By Brian Bennett | Photo: Ian Brodie
Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner was naturally disappointed after his side went down to a 1-0 defeat against Ossett United at Woodhorn Lane on Tuesday night.
However, the boss said afterwards, that apart from his outfit needing to learn quickly after conceding poor goals and being more ruthless in the final third, there were lots of things to be pleased with: “I thought we started the game quite brightly and we probably should have been ahead after we fashioned a couple of very good chances,” he commented, “There seemed to be a scramble and we had two or three opportunities inside the space of a few seconds – the Ossett ‘keeper (Joe Green) has done well – and we’ve then hit the bar.”
Skinner admitted that he had missed what turned out to be the only goal of the game: “I turned to speak to somebody as they scored,” he said, “I’ve had their goal described to me but by all accounts it was a disappointing one to concede in terms of a direct ball that’s bounced and the striker has ran onto it – and even then he hasn’t hit it cleanly from what I’m led to believe. Our ‘keeper Karl Dryden has made one save right at the death at the end of the first half where he has pushed the ball out, other than that, he hasn’t had anything to do – but the goal has ultimately cost us to be honest.”
He continued: “For the first 25 minutes, I thought we were very, very good and created some really good opportunities and on another day would have taken one of them. Second half I thought there were lots and lots of things to be pleased with. We must have had 75-80 per cent possession; we’ve flashed the ball across the goal; we’ve put shots wide and the Ossett ‘keeper has made a couple of decent saves. Then Jordan Summerly has done brilliantly to get to the by line and cut the ball back and you’re just waiting for the net to ripple but Wilson Kneeshaw has hit his shot towards the goal and it has struck the ‘keeper on the shoulder – and at that point you start to think ‘maybes it’s not going to be our night.’ Maybes the last couple of games we haven’t had the rub of the green and you think that luck is not on your side – but sometimes you create your own luck.”
He added: “All in all really there were lots to be pleased with but the biggest thing is that it’s two home games now where we have had to go chasing the game and I think what supporters have witnessed tonight, they’ll witness week in week out in this league in terms of most teams play direct; most teams look to get up in the game and when they do that, they look to manage it. There was a spell where we were on top in the second half for about ten minutes then they (Ossett) must have stopped the play every attack. That took the momentum away from us and I was a little bit disappointed there wasn’t a few more minutes added on than the seven that were.”
He went on: “Ultimately to sum it up – it was a poor goal which we conceded which we need to learn from quickly because that’s a number (of poor goals) which we have leaked so far this season in the three matches (two league games and one cup game) whilst we just need to be that little bit more ruthless in the final third.” On Saturday (August 26), Ashington travel to face Stocksbridge Park Steels then on Bank Holiday Monday (August 28), the Colliers take on Consett at Woodhorn Lane (3pm): “We’ll need to check on a few players because we had a couple who had fitness tests before the Ossett game tonight – some played and some didn’t,” he said, “We’ll need to assess the overall picture because we have played tonight (Tuesday) then go again on Saturday and Monday making it three games in six days.”