By Brian Bennett
Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner was delighted with his side who maintained their 100 per cent record in the Ebac Northern League with a 2-1 win at West Allotment Celtic on Tuesday night.
After three games, the Colliers sit at the top of the division – but Skinner admitted that his outfit did not fire on all cylinders: “We were far from our best tonight if I’m honest,” he said afterwards, “We freshened the side up a little bit and made four changes – the reason being that we just don’t want one group of lads to be really, really flying and match fit and then another group who are falling behind in match practice but I don’t think that was the reason why we didn’t play particularly well.”
He continued: “We got off to a brilliant start, scoring after two minutes then I just thought we became a little bit sloppy and allowed West Allotment to come into the game and to be fair to them, they caused us some problems for about 15 minutes and when they equalised, we couldn’t really have any complaints. However, once we conceded we woke up again, went on the front foot, had a couple of good chances and regained the lead which is the sign of a good team. At half time we talked about trying to find a little bit more quality in our play regardless of how difficult conditions were.”
He went on: “Second half was bitty on what I thought was a difficult pitch – but it’s the same for both teams. I thought in spells we did alright – they (West Allotment) had a little spell which they are going to have and threw bodies forward. Towards the end of the game we started to find our passing range and kept the ball a little bit better and then the last five minutes, we decided to make it an end to end game. All in all, we weren’t at out best but people say in football that when you’re not at your best and you win, it’s the sign of a good team and I don’t think there are any arguments that we are a good team. It’s just about keeping our levels and performance high – and I demand them to be high -all of the time. However, we also need to be realistic and performances are going to dip now and again but it’s important when we aren’t playing as well as we can that we still win games and we have done that tonight. Credit to the lads because they stuck at it, dug in and they know themselves that the performance wasn’t as good as we would want. We’ve put another three points on the board whilst West Allotment will be a little bit disappointed because they’ll probably feel they should have got something from the game.”