By Brian Bennett

With Ashington ready to embark on a new season in the Ebac Northern League first division tomorrow at home to Seaham Red Star, manager Ian Skinner reflected on his sides concluding game against Blyth Spartans on Tuesday night which ended in a 3-0 defeat.

“At Blyth, we mixed it up a little bit first half because there were some players who were slightly behind on minutes compared to everybody else so we’ve tried to do almost two balanced sides in either halves. I was disappointed with the goals we conceded because they were all avoidable and all three of them came about from us losing possession but the second one – right on half time – came at a bad time although it was a little bit fortuitous. The lad has taken a shot; it’s bounced off somebody else and dropped to Michael Liddle in the box who has scored. The third was a great strike by Danny Barlow – but we’ve got to get out to the ball quicker.”

“The difference between the two sides was that Blyth play higher up the pyramid than us and they do everything a little bit quicker where they make good decisions in terms of the number of touches they take. Some of the chances we fashioned, we wanted that extra touch and that split second longer before taking a shot on – and they are the fine margins really – but it was still a good work out. There are still one or two things which we still need to work on but I think overall that pre season has gone quite well.”

Skinner revealed that for tomorrow’s 3pm kick-off, he will run checks on several players who have injury concerns before naming his side – but added that it’s part and parcel of the game.