By Brian Bennett
Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner described Saturday’s 4-2 defeat at the hands of Northallerton Town as being disappointing in ‘a multitude of ways.’
And the boss admitted that he would shoulder part of the blame after making changes to the line up following Wednesday’s 4-1 win over Redcar Athletic on Teesside.
Skinner emerged from the dressing rooms and said: “It was a disappointing result and a disappointing and frustrating display given the two good away performances we came into the game on the back of. I’ll take some of the responsibility for making five changes to the side but the thought process behind it was that we’d obviously been on the road for the last two games and had two really good results and I just thought I would freshen things up today rather than lads play three games in a week plus the fact that we have another game on Wednesday. You lay the gauntlet down to people and say ‘go on then, there’s an opportunity to reinforce or remind us of what you are capable of and give me a headache for the First Division Cup match away to Thornaby on Wednesday (March 9). I’ve got that headache – because now it’s a case of what team do I pick after today’s showing was really, really disappointing in a multitude of ways.”
He continued: “I didn’t think we passed the ball as well as we could; individual errors for goals were really, really poor and when we got ourselves back into it at 2-1, I actually then thought: ‘do you know what, this is typical Ashington – and that we’d probably go on to get a point or if not win it! But within a few minutes we have conceded again with individuals errors – being the wrong side of the man – and when we do get the right side of the man, we don’t press the ball and he (Shaun Ryder) turns and hits it (the ball) – and don’t get me wrong, it’s a fantastic finish.”
He went on: “Overall I’m really baffled but we’ve got to look at the bigger picture and I’ve probably played a part in it for making the changes. Players who have come in haven’t probably given me what I thought they would give me whilst individual errors during the game have really cost us and it always gets to a point where if you go behind in a match, there’ll come a point where it will be one game too many – and that game was possibly today.” However, Skinner reflected on a first period where chances went begging for his side: “If you look at the first half and some of the opportunities we had, there were at least three really good ones – and if you take them then it’s a completely different game,” he said, “But we’ll dust ourselves down and the positive thing is we usually bounce back in our next fixture.”