08 Jan 2020 in Post Match Interview
SKINNER: “WE DID OKAY FOR LARGE SPELLS OF THE GAME”
By Brian Bennett
Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner was philosophical about his sides showing despite a 3-0 defeat against Hebburn Town at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday: “I’m obviously disappointed to lose - but there’s being disappointed and disappointed. What I mean by that is that a few weeks previously when we have lost I’ve been really disappointed, probably down and deflated a little bit and although I’m disappointed we have lost the game today - because I don’t want to lose any match - I thought performance wise we did okay for large spells of the game. We were coming down the hill with the wind in the first half which we talked about because it helped us last week and it helped us grow into the game and I thought for the first 25-30 minutes, it was a relatively even contest where we were on the front foot and were looking to force things. Dylan Williamson, on the wide right coming in off the line, was getting into little half spaces and causing them (Hebburn) some problems and we had a couple of crosses which flashed across the box without testing the ‘keeper. But in true Ashington fashion, we’ve then had a bad five minutes where we conceded two poor goals. We lost Callum Johnston to an injury which seemed to disrupt us a little bit so after that we moved Dylan (Williamson) inside and brought Lewis Robson on. Lewis’s attitude has been first class; he never misses a training session; he listens and tries; he has been patient and I thought he deserved to come on early in the game to have an opportunity. That coincided as we lost our way a little bit and then in a blink of an eye we were 2-0 down to two avoidable goals, the second being a calamity of errors. We gave the ball away then recovered but gave the ball away again then there is a scramble on the edge of our box.”
He continued: “Second half we talked about being on the front foot because the next goal was massive. In my opinion the third goal in any contest is massive. If it goes to 2-1 we are back in the game and it’s game on but if it goes 3-0 then we are looking at damage limitation. We talked about one or two ways to play up the hill against the wind where we did really well against Whickham and I thought it worked for us. For 20 minutes we were on the front foot with Hebburn maybes having one eye - without being disrespectful to Ashington - on next weeks FA Vase tie. There attitude may have been to sit in and play on the break and if they scored again okay – but they didn’t have too whereas we had to break them down. I thought our build up play and approach play up until the final third was good. Once we got in and around the final third, our final ball let us down or we slowed the play down where we needed to keep the tempo up.”
He went on: “The third goal was really poor where we got caught with a goal kick. Defensively we need to do better. Three-nil probably deflates us and the game petered out although I was pleased we kept going. Again in the past we have possibly been guilty of feeling a bit sorry for ourselves so I tried to be really vocal on the sidelines and encouraged us to be positive. We fashioned one or two half chances but probably didn’t work their ‘keeper enough in all honesty.”
Meanwhile the boss added that the news Callum Johnston - who was helped from the field with a knee injury - is better than first feared and the striker may not be out of action for too long.