By Brian Bennett
Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner is adamant that his players will ‘turn things round’ – as the Colliers slipped down a notch and now occupy fourth from bottom spot in the Northern Premier League East Division table following a 2-0 defeat against Newton Aycliffe on Tuesday night.
Two goals in the last quarter hour of the first half from Jake Petitjean and Kyle Davis secured the points for the home side who as a result, came off the basement and leapfrogged over the Colliers.
It was Ashington’s fourth league defeat of the season and fourth consecutive game where they have failed to score but there were other issues on the night with the Wansbeck side having the play out the final 35 minutes with nine men after Charlie Exley and Karl Ross were sent off either side of half time – both for second yellow card offences.
However Skinner said afterwards: “The players know they need to be better; the management team know that too and it’s a collective whereby we are all as one where we win together and lose together. But I’ve got no doubt that when we maybes get a little bit of a rub of the green in certain situations that we’ll turn it round because we have got too much quality.”
During the interval, the boss brought on Ben Sampson and Scott Heslop for Damen Mullen and Wilson Kneeshaw and shortly after the second dismissal, Craig Spooner was introduced for the injured Dan Maguire.
Skinner had nothing but admiration for the players who completed proceedings: “I’ve got to give a special mention to the nine players that finished the game,” he added, “the effort, desire, commitment and work rate they gave in those 35 minutes was fantastic and was the huge plus point. Every one of them went home knowing that they had done the best they could in a very, very tricky situation. The biggest thing for me is the rest of the players who were here tonight and who witnessed the last 35 minutes with nine men. They need to take that commitment, effort and that work rate into every game we go into because we did it tonight with two players short.”
He continued: “There’s no room for you not to be able to do that otherwise it would have been a far worse situation – but what we have got to start doing is applying that from the first whistle when its 11 v 11. If we do that, I’ve got no doubt that we’ll turn things round because there are some honest players in the group. We’ll work hard in training on Thursday to be better then we go again on Saturday at home to Dunston UTS.”