By Brian Bennett
One swallow doesn’t make a summer. Similarly one victory doesn’t define a season but Ashington coach Ritchie Hill is looking for Saturday’s 4-0 drubbing over basement side Winterton Rangers to kick-start the Colliers’ campaign.
Two goals from debutant Connor Thomson and one each from Wilson Kneeshaw and substitute Ben Williams saw the Wansbeck outfit claim three precious and well deserved points in North Lincolnshire as they look to climb away from the lower part of the Northern Premier League East Division table.
Hill said afterwards: “In the light of recent results it was a much needed win – and I thought we did it in style. The lads trained really well last week and they’ve converted it into a really good performance away from home. The final score was 4-0 but on another day it could have been seven, eight or nine. It was a pressurised game and we are happy but we’ve got to be realistic and not get too carried away. The important issue now is our game against Sheffield FC this coming Saturday because it’s imperative that we back up today’s result and kick on.”
Hill – who is based in Darlington – was delighted with Ashington’s opening as they took the lead in the sixth minute through Connor Thomson: “We set up really positively and I thought our first goal was brilliant,” he said, “I was wondering if the second (goal) was ever going to come because we had good chances and we needed it to settle us down. Winterton had a couple of moments but when we eventually got the second, the side grew in confidence and were really good. It was an important stage in the contest when Connor (Thomson) converted from the penalty spot to make it 3-0 and to be honest when the ball hit the back of the net, it was game over.”
He continued: “It’s been very frustrating for us and I think some of our performances have deserved more but results are what it is all about at the end of the day. We started the game today one point ahead of Winterton and defeat would have seen us in serious trouble. If you go unbeaten for three or four games, you leapfrog teams then all of a sudden you become connected with the sides in the place off places so it’s all about trying to put a run of results together. It’s an old cliché but we’ll take one game at a time. Today was important and a clean sheet was brilliant because the last time we didn’t concede was in the Emirates FA Cup against North Shields – and that came on the opening day of the season at the beginning of August.”