14 Apr 2018 in Post Match Interview
By Brian Bennett
Ashington FC manager Steve Bowey admitted that his side were ‘second best’ as West Auckland completed a seasons double over them at the Wanted Stadium on Saturday.
Anthony Bell scored twice with Ross Colquhoun also on target as the homesters won in a canter. Bowey said afterwards: “West Auckland have got some good players and in the first half were by far the better side. They moved the ball well and had good runners off the ball but even when they were out of possession they were sharper at closing down. The first goal was very unfortunate on our behalf – for me it looked like offside but sometimes decisions don’t go your way and you have to regroup. The second goal came from a free-kick where we didn’t defend the box and were guilty of marking on the wrong side and if you do that you get punished. We found ourselves 2-0 down chasing the game and West kept the ball well and dominated.”
He continued: “At half time, I asked the lads to show a bit more quality and endeavour and to have more desire than them (West Auckland) - and they did show that. West got the third and after that it was all about learning about my players as to how they would adapt to the situation of being 3-0 down whilst I also wanted a little bit of character from them. We were unfortunate with two or three chances second half but to be honest, we didn’t deserve anything from the game.
Looking at the positives, we’ve created chances second half but we didn’t have that bit of quality in the final third. If I’m totally honest, everything looked hard for us in terms of when we were in possession and as we tried to find that killer pass.”
Home stopper Shane Bland pulled off a sensational stop from a Kyle Downey header in the 57th minute and Bowey said: “Goals change games and if Downey’s header had gone in it would have given us a lift and that bit of momentum. Would it have changed the outcome? It’s football and it’s hindsight and nobody knows the answer but I have been involved in games where we have been 3-0 down and pulled things back to win 4-3. West Auckland might have panicked but it’s a tough place to haul three goals back and we didn’t put them on the back foot enough throughout the 90 minutes. Now we have got to dust ourselves down for a tough week ahead. We have got a decent squad and didn’t pick up any injuries today which was a plus point for us. West Auckland are in third spot in the league table for a reason – and I had no qualms about the result. They had better movement, closed down better than us and picked up second balls whereas we were second best all over the park. After the interval, we gave it a go but West took their foot off the gas and game managed the situation.”