Ashington manager pleased with ‘comfortable’ away victory

Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner was clearly delighted after watching his side claim a thoroughly deserved 3-0 victory on the road on Saturday as they brushed aside Newcastle Benfield at Sam Smiths Park, writes Brian Bennett.

By Keith Hamblin
Monday, 28th February 2022, 11:26 am
Ashington manager Ian Skinner.
Ashington manager Ian Skinner.

And afterwards, Skinner was pleased on several fronts when he said: “First and foremost, I thought it was a good professional performance from the players. We spoke beforehand about needing to improve our away form.

"Our home record is second to none but we talked about being a little bit more difficult to play against (away from home) where the onus is on the home team really to take the game to us whereas sometimes we go away and take the game to them and we get caught and end up with high scoring games which we have seen in recent weeks.

"So today we said: “let’s be brave; let them as the home team bring the game to us and then when we do get the ball and we transition from defence to attack.

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"However, what was equally pleasing today was visibly being able to watch that out of possession, people wanted to run to recover back into position; people wanted to run to get the ball back and that’s all we ask of them.”

From a personal angle, after being involved in the game for many years Skinner notched another ‘first’: “It’s probably – and without being disrespectful - as comfortable as I’ve ever been in a game,” he said, “I just felt from very early on as if we were in control without being brilliant.

"Our ‘keeper Adam (McHugh) has made a couple of good saves to be fair but we have limited them (Newcastle Benfield) to very, very little. For us, we have scored three different goals; Karl Ross’s effort was from the edge of the box and was a good strike; Luke Salmon has put over a great ball for the second goal for Lewis Suddick and although the third one scored by Salmon is a bit of a scramble, it was welcome and pleasing to see - because Ashington don’t score too many like that! Benfield then had to decide whether to stick or twist and as the home team the onus is on them to keep having a go. Consequently it opened up more space for us and we could possibly have had a couple more - but I’ll not be greedy and if anybody had offered me a 3-0 win before the game - as well as a relatively comfortable afternoon - I would have gladly accepted it.”