By Brian Bennett
Ashington FC’s highly experienced defender Wayne Buchanan spoke of ‘a brilliant day all round’ after the 3-0 win over Jarrow Roofing at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday. Buchanan who was once again outstanding at the heart of the Colliers rearguard and helped them keep a clean sheet, also got on the goals trail with the second of the three strikes which sewed up a comfortable first victory for the recently installed management team of Steve Bowey and Gareth McAlindon.
Buchanan, born in Banbridge, County Down, Northern Ireland, said afterwards: “Steve and Gareth have been really positive since the day they came in. Although we lost 2-1 at Sunderland RCA last week, I thought we deserved to get something from the game, so it was great to get a win not just for ourselves but for them as well.
We knew Jarrow Roofing were on a bad run but from our point of view we knew that if we were complacent they would punish us.” Team Valley based Buchanan – a teaching assistant - continued: “We spoke at half time about not being complacent but we came out second half and for the first five minutes we were sloppy.
Our ‘keeper Conor Grant made a good save then after a little period, we performed better - although we didn’t play as well as we can. That is sometimes a confidence issue where as a side you just want to get the win and some people maybes get a bit edgy.
We are a good side and Steve [Bowey] and Gareth [McAlindon] are telling us to trust ourselves, to get on the ball and believe in ourselves. Hopefully the win today will lift everybody - and the clean sheet was a bonus. However, it’s not just the defence who defends or forwards who attack – we all work together.”
Buchanan was delighted to register his first goal of the campaign: “It was a great ball in on the second phase by Paul Antony and I was thinking that the defender might block my run,” he said, “So it was nice to get in front of him and make sure I got my head on it and apply a good connection to put it away.”
Ashington make the short trip to face Blyth AFC in the Techflow Marine Northumberland Senior Cup on Wednesday [November 8] and Buchanan added: “In every match it’s about going out to try and get the win and it’s the old cliché that the next game is the most important.
We have got old friends playing for them [Blyth AFC] and both teams will be going all out for a win. From our point of view, it would be nice to get a run in the competition because it was the last trophy which Ashington won with a 3-0 victory over Whitley Bay in the 2012/13 season.
It will be a difficult game on Wednesday but we will be ready and prepared for it.” Meanwhile, age is proving to be no barrier for the 35 year old who said: “Touch wood I’m feeling as fit as I’ve ever been and that comes through playing regularly. I’m really enjoying my football and just want to keep playing for as long as I can.”