Ashington kept alive with cup

ASHINGTON CFC manager Gary Middleton is delighted that his side will enter the last couple of months of the season with something still to play for.

Having gone out of the FA Carlsberg Vase recently in disappointing fashion against Bodmin Town in Cornwall, Middleton’s outfit – who currently lie eighth in the Ebac Northern League first division table whilst looking to attain as high a finish as possible – have a Northumberland Senior Cup semi-final on the horizon next month.

The Colliers travel for a showdown against arch rivals North Shields at Ralph Gardner Park on Wednesday, March 20.

Middleton said: “It is still nice at this stage of the campaign to be involved in the County Cup – and it keeps our season bubbling over.

“Everyone involved at the club will be looking forward to the clash against the Robins, but needless to say we want to try and win every game we are involved in.”

The boss and his players were left frustrated by a snowfall which descended on the region during the early hours of Saturday morning and led to the entire Northern League first division programme being wiped out with only one game – Whitehaven v Jarrow Roofing – surviving in the second division.

The Wansbeck side were due to be away to Team Northumbria, but when the clash was called off, Middleton gave his players a rare break.

“This is the first time this term that I’ve given them time off,” he said.

“The lads have trained hard all season so I decided to give them a rest in the hope that it will do them the world of good and that they will report for our game against Durham City on Tuesday night feeling refreshed.

“We were all disappointed that Saturday’s game was called off, but you just have to get on with things.”

Meanwhile midfielder Josh Gray received the all clear on Friday after having an x-ray on his foot and was hoping to return to the squad as soon as possible.

On Saturday the Colliers take on Guisborough at Woodhorn Lane (3pm) when they will be looking to avenge a 1-0 defeat by the Priorymen at the end of September.

Then Gary Middleton’s side host Billingham Town on Tuesday, March 5.

The Colliers triumphed 4-2 at Bedford Terrace just over a month ago and will be out to complete a season’s double.