By Brian Bennett | Photo: Ian Brodie

Ashington FC’s assistant manager Andy Coyles admitted that the ‘chat’ in the dressing room at the interval proved pivotal on Tuesday night as the Colliers reached the quarter finals of the Newcastle Flooring Senior Cup after a 5-1 win over Newcastle University.

“We said at half time that if the lads from the University had been 3-1 in front they would have deserved it – 100 per cent,” he commented, “We had a couple of opportunities ourselves but they had two one on ones and a penalty and I thought they had the better of the chances. We were open and honest with the lads as we always are and we thought we were very fortunate to be in front. We broke it down and said to them ‘we are 1-0 up and they need to score two goals away from home to actually win the game – lets not make that happen.”

He continued: “It was a classic case of a game of two halves. I thought in the first period we were very poor – poor by our standards considering the standards that we set a week ago against Dunston. We made a few changes in order to protect a few lads going into Saturday’s league game at Cleethorpes – only we couldn’t get going. We got off to a great start with a goal inside two minutes but I think it was probably the worst thing that could have happened to us. Our standards slipped from the minute Declan Bisset put the ball into the back of the net and the way we conducted ourselves and the way we played the game just wasn’t us – it wasn’t what we have been doing.”

He went on: “We had a ‘chat’ at half time and the second half was a lot more promising and a lot more pleasing. We produced a lot more combination play; the link up play was good; decision making was better and as a result we got our just rewards.”

Coyles added that the crowd of 320 had been treated to some ‘great’ goals: “The first which we scored came after excellent build up play out wide and great link up play by Wilson Kneeshaw with Declan Bisset in a great position to score,” he said, “In the second half Declan (Bisset) has added another fantastic goal and I thought he was close to – if not – being the player of the match. Declan and Si Jakab gave two terrific performances and of the lads who came on, I thought Scott Heslop deserves a mention after netting twice and nearly getting a third – but there were some great goals tonight. The University also scored with a fantastic effort in the second half which put us under a lot of pressure at 2-1. However, the job tonight was to win the game and we’ve done that – but we just need to make sure that we don’t replicate that first half performance anytime soon!”