Bay manager Mick Mulhern gives his reaction to Saturday’s 2-0 defeat by Stockton Town at a windswept Hillheads, with both goals coming in the second half.
“The wind was a big factor particularly in the first half. We were playing the ball a bit too far forward and were having difficulty controlling it. Both teams were suffering the same fate I think. In the first half the wind was certainly stronger and there were few chances. We knew they were very dangerous – they’d got four wins on the bounce and they’re third top goal scorers in the league so we knew they’d be a tough nut to crack. So when we got through to half time level, we thought that even though they’d now got the wind behind them, there was good reason for us to think we could get something from the game. It was about taking chances really and we stopped them playing in the first half. They hadn’t broken us down. They’ve got some very good players who we were aware of but they weren’t having a major impact on the game and hadn’t broken through. In fact I think Ross had just one save to make in the first half.
“In the second half, even though we lost the game, we’ve had the better chances. They had pretty much two chances on target and they took them both but the goals were avoidable. We could have defended both better but we’re a young team and we’re sometimes going to make little mistakes at times. We’ve had four really good chances to their two and unfortunately we haven’t been able to take any of them. But the pleasing thing is we stayed in the game and had a couple of good chances. I can’t believe one of them didn’t go in. But then when they got the second one it stung us a little bit but we were still doing ok, having a go and looking to get back in the game. It certainly hasn’t fizzled out. I can look back on some previous games where once we went behind it was done and dusted but today, as in our past few games we still had some fire in our bellies and tried to create chances and that’s the good thing. Ross (Logan) has done well, his kicking was consistent and I certainly wouldn’t put their goals down to him. Stockton are very good side, they’re fighting to get in the top four. I was quite pleased we caused problems for them.
“We’re in a tough run of fixtures through January and February and it doesn’t get any easier next weekend when we go to Bishop Auckland. We’ll be aiming to upset them as we did to Dunston and in the draw at Consett. Then we have Hebburn who have only one thing to play for now they’re out of the Vase. We knew this was going to be a hard month but the pleasing thing from my point of view is that the young group are standing up and being counted every week. No teams are cutting us to pieces any more. We’ve surprised a few teams and more good results will come in time as long as we cut out the little errors. It was difficult today, not just because of the wind but after the recent weather it hadn’t been possible to get to work on the pitch as normal so the ball was bobbling around but it’s the same for both teams of course. We tried to play football and do the right things, getting from back to front through the thirds as quickly as we could.”