ASHINGTON CFC chairman Ian Lavery spoke this week of the problems which have arisen after the Colliers were drawn away to Cornwall-based Bodmin Town in the last 32 of the FA Vase.
The Woodhorn Lane chief punched the air with delight when Andrew Johnson scored a dramatic injury time winner against AFC Rushden & Diamonds in the third round – but last week’s draw will now have a massive effect on both clubs from a financial point of view.
Mr Lavery, also MP for Wansbeck, said at the weekend: “As chairman I’m both delighted and very excited that we have reached the last 32 of the Vase once again.
“It’s a measure of how far this club has come in such a short space of time.
“However, the visit to Bodmin – who are leaders of the South West Peninsula Premier League – is causing both financial and logistical problems.
“We’ve costed a chartered flight which would be in excess of £8,000 whilst we’ve also looked at the normal flights to both Exeter and Bristol, which logistically don’t fit in with the times.
“Therefore, unless a major sponsor comes forward, the only way to travel – and the most flexible way – would be by coach.
“That could mean the management and players residing in Bodmin over a two-night period.
“It would take in excess of ten hours one way by coach and is a 900-mile round trip, which is less than appetising for all concerned.
“However, everyone understands the position faced by many Northern League clubs in a similar financial position to ourselves when reaching the last 32 of this fantastic competition.”
The tie is to be staged at Bodmin’s Priory Road ground on Saturday, January 19.