02 Apr 2018 in Post Match Interview
McALINDON: “The lads dug in and showed a lot of price”
By Brian Bennett
Assistant manager Gareth McAlindon had nothing but admiration for the Ashington players on Saturday. During the first half against title chasing Marske United, McAlindon saw the Colliers go down to nine men after Jay Hornsby and Tony Stephenson had both been red carded, the former as early as the 13th minute.
The Teesiders ran out 3-0 victors but the unity of the Woodhorn Lane squad saw Steve Bowey’s number two hand out the highest praise to the squad as they dug in and showed a lot of pride: “The half time team talk was about the lads showing character and getting together as a group,” he said, “With 9 versus 11, I don’t think you are going to win a game and especially against a top team like Marske who are well organised but credit to our lads because they all worked hard; stayed in the game and weren’t embarrassed.
We got up the pitch when we could and even in the last five minutes they were sprinting back to get behind the ball. The early decision to send Jay Hornsby off and the consequent penalty from which Marske went ahead, took the sting out of everything. The lads had to change their mindset and to be fair they have dug in and showed a lot of pride.”
He continued: “I thought we started the game okay. Marske pulled us around a little bit and they are a side who have got plenty of movement but we looked pretty solid and to be honest it was us who got in a couple of times down the side and with a bit of better quality we may have got a goal from it. Then Jay (Hornsby) is sent off.
Obviously that is going to change any game but we were in shock.” McAlindon had no qualms about Stephenson’s sending off – whilst at the same time describing goalkeeper Conor Grant as “top class”: “It was a rash decision by Tony who is an experienced player but he held his hands up and apologised to the lads,” said McAlindon, “Conor made a great save from the resultant penalty - but I think he is a top class goalkeeper at this level in any case who has got a terrific attitude.”