Rival boss tips Ashington for top

Ashington AFCAshington AFC
Ashington AFC
Blyth Town manager Michael Connor has tipped neighbours Ashington for promotion - ahead of the new Ebac Northern League season which is rapidly approaching, writes Brian Bennett.

Connor looked on as his side went down 1-0 on Friday night after a goal by Paul Robinson early in the game against the Colliers – but although disappointed with the final score, he was nevertheless generally pleased with the way the game went.

Connor said afterwards: “It was a very good work out for us. What we didn’t want was to get a good hiding.

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"We knew manager Ian Skinner has gone out and brought a lot of quality into what was already a good squad so our idea was to be more disciplined.

"Last week we beat Seaton Delaval and played more of a fast flowing game but we knew against Ashington that we needed to sit a little bit deeper, be disciplined and try and hit them on the counter attack.

"There were a lot of plusses for us. We have got a lot of new players and we are trying to do things the right way.”

He continued: “Obviously you never want to lose but you would take a 1-0 defeat against Ashington. And when you see them bring on their substitutes – including one of my old players Adam Johnson - you just think, wow!

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"Fair play to Ian Skinner and Ashington to put that kind of squad together - and they are a very good team.

"Everything was to the inch and precise about them and there were no misplaced passes at all.

"It was good for us because last season we played North Shields and lost 7-3 and went down 6-3 against Consett – so it was a case of what could we do against a team who in my eyes are probably the favourites for the ENL first division title.”

Skinner was delighted after the final whistle when he said: “It was a brilliant game for us. Credit to Blyth Town who were full of energy and full of running which we knew they would be because they are putting together quite a youthful side.

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"I don’t think we ever really looked in much trouble. The physical output was very good and it was comfortable. I thought the energy and application which they showed was positive and that’s what it’s all about.”