By Brian Bennett
Ashington FC player/manager Steve Bowey saw his side win their second match under his leadership on Tuesday night with a 2-0 verdict over Billingham Synthonia at Woodhorn Lane - but the boss admitted afterwards that it was torture to watch.
“It was a great result with a clean sheet as well but I wasn’t too pleased with the performance and it was torture to watch,” he said, “Football is a results business – so in that respect, I have got to be happy with the three points. The first half was a scrappy affair and the wind played a big part in the game but we didn’t get the ball down or move it around sharp enough. I thought we were lazy. We didn’t work hard enough off the ball and we certainly didn’t work hard enough when we had possession.
However, we defended well and I’ve got to give the lads a bit of credit for that. The first 45 minutes was disappointing as a spectacle because the fans want to see some good football along with good performances - but it just wasn’t one of those games tonight.” He continued: “We got off to a perfect start in the second half when we took the lead but did we build on that – no, not really.
We were content. Did they [Billingham Synthonia] look like scoring – maybes they did but my lads played within themselves tonight. We have a young team and we kept giving the ball away.” Bowey came off the bench for the final quarter hour – and was involved in Ashington’s decisive second goal in the first minute of time added on: “We needed a bit of experience just to calm things down because the ball was like a hot potato and the lads were making wrong decisions,” he said, “We didn’t touch the ball for good spells of the game and we just needed somebody with a calming influence to get a hold of it and to take the sting out of the game.
Yes, it was nice to be involved with the goal but I have just said to the lads in the dressing room that we have won two and drawn two of our last four league games, so you can’t grumble about that.” Bowey handed out praise to central defender Wayne Buchanan who made his return to the side after serving a suspension: “I thought Wayne was excellent,” he added, “He’s a warrior and a true leader and in games like tonight where it is not going to be pretty and you have to grind out results, we could have done with a few more like him.”
For Saturday’s home clash against West Auckland, Bowey is hoping to include in his squad new signing Chris Carr, Tony Lancaster, Kyle Downey and Tony Stephenson – the latter who was suffering from ‘flu which forced him to miss the Billingham match.