26 Aug 2018 in Post Match Interview
BOWEY: “DRAW FEELS LIKE A DEFEAT”
By Brian Bennett
The expression on Steve Bowey’s face said it all. The Ashington FC manager was clearly disappointed after his side had not only leaked another three goals in the draw at Penrith on Saturday but with the fact that the Bonny Blues equalised in the first minute of time added on.
An ashen faced Bowey said: “It’s always a tough place to come too but when you concede so early, it’s an uphill battle. I thought the lads responded in the right fashion and went on to control the game without really playing well. The first half was quite an even affair but it’s the same old story where we are shipping goals. With virtually the last kick of the first half, Penrith level at 2-2 and you go in at the break thinking you should be ahead. We started the second half well and they sat back. We had all of the play and for me there was only going to be one team who were going to win the game. When we went 3-2 up with eight minutes left it was game over – all it needed was a bit of game management and we should have gone 4-2 up after having a great chance to kill the game off but it wasn’t to be. I’ve just said in the dressing room, it’s about both boxes and about defending. We have scored three goals away from home yet haven’t come away with the three points and I’m very disappointed. For the final goal which made it 3-3 a throw in has been flicked on and we haven’t dealt with it. It’s a hard one to take because we have played better and lost this season. We haven’t played great today but we should have won.”
He continued: “There is loads to work on. I thought we were wide open and at sixes and sevens first half because players were just not doing the jobs we had asked them to do. There were a lot of individual performances - but as a team we weren’t good enough. An Ashington side who score three goals should be coming here and taking three points and I’ve got that horrible feeling in my stomach that this draw feels like a defeat. We got down the sides quite a number of times in the second half especially but I thought we played within ourselves with lads probably playing to 70 per cent of their capabilities. It was a bit like a pre season game and did we really want to win the game? No not really. In some of our previous performances, we have harried, closed down and have passed the ball with a purpose - today was a bit lethargic and quite laid back if I’m honest. Anyone who knows a little bit of football will realise we deserved to take all three points today but it wasn’t to be. The lads are deflated in the dressing room and none more so than Gareth (McAlindon –assistant manager) and myself. Football is all about playing until the referee blows that final whistle. We switched off and didn’t get the second phase of the goal which has given them the equaliser.”
As for the start of the game where Connor Shields netted for Penrith after only 31 seconds, Bowey said: “We didn’t squeeze up and nobody made it difficult for him. It was easy. You’ve got to be narrow and compact and hard to break down but instead, we are wide open at the moment and every week we are conceding two or three goals - and it’s not good enough. First and foremost to win a game of football you have to keep a clean sheet – we did that against North Shields and won 1-0. There were plenty of positives but also lots of negatives and we have got to work on the things we need to do better. I firmly believe we will pick up points and will turn it around. At the end of the day we have come away from home and got a point and if you had said that before the game the way we have been, would we have taken a point? Maybes but we are disappointed not to get the three. We will dust ourselves down and have a good week on the training ground before we go again at Sunderland RCA on Saturday.”