By Brian Bennett

Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner, reflecting on the 3-0 defeat by Workington in his sides final warm up game ahead of Saturday’s curtain raiser in the Emirates FA Cup against North Shields, said he believed “there were lots of things to be pleased about.”

Skinner commented: “In the early part of the game, I thought we caused Workington one or two problems where they hadn’t really managed to get to grips with how we were trying to play and set up. We started quite brightly and were taking the ball in tight areas and looked comfortable to move it but probably the story of the game was our playing out and build up play which was really good. However, I just thought we got into some great areas beyond their midfield and in front and behind their defence but we were a little bit loose and a little bit slack in the final third. For all the good play that we did have, my criticism or downside is that we didn’t threaten the goal anywhere near enough as we should have done.”

He continued: “We came in at half time 2-0 down and both goals were really poor to concede. The first is a long range effort where we haven’t got out and closed the ball – but it actually came from us giving the ball away in a really good position in their half. The second is an individual mistake as was the third – and I take some of the responsibility for that because of what I am asking the players to do and the way they are trying to do it and I’d far rather they made mistakes today and learn from them if they were to be in the same situation this Saturday.”

He went on: “The three goals were avoidable – other than that I don’t think our goalkeepers have had to make what you would label as brilliant saves. Ross Coombe made a stop in the first half where he saved the ball with his legs whilst at the other end we haven’t worked their goalkeeper anywhere near enough. Second half when they (Workington) got to grips a little bit with how we were playing, they’ve probably been a little bit stronger than us and then a whole host of changes from both teams really disrupted the flow and I thought we just got a little bit loose towards the end. Even some of the good build up and approach play we had seen in the first half started to become a bit sloppy and in the end the game petered out a little bit and it became about managing minutes – but overall it was a really good work out.” He concluded: “I’ve got to say a big thank you to Workington for making the travel across and giving us the game and hopefully it was beneficial for them as well. I thought there were lots of things to be pleased about in our performance whilst there were also things to work on – like our creating and finishing in the opposition’s final third and cutting out or minimising those little mistakes which have cost us goals today.”