Nick Gray reflects on the defeat at Newton Aycliffe

Speaking after Tuesday’s 3-1 defeat at league leaders Newton Aycliffe, Bay manager Nick Gray said he was disappointed that not enough of his players performed well enough against what he felt was the best team Whitley had played this season.

“I’ve got no complaints about the result, the best side won. I’m disappointed that not enough of our players ‘turned up’. First goal I couldn’t see what happened, with the weather. A bit disappointed to concede early doors like that but I thought we grew into the first half and if we’d got to half time at 1-0, I’d have been quite pleased because we were better in the second half. But we’ve conceded another poor goal just before half time. Second half we had half a chance where the ball’s dropped in the six yard box and we didn’t do what they did in the first half for their first goal. They reacted quicker in defence, and then we’ve given away another poor goal which was disappointing. They were better than us in both boxes.”

New signing Mark Davison came off the bench for the last half hour and pleased the manager with his performance. “He’s someone who brings something different to us. I thought he did well when he came on. He brings other players into the game and he played a part in the goal. He’ll definitely bring us some more quality to the squad.”

Having just signed the previous day, he started on the bench rather than playing the whole game. “To be fair he’s never seen the lads or played with them so it wouldn’t be fair on the rest of the lads if he just came straight in, playing with strangers. You’ve got to have a bit of faith in the lads you’ve already got. You could see from the time he was on the pitch that he’ll help us. He’ll help Malky. He’ll help us in the final third which I think to be honest and to be fair to the lads is what we need, a bit more commitment; a bit more ruthlessness in the final third and we’ve got to be braver and tougher in defending. It’s disappointing today but they’re the best side we’ve played this season, good luck to them, they were deserved winners. With our lads, I would never fault their effort but our quality was lacking today.”

Referring to the increasingly foggy conditions he added “I think if we were drawing he’d have called the game off at half time but if one team’s 2-0 up at half time and you’re that team, you don’t want to stop. I’d be unhappy if we’re 2-0 up and it’s called off. For the whole game I couldn’t see what was happening on the far side, but the players seemed ok with it. It was difficult and I know the linesman couldn’t see on the far side. However, I’m not going to make an excuse on that. The better side won.”

Reflecting on Whitley’s position in the league he commented “Listen, if at the start of the season you’d said that before today that the league was in our hands, you’d have took that, so we’ll take some positives, but today it’s about being disappointed and tomorrow’s more for reflections and then we dust ourselves down and go again on Saturday.”

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