By Brian Bennett
Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner looked on as his outfit gave an under par display which culminated in a 2-0 home defeat against Consett at Woodhorn Lane on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon.
And afterwards, the boss issued a no-nonsense message to his squad when he said: “Our performance today was nowhere near good enough – and I’ll not tolerate many more like that. People might read that and think that it is harsh given that we probably dominated the ball – but I just thought that in a nutshell we’ve played 97 minutes and haven’t had a shot on target. What we saw today was a Consett team who threw their bodies in the way and made it so difficult for us to score – then if you flip that over at the two goals which we have conceded, they are really, really soft – and that’s being polite. That’s already a catalogue of goals so far against us this season which are really soft and we need to work harder without the ball that’s for sure. If the truth be known, I’m frustrated, disappointed and annoyed and the key message from me today is that goals win games – it’s as simple as that. We could have played until training on Thursday night and not scored because our play was too slow.”
He continued: “Whenever we regained the ball, we didn’t move it quick enough, We try and play in a certain way but I thought when we got in the attacking half, we allowed Consett to get in behind the ball and it was similar to our game against Ossett. Albeit I thought we probably deserved something from the Ossett match for the chances we had but today we were too slow and too pedestrian in moving the ball in the attacking half. It’s very disappointing especially when we’ve come off the back of a good result on Saturday down at Stocksbridge and we really wanted to follow it up with a positive result at home because we’ve now played three games at Woodhorn Lane and have taken one point. The attendance was just under 700 today and we’ve had three fantastic crowds. They may be seeing us having a lot of the ball but we need to be creating more chances and being more clinical in the final third.”
He went on: “I don’t know if I jinked Mason Hardy after he scored the winner at Stocksbridge on Saturday. Following the game I said that he was one of the best finishers at the club. Today he’s had two huge chances – one a header then another with a clear sight at goal and he’s hit the post!”
The boss admitted to being in a ‘catch 22 situation’ ahead of the game: “In hindsight I probably should have changed one or two personnel and freshened the team up a little bit today,” he added, “Having played on Saturday then its really difficult because if you freshen it up and change it people will say ‘well you won on Saturday.’ So it was a catch 22 situation because if I changed the team and we didn’t get a positive result people would have said “why did you change it?” I didn’t change the team and we haven’t got a positive result and now people will look and say “They’ve played two games in three days” – so it’s a one of those.”