One of the most eagerly awaited matches on the footballing calendar in Wansbeck is set to continue.
For years clashes between neighbours Ashington and Bedlington have taken place respectively at the former Portland Park then Woodhorn Lane ground, as well as at Welfare Park on August Bank Holiday Monday and Boxing Day.
Both clubs had thought that following Bedlington’s relegation to the second division of the Ebac Northern League that the classic encounters would cease – hopefully on a temporary basis – with the expectation of Bedlington regaining first division status as soon as possible.
“But the clubs have agreed a pre-season friendly, which will be staged at the Lane on Friday, July 29, with a 7.30pm kick-off.
Ashington head coach Ian Skinner said: “When relegation was confirmed for Bedlington, their manager Andy Ferrell rang us to ask if there was any chance of a friendly next season, so as to keep the tradition of the two clubs playing we agreed straight away.
“Although the rivalry between us is friendly, as a former manager of Bedlington myself, it is a nice little touch to have a game against them.
“It’ll be good to get a crowd for a Wansbeck derby, but as we will be playing two games in 24 hours as North East Counties Premier League side Staveley MWFC visit us on the Saturday, we will have to manage our squad.”