boss revealed he had had to revise his pre match plans after Owen Gourlay and Dom Price both withdrew from the squad due to illness: “We challenged the lads to work really hard, stick together, work for each other and to show a bit of team spirit and togetherness,” said a beaming Skinner, “They had done that against Bishop Auckland the previous week which resulted in a win and today the one to fifteen gave everything. West Auckland probably dominated the ball more than we did but we had by far the more clear cut chances whilst at the other end, our ‘keeper Adam McHugh hasn’t been forced into making any save of note. For me today was all about the work rate and effort, endeavour and enthusiasm which the lads have showed. To come to a tough place like West Auckland – and against a really good side - I couldn’t have asked for any more from the lads and I’m just delighted they have got some reward for their work rate and effort and long may it continue. However the challenge now is to maintain those levels of work and commitment and hopefully to put a little bit of composure on the final third and take one or two of the chances which come along then we will continue to pick up points.”
After only eight minutes, Brandon Slater fired against the post and Skinner added: “It’s hard to say whether it would have changed the game if Brandon’s effort had found the net instead of crashing against the post. It could have developed into a different game because if you go 1-0 up, it makes you think do we stick or twist. Nobody misses on purpose and yes it would have been a good start because for the first ten minutes we weren’t quite where we needed to be and West Auckland came out really bright. We are creating chances – but it’s more worrying if as a side you are not carving any out and we’ll do some work on finishing in training this week ahead of Saturday’s away game at Consett.”
Skinner – who wanted to wax lyrical about every single player – continued: “Thomas Kalthoeber has been our Mr consistent this season at right full back whilst Tom Bramley came in for his debut away to Sunderland RCA when we lost 5-1. Tom dropped out of the side for the next game but got an opportunity to come back in today and he’s defended really well and was part of a team who kept a clean sheet. Everybody knows our skipper Curtis Coppen has been through a tough time but he is getting better with every game and is like the Curtis of old. Danny Anderson did really well today in his first game back after being out for 12 weeks with injury and David Edwards has been excellent over the last few games with his experience giving us a bit of solidity in the middle of the park. Brandon Slater has generated great energy in wide areas – and I just love to see him get on the ball, carry it and get us up the pitch. Callum Johnston is in good form up front and on another day could have scored a couple of goals after a few half chances came his way. Max Emmerson has had to be patient. He joined us from Whitley Bay a few weeks ago. He didn’t get into the squad immediately because we had had a good result then he wasn’t available. He was included today, came on as a substitute and looked assured so all in all I’m really pleased.”
For Saturday’s trip to Consett, Ashington will be without Callum Johnston and David Edwards whilst Skinner will be monitoring the fitness of Jamie Hanson, Owen Gourlay and Dom Price during the week.