13 Feb 2018 in General News
By Brian Bennett
Ashington FC player/manager Steve Bowey admitted he would have settled for a share of the spoils ahead of kick off against Stockton Town on Saturday – but the boss could not conceal his overall disappointment following the 3-3 draw after his side allowed the lead to slip on three occasions during the contest.
Damien Stevens scored a brace for the Colliers with Dale Pearson netting the other but the Buildbase FA Vase quarter finalists hit back through Christopher Stockton, Jamie Owens and Nathan Mulligan, the latter in the dying embers of the game.
Bowey said afterwards: “I thought the lads battled well away from home on a tricky 3G pitch and to be fair we would have taken a point before the game - but for them to score in the last minute of the game to equalise is bitter sweet. We went ahead three times and it’s all about holding onto the lead. They [Stockton Town] had a lot of possession but we defended well and were worthy of being ahead 2-1 at half time and just needed to hold out.”
He continued: “There were some great goals on show today and some good football in all but we still had one or two good chances in the final ten minutes only that the ball didn’t quite fall for us. The Stockton Town centre half has also made a great tackle on Dylan [Williamson] to stop a certain goal which would have put us 4-2 ahead and to concede the way we did at the end was disappointing.
It’s frustrating and a hard one to take today but you’ve got to take it on the chin. Overall I was relatively happy with how we played. We are edging closer to securing our first win in 2018 all the time and are nearly there but not quite. They [Stockton Town] will probably think they deserved a point in the end and I thought on reflection a point apiece was fair but when you score three goals away from home you expect to take all three points and that’s the disappointing aspect.
They had a lot of the play without creating a lot and our ‘keeper Conor Grant hasn’t had a save to make. And even after they had levelled in the 89th minute, I thought we could still nick it if we got one more chance.”
Bowey was perturbed with Stockton’s last two goals: “I was disappointed in how we conceded them,” he added, “For the second, the lad has got down the side and put the cross in and we didn’t defend the ball - we didn’t stop the cross and things like that are preventable.
For the equaliser, the ball came from their ‘keeper right over the top and we didn’t set ourselves well and didn’t close down on the edge of the box. To be fair, he [Nathan Mulligan] hit a great strike but if one of our players had reacted to it and got a block in then it’s a different story.
However, we have got to build on what we got – it’s certainly a lot better talking today than last week when we lost.” Striker Dale Pearson caught Bowey’s eye: “I was pleased with Dale’s performance today,” he said, “He was excellent in training on Thursday and got his goal in the end today and it would have been nice had it been the winner.”
He concluded: “The players are still learning and getting better and that first win of the New Year will come.”