Middleton wants Ashington at their best for Senior Cup tie at Blyth

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Ashington FC boss Gary Middleton says his side will need to at the top of their game in next Tuesday night’s Northumberland Senior Cup quarter-final against Blyth Spartans at Croft Park.

Middleton, who wore Blyth’s colours during his playing days, said: “Make no mistake about it, this is a very tough draw.

“However, it is a contest which we will go into in the right frame of mind and be positive in the knowledge that we know we have a chance.

“Without doubt we will have to be at our very best and will need to defend a lot better than we have done all season as we only have four clean sheets.

“I will be looking for a first class performance on the night without question.”

Colliers skipper Andrew Johnson said: “It’s a tough draw but also a great draw.

“We were the better team over both games last year against Blyth in the same competition and were unfortunate not to progress.

“I’d like to think we will perform in the same way, obviously with a different result, and the lads are looking forward to the 7.30pm kick-off.”

Blyth won a replay 3-2 in last season’s semi-final after the two side’s had drawn 2-2 at Woodhorn Lane in the first fixture.

Next week’s tie was moved to Tuesday, November 25, after the November 18 fixture was postponed when Halesowen claimed a late equaliser against Spartans to force a replay in their FA Trophy clash.

But Ashington travel to face Newcastle Benfield in the FA Carlsberg Vase this Saturday and if that ends in a stalemate the Vase replay would take precedence over the Senior Cup.