Ashington face up to heavy cost of FA Vase trip to Cornwall

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.