14 Oct 2020 in Post Match Interview
SKINNER: “NO TEAM SHOULD LOSE WHEN THEY GO AHEAD SO LATE”
By Brian Bennett
Furious Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner found it hard to hide his disappointment after his side had taken the lead through substitute Jack Butler late in the game at Whitley Bay on Tuesday night only to concede a minute later.
The dramatic match ended drawn 4-4 and following Matty Weirs’ equaliser for the Seahorses, the Colliers consequently squandered the opportunity of making it seven consecutive wins in a row. Skinner had seen his side come back three times in an unbelievable opening 33 minutes and he said afterwards: “It’s definitely disappointing not to win the game when you score to go ahead in the 88th minute. All in all though, it was a crazy, crazy game of football and I don’t ever want to be involved in one like that again to be fair. Did we deserve to win the match? Possibly not - but you shouldn’t lose the lead in a game of football when you edge ahead so late on. After we went 4-3 up, everything was wrong from the restart - we dropped deep; we invited them to put the ball into the box; we didn’t defend the box and then we looked for excuses looking across at the assistant referee. Whether we thought the lad was onside or offside, we should have dealt with it better. Consequently I’m very frustrated but when you look at the game as a whole did we do enough – I tend to think a draw was probably a fair result.”
Although his outfit shipped an equal amount of goals as the hosts, the boss spoke about his sides defending as being a ‘collective’ issue rather than the back four taking the brunt of the criticism: “It was absolute disastrous defending throughout and that’s not just the back four or goalkeeper but the team collectively one to 11,” he said, “We tried to sort things out at half time and didn’t even mention what had gone on in the first half. We were trying to get some sort of organisation when we didn’t have the ball in the second half and for periods it got scrappy then for the last ten minutes the game seemed to open up again.”
With winger Richard Coulson causing problems down the flank, Skinner made a change after half an hour, withdrawing Thomas Kalthoeber and replacing him with Ben Sampson. However, the latter who had been out for a few weeks with a hamstring injury, suffered a recurrence and just before the interval, new signing Luke Salmon was forced to come off the bench and slot in at right back: “I probably got some things wrong tonight,” admitted Skinner, “We had won six in a row and it was already a difficult heavy surface to play on tonight and potentially I should have considered freshening the side up. One or two of the players certainly looked a little bit leggy. They were causing us problems down the right and I made a change taking Thomas (Kalthoeber) off. It was a little game of cat and mouse because we were asking Bobby Taylor to stay high as he was getting lots of joy so it was basically a battle of who could defend one v one the best.”
He went on: “Bobby (Taylor) took a whack just before half time and said at the interval that he didn’t think he could continue. Then we had all sorts of changes. We had Luke Salmon who has just come to the club – a left back or left sided midfielder - playing right back and we ended up with Jack Butler - who has just returned from a hamstring injury - probably having to play longer than I wanted him too. Having said all that, if I had brought a different substitute on, I would have had to change the shape which means even more alterations. We sucked it up and to be fair Jack’s goal should have been the winner.”
Ashington travel to Lancashire on Saturday for their rescheduled Buildbase FA Vase tie against Nelson after the original game last weekend was called off due to a waterlogged surface: “I think we’ll be working on out of possession in training on Thursday,” said the boss who added that Ben Sampson is ruled out of the contest with Bobby Taylor and David Luke requiring fitness tests.