HIS daytime occupation is to install and carry out maintenance on traffic lights for Newcastle City Council, but come 2pm on Saturday, Ashington striker Marc Walton is hoping to give manager Gary Middleton the green light that he is fit to play.
Walton, top goalscorer for the Colliers this term with a haul of 24, has missed the last two matches at South Shields and Newcastle Benfield after coming off early in the clash at home with Dunston with a calf injury.
However, the 25-year-old is hoping that rest coupled to some physiotherapy will see him declared fit ahead of Ashington’s fourth round FA Carlsberg Vase tie against Bodmin Town in Cornwall on Saturday.
Walton said: “We were playing five-a-side towards the end of training on the Thursday before the Dunston game when I felt a pull in my calf.
“I’ve had ultra sound treatment on it and the injury is improving all the time – now I’m hoping that I will recover in time for the Vase clash.
“I’m seeing the physio again this week and just keeping my fingers crossed.”
Walton admits that he is the world’s worst spectator.
“I hate it when I’m not playing,” he said.
“I even dislike it when I’m brought off because I just love scoring goals, and I had to leave at half-time at the South Shields game as I was at my wits end.”
The Colliers have brushed Sunderland RCA and Rushden & Diamonds aside so far which takes them into Saturday’s fourth round clash – with Walton looking to settle another ‘score’ – if selected.
“I netted a few when I played for Consett but I haven’t got a goal in the two Vase games so far this term and that’s unusual for me,” he said.
“I’m 100 per cent looking forward to the game and hope to be available – but the manager will have the final say on matters.”
Boss Middleton said: “It’s another frustrating situation where we continue to be hit throughout the season with injuries and Marc is the latest.
“We have just got Phill Bell and Josh Gray back and then Marc takes a knock, but we are hoping it’s not too serious and that he reports fit on Wednesday when we are at home to Billingham Town.
“It’s purely a waiting game and if Marc is not fit Wednesday then we will see what Saturday brings.
“Although we would like him to be involved on Wednesday, we’ll not take any chances and if it’s not right then we will wait another two or three days and assess the situation again.”
Protecting a record of one defeat in 15 outings, Middleton is confident ahead of Saturday’s tie.
The boss said at the weekend: “We will travel down on Friday in good heart.
“It’s a massive game for the club and the players and a difficult one too as Bodmin are flying high at the top of their league – the South West Peninsula Premier Division – and are disposing of teams at will.
“However, we will go down there in a good run of form ourselves.
“The long journey followed by playing the game will present a challenge in itself, but that’s what we will have to do and we are all looking forward to it.”
If the weather intervenes and the tie is postponed, it will be rescheduled for the following Saturday.
Similarly if the match goes ahead and ends all square after extra time, the replay would take place at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday, January 26.