By Brian Bennett
Ashington FC player/manager Steve Bowey pulled no punches after his side had been dumped out of the Techflow Marine Northumberland Senior Cup against Blyth AFC at South Newsham on Wednesday night.
Skipper David Robinson’s goal on the hour proved to be the decisive strike and Bowey said afterwards: “We weren’t good enough right from the first whistle. We weren’t brave in terms of looking for the ball and we didn’t compete as well as what we had done in the first three games since I took over as boss. We were second best, didn’t pick up second balls and weren’t a threat up front. Tonight it was a local derby and a massive game for everybody. I want to win as much as the Ashington fans do and what has disappointed me the most is that we didn’t give it a go – we only came into the game in the last five minutes when we pushed players forward.” Bowey thought the home side were more up for the challenge: “First half we were slow to the second ball,” he said, “We didn’t compete or get down the sides nor did we move the ball as well as in the previous games. I thought we were lazy both in possession and out of possession. We sat off them but we didn’t dictate anything and I didn’t think we wanted to win the game as much as they [Blyth AFC] did and it showed.” Bowey was also ‘massively disappointed’ with the goal his side conceded: “Conditions weren’t great out there and you have to play to the conditions at times and we didn’t do that,” he added, “For the lead up to the goal, it was a sloppy ball in midfield and we didn’t deal with it. They broke and I was massively disappointed with the manner of it. I said at half time to play to the conditions and to get the ball forward but we got caught on the ball and it was a sucker punch. Once Blyth got the goal, they had something to hold onto - but we didn’t do enough to get back into the game.” With 20 minutes remaining, Colliers skipper Craig Scott was sent off by referee Darren Wylam who consulted with his assistant before brandishing the red card: “I didn’t see what happened so I cannot comment,” said Bowey, “After the dismissal, we showed a little bit of fire but we needed that from the start. We didn’t lose the game when we went down to ten men – we lost the game from the first whistle.” Striker Damien Stevens went straight into the starting line up against his former club and Bowey said: “I thought he tried too hard tonight. Damien is a good player who has got pace. He was up against his old team mates who didn’t give him a sniff and you could tell he was getting frustrated.” Meanwhile for Saturday’s trip to Guisborough, Michael Chilton and David Edwards come back into contention after serving suspensions.