Ashington striker Harmison looking for repeat in FA Vase
Ashington FC striker Ben Harmison is looking for his side to give a repeat performance on Saturday when they travel to face Easington Colliery in the second qualifying round of the FA Vase.
The clash at Welfare Park brings the two sides together at exactly the same stage of the competition as last season, when with the tie locked at 1-1, Harmison netted what proved to be the winner early in the second half.
Having played his part in Ashington Cricket Club’s successful season, the 30-year-old is now concentrating on football.
He said: “Everyone is looking forward to Saturday’s match. By the time the tie comes round, we will have had ten days off and hopefully we will be able to get some of the players returning to the fold from injury.
“The management have watched Easington and have picked up on a few things that we can work on, and coming off the back of the Whitley Bay win and the draw against Morpeth, everyone will be full of confidence.”
Whilst Ashington-born Harmison admits the Colliery side are going well as they sit fourth from top of the Ebac Northern League’s second division, he also pointed out that the Wansbeck outfit are ‘difficult to beat’.
“Easington are doing alright but looking at us, we are a really hard team to beat at the moment as everyone is working hard for each other,” he said.
“There are no big egos in the dressing room, we come in after 90 minutes and everyone is shattered after the amount of graft they put in for each other.
“Hard work pays off in the end and that has been noticeable over the last month looking at our results.
“The lads chilled out as they had last Saturday off and came up to watch the cricket at Ashington, and we’ll have a good week’s preparation.
“We are raring to go and we will be ready.”
Harmison is pleased with his form but is looking to add more sharpness to his game.
“I’m happy with the way my season has gone, although I’ve only been a bit part player,” he said.
“But the more games I play then hopefully my fitness and touch will pick up.
“If I cannot score I try to set things up, and so long as we win, I’m not really too bothered.
“With my cricketing commitments finished, I’m now focusing all my attentions on football.
“We want to be climbing the league because we are a good enough team, but we have got to continue to have belief in ourselves.
“We have got characters in the dressing room now who are trying to drive that into everyone and hopefully the players will take it on board.
“We also need to have a little bit of arrogance, not cockiness, coupled with self belief that we are better than teams and can compete.
“The last month it has been there and long may it continue. All the lads are excellent and with the club facilities, we deserve to be pushing things more.”