By Brian Bennett
Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner said the result was all that mattered after watching side advance into the second round of the Northumberland Senior Cup following a 3-1 win over West Allotment Celtic on Tuesday night.
The boss commented: “It was cup football – and all that matters is the result. Were we at our fluent best? No. We made more changes from Saturday and obviously we shouldn’t have been looking beyond this game but we had one eye on our FA Cup game against Stocksbridge Park Steels on Saturday – hence why we chose not to involve a number of players this evening.”
He continued: “I thought first half we were really passive. We played with eight and nine players in our own half; we gave away too many unforced errors and were sloppy in possession. It doesn’t happen very often but I got after the players a little bit at half time – and that’s not me because its something which I don’t particularly enjoy doing.”
Skinner’s team talk had an immediate effect: “There was a reaction second half and we scored really early with a great strike by Paul Robinson then the game petered out a little bit into a non event and we managed it relatively well. I was disappointed with the goal we conceded but then I’m disappointed with every goal we concede! However, the players showed character to come back and restore the lead relatively quickly and then we had a couple of gilt edged chances to really kill the game off but we didn’t manage to take those. With four minutes of added on time, you start thinking ‘we should see this out okay’ and to be fair we did that and the icing on the cake was our third goal which sealed the victory.”
He concluded: “All in all, we’ve won the game; we’re in the hat; we’ll see who we get in the next round and we’ll take anybody at home. However, our focus now turns towards Saturday – and our away trip to face Stocksbridge in the Emirates FA Cup.”