By Brian Bennett
Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner said after the slender 1-0 away win against Northallerton Town on Saturday that his side had found a different way of winning.
The Colliers bagged all three points after a flash of brilliance from striker Dan Maguire had seen him net the only goal of the game just past the midway point of the first half.
Skinner said: “It’s going to be difficult for our players to recreate some of the football which they played earlier in the season because pitches – including our own – are changing due to the weather. I think the positive from today is that we probably found a different way of winning. It’s not a way that Ashington are accustomed too having to work hard for it and also work hard for the chances. Albeit we had a lot of possession and we probably had three or four clear cut opportunities throughout the game but only managed to take one of them.”
He continued: “After we took the lead, they (Northallerton) are going to try and keep it a 1-0 then for the last 15 minutes ‘have a go.’ That’s how the game panned out really and fair play to them as they threw bodies forward a little bit more. However I thought we showed some resilience which we’ve done throughout the season in terms of wanting to keep clean sheets and wanting to defend and it isn’t something you could always say about us – certainly last season.”
The boss described Maguire’s goal as ‘brilliant’: “Dan (Maguire) had already struck a fantastic effort which hit the bar but he’s got this uncanny knack of sitting defenders down and then rolling the ball into the corner which he did again today,” he said, “It was a brilliant finish. However Dan should have scored another in the first half – and he knows this himself – when he’s blazed over.”
Skinner went on: “Second half, Ben Harmison has had a very, very good chance which he’s fired over so on another day it could have been 4-0 – and I don’t think our goalkeeper Karl Dryden has had to make a save. They (Northallerton) haven’t really had an effort on target and any half chance they fashioned, a lot of it came from us with unforced errors. It’s not a game which I’ll watch back too many times. I’ll probably look at bits of it to see if what I am reflecting on now is actually what happened. All in all it was not the prettiest game of football but that’s going to happen now as we get into winter pitches but to win 1-0 away from home and take all three points is all anybody could ask for.”
For Saturday’s home clash against West Allotment Celtic (November 19), strikers Lee Mason and Dan Maguire plus defenders Andrew Cartwright and Darren Lough all face fitness tests.