IN hindsight Michael Tait may have had an inkling it would happen – only he probably did not even think to mention it to Ashington boss Gary Middleton when he put pen to paper after signing for the Colliers from Conference North side Harrogate Town in late January.
As a rule, midfielders like Tait would normally revel in the achievement of a hat-trick – except in this case his treble is an unwanted coincidence.
For Tait, 23, who works for an air conditioning firm in Newcastle, the air turned blue last week when he suffered a small tear in his hamstring towards the end of Ashington’s 3-1 win over Consett.
Incredibly, the injury has happened at the same time – the first week in March – for the past three years.
An unhappy Tait said at the weekend: “My hamstring had been a bit tight during the game and I was trying to run it off, but a minute from the end I was chasing back and it went.
“Just why I pick up hamstring injuries on a specific week every year is beyond me.
“The past two seasons it’s happened when I was with Blyth Spartans.
“At Croft Park I did a lot of work on my back to take the pressure off the hamstring, but it’s strange because I’ve had no problems earlier in the season.
“I’m gutted because after joining Ashington and having established myself there are only around a dozen games left, and as I reckon I’m going to be out for about three weeks, I’m set to miss a big chunk of the run in.
“I’ve just started to get used to the way the Colliers play and the league itself.
“I had never played at this level before and there are a lot of different styles in the STL Northern League and I’m learning that you have got to mix your game up.”
With an eye to the future, Tait added: “The club are having a great season up to now and our goal is to finish as high up the league as possible with a view to doing even better next season.
“I’m enjoying my time at Ashington – it’s a club you want to play for.”