12 Jan 2020 in Post Match Interview
McHUGH: “WE CAN BE A MATCH WITH MOST TEAMS”
By Brian Bennett
Ashington FC’s Adam McHugh was in buoyant mood on Saturday night after keeping only his second clean sheet of the campaign as the Colliers secured a 1-0 victory over Bishop Auckland at Woodhorn Lane.
The 27 year old stopper - who joined the club in the summer - had to wait patiently for his opportunity with the form of Dan Staples. But when Staples switched to join Penrith at the end of August, McHugh seized his chance and has been in outstanding form: “Obviously it’s nice to get a clean sheet as there hasn’t been many this season,” he said afterwards, “We’re a young side who are developing. We have shown we can be a match with most teams and things would be even better if we could add a touch of professionalism to our game. Today the elements have been a big factor – we had them (Bishop Auckland) pinned in until we got caught off guard once when we were pushing up and one ball over the top almost caught us. It’s always hard when it’s windy as a goalkeeper because your starting position changes but I thought especially the second half, we coped well. People were putting their bodies on the line and we cleared a couple off the goalline and rode our luck a few times but then I looked at the other end and we had a number of chances where we probably could have killed the game off.”
Bishop Auckland-born McHugh who lives in Spennymoor continued: “We could have tried to kick it long every time especially with the wind blowing but I thought we had players who were brave to get on the ball. When a team get a clean sheet, people look at the goalkeeper but everyone should get the plaudits because it’s about the whole side.”
The Colliers supporters have warmed to McHugh and he was quick to acknowledge their encouragement: “I’m enjoying my time here,” he said, “Ashington are one of the friendliest clubs I have played for and the fans are welcoming. At times we haven’t played well but the fans are quite supportive. They understand that we are a team who are going through a lot of changes and manager Ian Skinner, his assistant Paul Antony and the coaching staff have been spot on with us to be fair.”
Looking ahead, McHugh admitted that the Wansbeck outfit face a ‘tough’ few weeks but the target is to capitalise on Saturday’s result: “On paper, we’ve got a tough few weeks ahead fixture wise away to West Auckland, Consett and Stockton Town - who are near the top end of the table but we just try to kick on with every game,” he said, “We have been a little bit inconsistent and I think it’s because we are a young outfit. We have got to build on today’s result and try to get as many wins as possible and see how far we can go.”