Ian Skinner - 11/09/2021

12 Sep 2021 in First Team

Ian Skinner - 11/09/2021 Ian Skinner - 11/09/2021

SKINNER: “I THOUGHT I HAD SEEN EVERYTHING IN FOOTBALL – UNTIL TODAY”

By Brian Bennett

Shell-shocked Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner said he thought he had seen everything in football until his side – who had held a 2-0 lead - crashed out of the Buildbase FA Vase on Saturday after losing 3-2 against Newcastle Benfield.

The reverse left the boss ‘speechless’ but Skinner did conduct his customary post match interview after the amazing events at Sam Smiths Park: “To be fair, in all my time in football, I thought I had seen it all – until today,” he said, “I haven’t quite seen anything like that 90 minutes – and we now find ourselves out of two leading National FA competitions.”

The 45 year old continued: “I thought we were really good in the first half. There was a tricky wind which we might not have taken into consideration and we had it on our backs in the first half. In terms of management and control in the first 45 minutes, I thought we did really well but as the period wore on, I started to become concerned that we didn’t have anything to show for our efforts - and then we’ve managed to score.”

“We went in 1-0 at half time and it’s a cup competition - so we knew they (Newcastle Benfield) would have talked about not letting us play out and pinning us in - and they did that for five to ten minutes. It took a while for us to put our foot on the ball again then we got a penalty – they missed from one in the first half - and if I’m honest, I think both spot kicks were dubious. The Benfield player has blasted the ball and it has bounced up at our defender from a couple of yards so I thought it was very harsh and I thought the same about the penalty we got because for me it was a good strong tackle. The defender may have caught him (Dean Briggs) on the follow through but I thought it was a fair challenge. Ryan (McGorrigan) has scored and we have gone 2-0 up and then chaos descended for a few minutes whereby they have had two players sin binned. Personally I think it is a crazy rule because I think there are better ways to deal with dissent. We do need to address it (dissent) in football – but sin bins don’t work in my opinion. Benfield go down to nine men and the game changed when Paul Brayson has volleyed a goal in. It was a great finish and that’s what he does – but we needed to get out to the ball quicker.”

He went on: “It was almost visible that we were zapped a little bit and that rejuvenated them (Newcastle Benfield) big style. At 2-0 and Benfield having nine men we were very naïve. I fully supported us trying to get a third goal whilst having numerical advantage to try and put the game to bed but I think we were stood with five centre forwards at one point and Benfield were breaking on us. After that it was horrible - but I sensed it coming.”

He added: “For one of the goals, we have got secure possession in the middle of our own half and under no pressure, we’ve played it out for a throw in to the opposition. Then they have got free headers and tap-ins at the back and to be honest the whole thing has left me speechless. You’d like to think it is a one-off but I think that’s at least four occasions – twice against Benfield – where we have been in the ascendancy and let ourselves down. I don’t want to say we chucked it away because no team does that – but we let ourselves down badly. In the aftermath it’s difficult to speak after that in terms of the dressing room. I kept what I had to say short and simple. I didn’t say an awful lot because there’s no real point in screaming and shouting at people because the games’ gone. We can’t affect it and have got to move on.”

He concluded: “It’s obviously disappointing that we are now out of the FA Cup and FA Vase so early in the season and we have got to dust ourselves down and train and got to go to Bishop Auckland on Saturday and show a reaction. We’ve also got to look at the Techflow Group Northumberland Senior Cup and the League Cup as big priorities now in terms of showing people that we can be a good side - but we’ve got to do it for 90 minutes and we’ve got to do it consistently because at the minute it’s one good result followed by a not so good result.”

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