19 Sep 2021 in Post Match Interview
SKINNER: “THE THREE POINTS WERE REALLY, REALLY IMPORTANT”
By Brian Bennett
Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner gave a bit shout out to his players on Saturday night – after the 5-2 win over Bishop Auckland. The boss said it was good that his side hit back after exiting the Buildbase FA Vase the previous week against Newcastle Benfield but added that his outfit are still a work in progress: “First of all, credit to the players for bouncing back after the disappointment of last week,” he said, “I thought we began the game particularly well. We should have had a commanding lead inside the first 15-20 minutes and the game could have been out of sight by half time. I got a little bit frustrated that we haven’t made more of our good start. We scored after three minutes and got another to go 2-0 up. They (Bishop Auckland) had a ten minutes spell before the interval when we lost our way a little bit and at 2-0 I always talk about the next goal being huge. If it goes 2-1 then there can be a momentum swing but if it goes 3-0 you’d like to think it’s the game put to bed. It was nice to see a little set play that we’ve worked on come off to make it 3-0 and then it’s about fine margins. When we scored the third goal, we just needed to spoil the game a little bit for five to ten minutes – and so we have to be better at that. I’m all for being a purist and wanting to play on the floor but after going 3-0 up, you’ve just got to take the sting out of the opposition. I think we conceded within five minutes and then the doubts and ‘oh no’s’ and ‘what ifs’ come into play. Bishops made it 3-2 by just playing direct – and we need to be able to deal with that. They just went back to front really quickly and we neither got to the ball to stop them playing direct nor did we get compact enough to deal with it so that was slightly disappointing.”
He continued: “At 3-2 I’m thinking ‘surely not again’ because it was game on and our ‘keeper Karl Dryden has made a couple of good saves to be fair. Then we have scored a fourth and a fifth and the fourth one really knocked the stuffing out of them because it’s hard to go again. You talk about momentum - and it really swung with us and to be fair we probably could have had a sixth if we had got a penalty award.”
He went on: “All in all though, I was pleased that we’ve given a decent performance – but we’ve got things to work on. We are still a work in progress but the three points were really, really important so a bit pat on the back to the players for that. However, we need to keep learning and make sure when we get ourselves into these commanding positions, we make it a little bit more difficult for the opposition as opposed to being like ‘Kevin Keegan’s entertainers.’
Skinner’s side are without a game on Saturday (September 25) – but there will be no time off for the players: “It’ll be nice to have a week off although we are going to train on Tuesday and have a friendly match against Durham University on Thursday (September 23). I’ve got a couple of lads who maybes haven’t played recently and I want to have a look at one or two of the younger lads in the squad so it’ll be a good exercise.”
Supporters are welcome to attend the game on Thursday. Kick-off is 7pm and admission will be free.