Br Brian Bennett
Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner was ‘thrilled to bits’ after his side had clinched their fifth away victory of the season with a 2-1 success away to Grimsby Borough on Saturday.
After Caine Winfarrah had put the hosts ahead, Ben Sampson and Connor Thomson turned the tables in Ashington’s favour but before the win was secured, ‘keeper Ross Coombe pulled off a spectacular save from a 73rd minute penalty from Harvey Tomlinson.
Skinner said afterwards: “Overall it was a fantastic result from what was a good game of football – and Grimsby are a good side. Credit to their ground staff and volunteers at the club who prepared the pitch because it was brilliant and we appreciated the efforts they put in to make sure that the game went ahead.”
The boss saw his side go a goal behind but was pleased with how they responded: “I thought we started the match brightly and probably shaded possession certainly across the 90 minutes,” he said, “We conceded a little bit of a poor goal but after that we showed a fantastic reaction to come back; get our foot on the ball and move it around – and we scored two very good goals.”
He continued: “We came in at half time 2-1 up and there were lots to be pleased about and then second half we started really brightly again – something which we had talked about. We probably should have been further ahead within the opening ten minutes of the second half on chances alone but as with football they (Grimsby) were always going to have a little spell. They had a period of 10-15 minutes where they got on top a little bit and created some chances including a penalty but Ross (Coombe) has made an outstanding save and pushed it (the ball) onto the post. We’ve then made a couple of substitutions and changed how we wanted to play a little bit and I thought we saw the game out well.”
He added: “It’s always good to win on the road – and it was a good performance. On another day we probably could of and maybes should have won the game a bit more comfortably on chances created but that’s where we are at the moment. We are getting into good areas and fashioning good opportunities. However we are not being quite as ruthless as we were in earlier games – but that will come. A cliché in football is ‘you worry when you are not creating the chances’ – we are creating them and before long something will click and will win a game handsomely.”
Skinner’s challenge to the players is to be more consistent: “I want us to press on,” he said, “If there’s a slight criticism of the group it’s a little bit around consistency. We tend to go on good runs of winning three or four games in a row but then lose two or three together and I think we just need to find that level of consistency. We are not going to be ‘at it’ every single minute of every single game but when we are not playing particularly well as a group we tend to be on the wrong end of a result. Sometimes you have got to dig in that little bit and if we are not quite performing at the levels we are capable of, we have got to be switched on and make sure we don’t lose the game. However if we are ‘at it’ then I fancy us to beat anybody in the league.”