Manager Skinner delighted with players rising to challenge

Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner looked on as his outfit were forced to come from behind against a ten man Penrith side on Saturday before they ‘successfully carried out the challenge’ with a 3-1 win at The dwmedia Stadium, writes Brian Bennett.

Ashington manager Ian Skinner.
Ashington manager Ian Skinner.

Indeed the first footing Cumbrians – looking to climb away from the bottom of the Ebac Northern League – took the lead with a 13th minute penalty from Jamie Armstrong. The home side levelled on the hour mark through Jordan Lashley and after Matthew Moynan had received his marching orders for a second yellow card offence, the Colliers took all three points with goals in the final five minutes of normal time from Adam Johnson and Dean Briggs.

“The biggest thing for me was the challenge we set the players this week which was to make sure we returned after our break with a win - and we’ve done that,” he said. “There are still lots of things still to work on but lots to be pleased with - in particular the manner in which we attacked in the second half and scored three goals.

"We had two good training sessions in the week leading into today’s game and all we talked about was to make sure we got back into the swing of things and look to win as many games as we can between now and the end of the season so I was more than satisfied.

"Lots of people kept asking me if the three and a half weeks lay off was going to be good or a hindrance and I think in the first half it looked like it was a little bit of the latter. We probably dominated the ball although Penrith did look dangerous on the counter attack. We had a lot of possession and got into some good areas but made the wrong decisions; missed a couple of really good chances and conceded what looked like a penalty in my eyes, so I had no complaints.”

Skinner was delighted with the fitness levels shown by his squad: “We’ve worked the lads quite hard in the trainings sessions and the fitness levels looked good,” he said, “Even right into stoppage time we had lads looking to make runs forward.”

He concluded: “I knew the pitch had been quite firm in places with the heavy frost but it had thawed out and the worrying aspect was the rain which made things more difficult. However, it was nice to be back; I was pleased we got the game played and delighted we picked up three points.”