By Brian Bennett
Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner said after his sides 1-0 victory over Thornaby on Wednesday night in the Ebac Northern League first division Cup that it would be nice to get a home draw in the next round.
The Colliers have been on their travels over the past 12 days making consecutive journeys to face Newcastle Benfield, Redcar Athletic and Northallerton Town in League matches as well as Thornaby in the Cup: “We’ve been on the road constantly for the past week or so,” said Skinner, “We’ll see what the draw throws up – but it would be nice to get a home tie.”
Reflecting on the win over Thornaby on Teesside, Skinner said: “I’m delighted. This group of players have a knack of bouncing back after a negative result – and following the disappointing 4-2 reverse at Northallerton at the weekend, they have done that again tonight. Thornaby is not the easiest of places to go too – we came here earlier in the season and comprehensively lost (5-0) but to be fair, we picked a team tonight which we thought could be a bit little more solid out of possession; a team which was full of pace across the front line knowing that when we did win the ball we could we play on the counter attack a little bit. Was it pretty or free flowing? – no not really. I thought we had to weather a storm for the first 10-15 minutes after Thornaby started the game far better than we did. It looked as if they were going to score but to our credit we’ve dug in and defended well and have played our way into the game a little bit.”
Luke Salmon’s 13th minute header proved to be the winner and Skinner added: “We have probably scored against the run of play if I’m honest. However, it was a good goal; a good move and a good cross and Luke (Salmon) has attacked a ball which nobody thought he would get too – and he got his just rewards. After that, I thought we did okay in spells and snatched at a couple of half chances in the box. We limited them (Thornaby) to very little and I can’t remember our ‘keeper Karl Dryden making any world class, full stretch or brilliant saves.” He went on: “If we had turned in more away performances like tonight instead of three or four disappointing showings, we’d not only be sitting in the next round of the first division cup, we’d potentially be sitting a little bit higher up the league table. People will look at our position in the division and say ’it’s a while since Ashington have been up there – and they’ll be delighted with that’ – but I’m the sort of person who always likes to get better and better and I also challenge the group to be better. Before the game, the mission was to make sure we were in the hat for the next round. We know we can beat anybody on our day – we can beat ourselves too – but tonight we went out and got the job done.”