Ashington are favourites but we’re not afraid – Harmison

James Harmison.
James Harmison.
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Bedlington defender James Harmison admits Ashington go into Saturday’s local derby clash at Woodhorn Lane as favourites.

But the seasoned defender has assured everyone connected with the Welfare Park outfit that the players have nothing to lose as they look to avoid a season’s double, having lost the corresponding fixture 3-0 at home in August.

Harmison, who firmly believes his team-mates can avoid the relegation trap door, said: “Make no mistake it’s going to be tough, these games are always hard.

“Ashington are having a cracking season and will be massive favourites on the day, but we have got nothing to lose and will be giving it a right go.

“We have improved since the start of December and are doing OK.

“In our last outing we beat Billingham Town quite convincingly 5-0 and should have scored more – we are not afraid of the Colliers.

“We have got some young lads in the squad and it will be a good experience for them to play in the derby.

“We had such a good start to the season and were top of the league when we came unstuck against Ashington at home, and the defeat hurt the lads.

“It was hard to take at the time and from a personal point of view, I have certainly not forgot the outcome.”

The Ashington born lynchpin added: “The result means so much to both clubs and also to both sets of fans and we will be well up for the contest.

“It will be a good examination for us to play against the likes of Glen Taylor and Andrew Johnson, who are amongst the best in the division, whilst Marc Walton scores goals for fun – and it will be a strong test for fellow central defender Andrew Leeson and myself.”

And Harmison believes the Terriers will retain their first division status come the end of the season.

“I think we can stay up,” he said.

“We have got 13 games left to pick up points and make sure that happens.”