By Brian Bennett
Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner said after the 2-1 victory over Bishop Auckland at The dwmedia Stadium on Saturday that he was looking forward to watching the video footage of the game – after revealing that he missing his sides equaliser scored by Bobby Taylor!
The boss – wearing a broad smile – commented: “The most pleasing thing was that we bounced back from a disappointing reverse at Whickham last week – with a win. The players have done that on a number of the occasions this season – except the 2-1 defeat at home to North Shields – where they have hit back with a positive result following a defeat so fair play to them. I thought we played really well in spells today but another aspect which left me happy was that after having a bit of a discussion about being a bit more difficult and a little bit more solid to play against and trying not to give away as many avoidable goals as we have done in recent weeks, the players took that on board. However, what we have got to bear in mind is there is a trade off which comes with that. So today we may not have been as fast flowing and as slick as we have been in previous home games – although in the first half I thought we played some lovely sweeping moves and one touch play where we have switched the ball from right to left – and that’s because we need to get the balance right. If we are going to be a little bit more solid and a little bit more difficult to play against then obviously that will come at the expense of us being as expansive and free flowing as we have been.”
He continued: “I thought Bishop Auckland – who came to us unbeaten in their last four games – scored with probably their only shot on target and again it was an error that wasn’t avoidable but to be honest, that’s sometimes the way it goes against us. It happened at Whickham where Curtis Coppen cleared the ball and it bounced off the Whickham player and into the net. At 1-0 behind today I didn’t panic too much. Obviously the goal came really early into the half – but we still had a lot of time to get back into it. And to be fair we did, turning the game around by scoring two good goals. I have to be honest and say that I was contemplating changes and scribbling notes in my notepad when the equaliser went in so I actually didn’t see it – so I’m delighted that I can watch the game back! When Bobby (Taylor) scored to bring us level, from a managerial point of view, it changes things a little bit but not completely – whilst the second goal is a good move which was finished off really, really well by Lewis Suddick.”
He went on: “Another pleasing thing was that they (Bishop Auckland) had one chance where there has been a bit of a scramble and our ‘keeper Adam McHugh has made a fantastic save to be fair really close to him and we’ve managed to scramble it clear. Other than that, we limited Bishop Auckland to very little and near the end when the board went up to show there was to be four additional minutes, I thought we managed the game really well. It might not be everybody’s cup of tea to keep possession deep into their half and in and around the corner but the way things have been going for us of late where we had only won one in four – albeit that performances in a couple of those defeats were really good – we just needed to make sure we won the game. The lads showed great character to come from behind to win at home in front of another noisy crowd and send our supporters home happy.”
He concluded: “Overall I was really pleased that we got back to winning ways but we now need to go on a mini run starting at Newcastle Benfield on Saturday. We will be looking to go there and be equally as difficult to play against and see if we can get a positive result. I say to the players ‘enjoy it when you win – go away and enjoy the rest of your weekend knowing that you have picked up three points.’ So we’ll come back in for training on Tuesday and Thursday ready to work hard as we prepare for Saturday’s trip.” Midfielder Paul Robinson should be available to return to the squad but Tom Bramley and Max Emmerson remain sidelined.