Ashington have plenty to play for – Taylor

Ashington's James Taylor in action. Picture by Ian Appleby -
Ashington's James Taylor in action. Picture by Ian Appleby -
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Ashington utility man James Taylor sounded the Colliers battle cry at the weekend when he declared: “We still have plenty to play for.”

The Woodhorn Lane form book has been up and down in recent weeks but the 23-year-old said he is looking ahead with great optimism towards the end of the campaign.

And he added that he would have happily settled for the club to be where they are now before a ball had been kicked this season.

Taylor, who has operated at full back, in centre defence and midfield this term, said: “Last week’s defeat by Bedlington was disappointing, but the two results against West Auckland and Celtic Nation shows how far this club have come.

“We still have a lot to play for between now and the end of the season, and the majority of our league games are at home.”

Gary Middleton’s side are through to the quarter-finals of the Brooks Mileson Memorial League Cup where they travel to face Ebac Northern League second division outfit Tow Law and are awaiting to hear the draw for the semi-finals of the Northumberland Senior Cup, of which they are the holders having won the competition for the first time in 33 years with victory over Whitley Bay at Newcastle’s St James’ Park last May.

Taylor added: “I don’t think we have performed too well in the League Cup over the past couple of years and we have a chance to kick on this time round, whilst although at this stage we don’t know who we will face in the Senior Cup, there are some top teams left in the competition and we’ll do as best we can to defend the trophy we won last season.”

Taylor, a community coach for the Newcastle United Foundation, added: “If anyone had predicted before the season that by mid-February we would be sitting fifth from top in the league table and also be in two cup competitions, I would have snapped their hands off, and more especially after we lost two of our players to Celtic Nation.

“Obviously defeat in the FA Carlsberg Vase was a major disappointment and a massive let down, but we cannot pick and choose, and our league placing is fantastic.

“I think the club have done ever so well to make the progress they have.”