By Brian Bennett
Ashington FC manager Steve Bowey described Brian Close’s late equaliser for Guisborough Town as a ‘sucker punch.’ Close headed home with only six minutes of normal time remaining and even though five minutes of stoppage time was played, the game finished level at 1-1.
Bowey said: “I’m definitely delighted with a point. We have come away from home and would have settled for a draw before the game. We started the first half really well and created three or four great chances. They [Guisborough] had a lot of possession but we worked out quite quickly what they were doing and we sat deep, won the defensive header and broke.
I would have been delighted if we had gone in 1-0 up at the break but it could have been four or five up and the contest would have been over. However, I was disappointed that we didn’t work the Guisborough ‘keeper [Jordan Nixon] when we got them great opportunities.” He continued: “Second half we defended well and moved the ball well. We had the sending off of Luke Salmon, which I don’t want to make comment about then Dale Pearson - who had just come on as a substitute - scored a cracking goal.
We just needed to hold on but they scored and it was a bit of a sucker punch really because the lads have put an absolute massive shift in today. I cannot fault them – but only praise each and every one of them. What we are doing in training, the players replicated it on the pitch today but football is a funny old game and you have to put the ball into the back of the net. Guisborough have been doing well in recent games so I’m pleased we came away with some reward.”
Meanwhile striker Michael Chilton and midfielder Paul Antony have both moved on to Blyth AFC and Bowey said: “Both players wanted to leave. I have some great young players at our club and today there were some great performances. Callum Johnston had his first game and Jay Hornsby came on. We have got a very young side which are Ashington FC’s future and I want to build on performances like today with the youth we have got because we can only get better.
Since last Wednesday, I’ve been a busy man as I’m looking to bring a few new players in. I’m over the moon with squad already but if I can add to it then fine. We have a few suspensions coming up but we are going to have a good week’s training, work hard and enjoy it like today before we look forward to our trip to Seaham Red Star on Saturday.”