Nothing to lose for Ashington

Ashington CFC's Liam Atkin.
Ashington CFC's Liam Atkin.
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ASHINGTON CFC’s stand-in skipper Liam Atkin says his team-mates have got ‘nothing to lose’ when they go head to head with Conference North side Guiseley in their FA Cup clash at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday.

But he has warned the home supporters that his side face a tough encounter.

Atkin has taken over the captain’s armband from injury victim Darren Lough.

“It’s a big game for the club against a team three divisions above us in the pyramid system, but if every one of our players performs to the best of their ability, I can’t see why we can’t cause an upset,” he said.

“We have got big players ourselves who will cause them problems, and we certainly won’t be frightened of them.

“They are strong favourites but they have got everything to lose whilst we have nothing to lose – and there will be no pressure on us.”

Ashington-born Atkin added: “Don’t get me wrong, it is not going to be an easy game, we will have to be on the top of our game as well as needing a bit of luck.

Atkin, pictured, firmly believes the ‘Collier Army’ can play a key role come 3pm on Saturday.

“The supporters were brilliant at Vauxhall Motors in our replay,” he said.

“They were first class and the result probably brought us closer together.

“And they can certainly be a massive help and play a huge part by cheering us on.

“We have picked up three serious injuries in the past few weeks and consequently lost vital players from the squad, but we have nevertheless extended our unbeaten run to ten matches and want to extend it further.”

Atkin, who joined fellow Conference North side Blyth during the close season before returning to Woodhorn Lane recently, was in the Spartans team which lost 5-0 to Guiseley.

He added: “We contributed to our own downfall on that day when individual errors cost us and resulted in their goals.

“But Guiseley, who reached the league play-off final last season, have three or four players in their squad who could step up and play in the Football League and they are a very good side.”

Meanwhile Atkin praised Ashington’s recent acquisition Jamie Clarke, adding: “I had played against Jamie before and I know he’s good.

“He brings a lot of experience to our relatively young side that we’ve never had before, which certainly helps the other lads.”

Admission prices for Saturday will remain unchanged at £5 for adults and £1.50 for concessions.