Ashington keeper Grant hoping to be fit for FA Vase tie

Ashington goalkeeper Conor Grant.
Ashington goalkeeper Conor Grant.

Ashington goalkeeper Conor Grant is hoping to shake off a hip injury ahead of Saturday’s FA Vase first round proper clash against Dronfield Town in Derbyshire.

The 25-year-old lost his ever present tag on Saturday when he was forced to sit out the Ebac Northern League first division clash against Bishop Auckland.

But he is keeping his fingers crossed to return between the posts at the Stonelaw Playing Fields.

He said: “I actually picked up the injury in our away game against Newcastle Benfield.

“The problem is the muscle in between my groin and hip flexor, and although I played the last two games, it ‘went’ in last week’s midweek clash with Whitley Bay.

“I have missed the match against Bishop Auckland in the hope of being fit for next Saturday.

“It feels a bit better and at the moment I reckon the chances of me being fit are 70-30 in my favour.

“I will be doing everything I can and will be making a decision late in the week.

“We are on a roll after putting some results together recently and were a bit unlucky not to win against Bishops.”

Ashington also have doubts surrounding defenders Paul Weldon and Ben Christensen but striker Dylan Williamson is expected to return to the squad after injury.

Head coach Ian Skinner said: “We are delighted to have a free midweek but are going to train twice.

“We had to protect Matty Grieve today who has got a touch of flu and who has also been carrying a little bit of a niggle.

“However, I would expect him to be ready and raring to go on Saturday, and there will be decisions to be made during the week leading up to the game.”

As for the clash against a side from the first division of the Northern Counties East League, Skinner added: “Obviously we would have preferred a home tie, but on the positive side we have avoided facing opposition from our own Northern League.

“Dronfield are not a team we know too much about and we will therefore gather as much information about them as possible.

“However, from a player’s perspective, the game will be treat like any other and we’ll prepare meticulously.”

Last weekend Dronfield came back from a goal down to win 2-1 away to Hall Road Rangers.