Steve Bowey - 20/11/2018

21 Nov 2018 in Post Match Interview

Steve Bowey - 20/11/2018 Steve Bowey - 20/11/2018

By Brian Bennett

Manager Steve Bowey saw Ashington go down to their fourth home league defeat of the season against Hebburn Town on Tuesday night – but was full of praise for his players describing the display as being the ‘best of the season.’

Michael Richardson’s goal on the half hour proved to be the winner but an upbeat Bowey said afterwards: “Credit to my players because I thought it was the best we have performed all season in terms of the way we played football. There was an air of confidence on the pitch, the lads were looking after the ball, and some of the play tonight - in awful conditions - was superb. I thought first half there was only one team in it and we just needed that little break in front of goal. A couple of times the lads were cutting inside and I was screaming at them to shoot because in the conditions, they could have got a skid or a deflection but I think they were just a bit hesitant in front of goal. They battled all over the park and definitely put a show on for the spectators as well. We lost 1-0 but overall there were loads of positives which came out of the game, the only downside was losing two good players through injury (Karl Ross and Jake Turnbull) which put a bit of a damper on things. You want to take points in every game you play and every side want to perform well but the old cliché of playing well but not getting rewards reared its head again. It’s not rocket science but over the course of the season, if we keep playing like that, we are going to win more games than we lose. We have got to keep believing. We have got some good players in the dressing room and it’s been a difficult time for the club. We have had the new chairman (Brian Shotton) come in and we have had to take massive pay cuts – but credit to the lads again for turning up and performing in the way they did. It is difficult in non league football – no-one says it is an easy ride – but we are all in this together and the work people put in to running a football club is massive. We need all the help we can get and we need the town of Ashington to come and support us even more. If we play like we have done tonight and word gets around, we are going to get a lot more through the turnstiles and that’s ultimately what we are hoping to achieve.”

He continued: “The last few weeks have been hard on everybody but we are not quitters and we want the lads to stick together. We played well at Shildon on Saturday and again tonight and there is a good vibe in the changing rooms. I played at some top clubs in my career and I haven’t had that vibe for a while in non league football. There is a special bond in our changing room especially with the circumstances which have just happened. The lads are happy with their own performances and I cannot ask for any more. I would have loved for us to have taken something out of the game tonight because the lads worked their socks off and put in a performance. They played to the conditions too because first half we had the wind on our backs but we still played football. We got the ball down, and got down the sides and Zak (Atkinson) caused them problems. Second half, the gale force was against us but we still kept trying to play the right way. We got no points but we achieved a lot of confidence out of the performance and have got to dust ourselves down and head for another tough game at Bishop Auckland on Saturday.”

He went on: “I’ve been in this situation before of dominating the play but although we had a couple of half chances, we didn’t really have anything clear cut and when a team go on the counter attack and score with their first effort on goal, it is deflating - but good players react from that. They go again and that’s what I wanted from my lads – a reaction – and we got that. As soon as we went a goal behind, we went to the other end but we just need that little bit of luck in front of goal. We were disappointed with the score line at half time - but I wasn’t concerned with the performance. I felt for the players and it was a tough one to take and it’s frustrating not getting any reward.”

Meanwhile Karl Ross and Jake Turnbull picked up injuries which are likely to see them sidelined for the near future: “Karl (Ross) has a ‘pop’ in his groin and could be out three to four weeks,” added Bowey, “He did it after 15-20 minutes and the injury was just going to get worse so we took him off at half time. After being excellent on Saturday, Jake Turnbull was again turning in a top notch performance after being out long term and I feel for him after this latest setback. I think he has dislocated his shoulder and has gone to hospital to get checked out. I’m gutted for the pair of them because they are young players who want to do well for the club. We haven’t got a big squad at the moment and to get another two out injured is tough. We might get the rub of the green at Bishop Auckland on Saturday - and if we do that, there will be no-one happier than myself.”

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