Colliers avoid Spartans in Senior Cup

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ASHINGTON CFC will travel to face Newcastle United Reserves in the semi-final of the Sage Northumberland Senior Cup while Blyth Spartans FC were drawn away to Newcastle Benfield in the other tie.

Colliers boss Gary Middleton dubbed his team’s tie as being the local equivalent of the recent FA Cup showdown between Manchester United and Crawley Town.

Ashington will be bidding to reach the showpiece final, which is to be held at St James’ Park, for the third year in succession.

Middleton said: “I’m over the moon with the draw because I think it gives the players and the club something to look forward to.

“It’s a great tie in the respect that we are playing a professional club in a semi-final and there’s also a bit of spice attached to it as four lads in my squad – Darren Lough, Jonny Godsmark, James Taylor and Liam Atkin – were formally on United’s books.

“But it’s also like Crawley Town’s trip to Manchester United at Old Trafford in that we will have everything to gain and nothing to lose.

“Obviously I’d have preferred a home game but we’ll be playing on a nice pitch which I’m sure will be good for the type of football we play so I’m quite happy.

“We’ll be the underdogs but with that we should raise our game.”

The two semi-finals are to be played on or before Saturday, April 2.