Middleton mystified by Gainsborough Trinity’s second-half decline at Witton

Harry Middleton in action for Gainsborough Trinity at Witton Albion on Saturday. (PHOTO BY: John Rudkin).
Harry Middleton in action for Gainsborough Trinity at Witton Albion on Saturday. (PHOTO BY: John Rudkin).

Midfielder Harry Middleton spoke of his frustration after Gainsborough Trinity had let all three points slip in their latest BetVictor Northern Premier League, Premier Division match on Saturday.

Middleton was annoyed that Trinity failed to make the most of a promising first-half performance to go down 1-0 away to Witton Albion.

“In the first half, I thought we did all right,” the 24-year-old former Doncaster Rovers man told Gainsborough Trinity TV.

“It wasn’t pretty, but we had good bits of play, worked hard and won a lot of second balls.

“But in the second half, we just didn’t get going. We started so slowly and were never anywhere near it.

“It was a performance not up to the standards that we expect, and even after we went 1-0 down, we never looked like getting back into it. We just lacked ideas.

“We had a lot of chances and half-chances, and plenty of set-pieces in the first half which, on another day, if one or two had gone in, would have made it a different game.

“If we had done the same in the second half, eventually one of those chances would have gone in. But, for whatever reason, we took our foot off the gas and struggled.”

Adding to the anguish for Middleton was that he felt Trinity coped well with a difficult pitch at Witton’s Chapel Street ground, and that the only goal of the game stemmed from a mistake by goalkeeper Joe Green, and was Witton’s only strike on target throughout the match.

“We knew what to expect about the pitch,” he said. “We spoke about it beforehand, so we played into the channels, which we did well in the first half. However, in the second half, we stopped doing it.

“The goal was a good one, but we should have stopped things earlier. It shouldn’t have been a corner in the first place, but then we should have dealt with it and defended it.”

The defeat left Trinity just two points off the foot of the table after their opening six league matches, with only Buxton, Stafford Rangers and Radcliffe beneath them.

They now take a break from league action as this Saturday’s FA Cup tie at Rushall Olympic follows Tuesday night’s league cup match at Spalding United.

Middleton added: “That’s a good thing about this league in that you don’t get long to dwell on defeats like Saturday’s.

“FA Cup ties are always big games, and we have played well in our two games so far, looking really solid and focused.

“So, hopefully, we can put a good performance in and get ourselves going because we are not where we should be at the minute.”