Ian Skinner - 12/09/2020

14 Sep 2020 in Post Match Interview

Ian Skinner - 12/09/2020 Ian Skinner - 12/09/2020


By Brian Bennett

Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner sent out a message to his players that they have got to start and learn from mistakes following their exit at West Auckland in the preliminary round of this season’s Emirates FA Cup.

The Colliers went out 3-0 on penalties after the contest finished 3-3 and a naturally disappointed Skinner said afterwards: “I know it’s a cruel way to go out but you know beforehand that the game has got to be decided on the day and if it’s a draw after 90 minutes then it goes to a shoot out. When it goes to penalties I’m a firm believer of then asking the players who wants to take one - and that’s exactly what I did. I commend the lads who said they would take one but unfortunately the first three have stepped up and missed and we are out of the competition.”

He continued: “On the game itself, I thought the first half was scrappy. They (West Auckland) had a couple of really good chances and obviously they missed a penalty when Adam McHugh has made a good save. We have had to shuffle the pack during the first half a little bit and made some changes to try and change the game slightly. Then Dean Briggs has scored a really, really good individual goal, where he has picked the ball up on the half way line, drove at their back four and has cut inside before bending one inside the far post. With 41 minutes on the clock you think ‘great’ - even though I’ll admit that on the balance of play it was slightly fortuitous - and four more minutes will get you to half time 1-0 up. But within 60 seconds it’s 1-1 and you see it happen so often in football that you are most vulnerable after you have just scored. They’ve kicked off following our goal and we’ve just had a loss of composure and have dived in trying to win balls we were never going to win and ultimately they have broken through and scored.”

He went on: “We talked about one or two things in the dressing room and then bang - within ten seconds of the second half, they played a big ball in behind from kick off which lots of teams do, the ball is running out of play and we head it out for a corner and they score from it and you think ‘do we just like making it difficult for ourselves?’ Then we showed some great character to get back in at 2-2 again after great play by Briggs where the ball has fallen to Lee Scott in the box and he’s tucked it away. But within two minutes we are 3-2 down. Again it was a goal where they have cut inside and rolled it to the man on the edge of the box and no-one has gone to press the ball and he’s had a touch out of his feet. Full credit to him (Adam Mitchell) because from 20 yards he has bent it in - but the defender hasn’t got close enough to stop him from shooting and he has actually hindered our ‘keeper (Adam McHugh) because what he has done is to give the attacker a target to bend it around and the ‘keeper then can’t see the ball until it comes beyond the defender. Fair play to our lads who rolled their sleeves up and had chances through Briggs - who I thought was excellent along with David Luke – and we have dragged ourselves back in it at 3-3 and we looked like the team who were going to go on and win it if the truth be known.”

Skinner added: “We get to penalties - miss all three - and they go through and we wish them all the best in the next round. We probably say it’s one too many. From 2-1 down to 2-2; 3-2 down to 3-3 then you have to pick yourself up again to try and win the penalty shoot out - and it was probably a step too far. I’m going to start to sound like a broken record but certainly all three goals were avoidable – that said we had to change our back four three times today. The attitude to keep coming back was good. At times we play really well when we can play little short triangles and get the ball into Dean Briggs in the ten and we do look effective. Also to factor in is the fact that I had to reckon without 12 players and that’s no disrespect to the lads who have been involved today but we had some big players missing especially at the top end of the pitch and at the back.”

He continued: “I didn’t want to be right but I think I made some predictions that we may be involved in high scoring games this season but I just wish we were on the other end of the result. Football is about fine margins. Technically we have drawn today albeit lost on penalties, won one and lost two others but the fine margin is we could have been sat before the game today having won two and lost one and it would have been a far different conversation. We have got to keep perspective but we have got to start learning from our mistakes and that is the biggest thing.”


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