By Brian Bennett
Ryan McKinnon scored his first goal for Ashington at Thornaby on Saturday – and said that he hopes it will be the first of many!
As the Colliers exciting run in the Emirates FA Cup captured the attentions of the Wansbeck public before it came to an end with a 3-1 defeat against National League North side King’s Lynn in the fourth qualifying round, Hexham-born McKinnon had been left kicking his heels on the sidelines over the past couple of months – as the defender had played for Tow Law against the Wansbeck outfit in the preliminary round of the competition.
“It’s been a frustrating couple of weeks for us with a few poor results in the league,” said the 26 year old, “We needed a reaction – and I think we came up with a performance today (at Thornaby) where we’ve got a clean sheet and three points. I thought we played better in the first period as the second half wasn’t pretty and was a scrap – but we showed we could deal with it and hold our own and to be honest I don’t think they (Thornaby) had any real chances.”
McKinnon’s goal on the 22 minutes mark was a bullet-like header and he said: “I’d like to think it will be the first of many! It was a great cross in from Andrew Cartwright but then all the deliveries today to be fair and every week are quality and are just asking for someone to get on the end of them. I was rapid, getting across the front post and I was really pleased when the header went in. Obviously we’ve got a few big lads in our side so we should score more goals from set plays.”
The Consett-based lynchpin added: “To be honest I’ve been chomping at the bit to play from the start so it was nice to be back in the team and get 90 minutes in my legs and I felt strong. I’ve played the game long enough now to know what I need to do to keep myself ticking over so its not a case of if I get thrown in, not being ready for it. I felt good today although for the last ten minutes I felt my legs a bit – but that was because it was a heavy pitch.”