By Brian Bennett
Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner – reflecting on his sides 3-2 win over Whitley Bay at Hillheads on Saturday – reckons he can ‘start to see things coming together’
Monsoon weather conditions coupled with thunder and lightening preceded the game but the contest got underway on time.
The Colliers were 3-0 up at one stage with a brace of goals from Dan Maguire and a trialist before the Seahorses netted twice in the final ten minutes through Josh Gilchrist and Cameron Brewis.
The new campaign is just over a couple of weeks away and Skinner re-iterated that he never gets fazed over pre season results. However he said: “It was an excellent workout against Whitley Bay today but the most pleasing aspect for me was that I can see how things are coming together a little bit in terms of how we are trying to play which is slightly different from last season. There were lots to appreciate in terms of the structure and process as well as the principals which we are trying to apply.”
He continued: “I thought Whitley Bay began the brighter of the two sides and they should have taken the lead after three or four minutes when it was probably harder to hit the bar – which they did – rather than score. After that we grew into the game, netted a good goal through Maguire – and after that I thought we looked relatively comfortable.”
He continued “Second half we began well, added a second goal – again from Maguire -then started to make changes – and we tried to do these in smaller chunks because it does disrupt the flow. A young trialist who has just been released from Carlisle came on and scored our third but from 3-0 up I was slightly disappointed with the two goals we conceded. We have worked quite a bit now on what we call the ‘build up phases’ where we get the ball and play and that was really pleasing. We haven’t done too much about the final third or working out of possession which was probably evident today and I would have liked us to have shown a bit more game management but as I stated last week, I don’t get hung up on results.”
Skinner then gave a glowing tribute to hosts Whitley Bay: “I’d like to thank them for their hospitality which was first class,” he added, “It was good to see their manager Nicky Gray whilst I had a lovely conversation with chairman Paul McIlduff and I’ve just spotted Jennifer Breakwell who is their treasurer out of the corner of my eye so I’ll go and have a word or two with her. I helped Whitley Bay out for a short spell some years ago and it is a place I like going to because of the relationship I have with the club.”