Ashington manager ‘in shock’ after defeat at Whickham

Ashington manager Ian Skinner.Ashington manager Ian Skinner.
Ashington manager Ian Skinner.
Ashington manager Ian Skinner emerged from the dressing room following his sides 5-3 away defeat at Whickham on Saturday and revealed: “I’m still in shock,” writes Brian Bennett.

The Colliers went ahead in the contest on no fewer than three occasions but gave an abject second half performance, capitulating in the final ten minutes and Skinner said: “To be honest I’m still in shock that we have lost the game 5-3 despite being really poor and below par.

"We were 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 up and when you go 3-2 ahead with only 14 minutes remaining you should never lose the game - the very least you should come away with is a point.

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"If someone beforehand had stated those statistics to me and that we were going to lose 5-3, I wouldn’t have believed them - but it’s happened and it needs to be addressed quickly.

"The fifth goal you take because defender Ben Harmison has gone up front and stayed up there and we are all over the shop a little bit. It’s one of those situations where you are losing 4-3 and you take a risk to try to make it 4-4 - but the chances are you might also concede and then the game has gone from you.”

Reflecting on a first period which saw the Colliers go in at the break holding a slender 1-0 advantage, Skinner said: “It was a game of contrasting styles (of play) to be honest. We knew it would be.

"We know that Whickham look to get the ball forward as quickly as they can and we know they are big and physical so it’s something we always challenge our players about. We have got some technically excellent footballers who want to get the ball down and play but I just thought today we were way below par both in and out of possession.

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"Out of possession we didn’t work hard enough to make it difficult for them and in possession we were really sloppy. We didn’t play to the levels we are capable of.

"After the break I just thought we were miles off and were really, really poor. Again out of possession as a team we didn’t seem to defend. I think that is three or four times now this season where we have been away from home and have shipped four of five goals – and that’s not good enough.”

For Saturday’s 3pm kick off - against a Bishop Auckland side who lifted themselves out of the bottom three following a 2-0 win at Sunderland RCA at the weekend - midfielder Paul Robinson is unavailable.