By Brian Bennett | Photo: Ian Brodie
Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner emerged from the dressing rooms on Tuesday night wearing a broad smile on his face – and described his sides performance in the 6-0 win over Tow Law as being ‘one of the best’ of the season.
Skipper Ben Harmison scored a hat-trick with goals from substitute Lee Mason, Karl Ross and a Paul Robinson ‘special’ making up the tally in a totally dominant display.
“I think tonight will be up there as being one of the best displays of the season – and not just because we scored six goals,” said Skinner afterwards, “People will look at the result and think ‘you must have played well because you have scored six’ – but despite the scoreline we played very well indeed! I just thought from the first whistle the lads were ‘at it’ – both in and out of possession. We looked really bright on the ball; everybody wanted it (the ball); we had an enthusiasm about ourselves and on top of that we were creating chances. Obviously scoring within the first eight minutes made it an even better start but on the transition when we lost the ball, we must have won it back pretty much every time within a couple of passes. The lads moved the ball from side to side brilliantly; Paul Robinson and Jordan Summerly linked up well as did Scott Heslop and Ben Harmison whilst Andrew Cartwright was prominent and we just looked as if we were bang at it. So full credit to the players really because that first half is probably as good as we have played (all season) and it looked like we had our spark back from earlier in the campaign – and the pleasing thing for me was that we kept at it as well.”
He continued: “At half time, we talked about being 3-0 up – which meant we didn’t have to go chasing for goals but if opportunities presented themselves to try and add to the tally and to be ruthless. We came out for the second half and were equally as hungry. Tonight we brought 18 players so obviously I had to leave two out of the squad altogether and four of the five substitutes got on. However for the 11 who started, I cannot speak highly enough of them because Tow Law isn’t an easy place to come to. On Saturday at Bishop Auckland, we are going to play on one of the best pitches in the league and if we move the ball like we did tonight then I’ll be delighted.” He concluded: “Before the game tonight, we tried to keep things low key. We talked about it just being another game and that nothing would be decided. We encouraged the lads to enjoy it and to play with a bit of freedom – and I think they did all of that.”