Award of captain’s armband came as a surprise to Harmison

Ashington FC’s Ben Harmison said being asked to be the new captain of his home town club came as a surprise.

Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 9:56 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 9:56 am
Ben Harmison, the new captain of Ashington. Picture by Ian Brodie.

However, Harmison – who took over the armband from Dean Briggs after the midfielder emigrated to Dubai last week – is delighted to take on the role and added he will be looking to lead by example.

“The appointment came as a surprise because I thought it might have gone to one of the younger lads,” said the 35 year old who can operate in defence or be used as a striker, “It was nice to get it – and I’ll be trying to lead by example.”

Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner said: “Ben was one of a few players we considered for the captaincy. We thought given his experience and leadership qualities that this made him an ideal choice. In addition, he is an Ashington lad which is also beneficial.”

Harmison’s first afternoon in the post was one to forget as the Colliers went down 5-0 at Thornaby: “I thought we played some good football – but we suffered because of too many unforced errors,” he revealed afterwards, “we gave the ball away cheaply in certain areas and they (Thornaby) broke on us which probably sums up most our season. When we have lost against the better teams we have given the ball away - and against good teams they punish you.”

Ashington were 3-0 down at the interval and Harmison continued: “Second half I thought there was a bit of a reaction from us and we probably should have scored a couple. It was vital for us to get the first goal after half time and we tried and tried and had a couple of good chances but the two goals which they (Thornaby) scored at the end were because we were pushing.”

Harmison admitted that the players have got to put the result behind them and move on: “Things have been brilliant and gone well for us,” he added, “We’ve played some good football along the way but we’ve got to pick ourselves up a little bit.

"We’ve had a bit bad luck over the past couple of weeks with losing good players but we can’t use that as an excuse and we’ve still got a great squad. We’ve just got to put today’s result down as being a bad day at the office and dust ourselves off because we have got Consett at home on Saturday which will be another tricky game.”

Harmison is looking to enlist the help from the fans at Woodhorn Lane to help spur the Colliers on when they welcome Ebac Northern League first division league leaders Consett to The dwmedia Stadium on Saturday.

Ashington went down to a 5-0 reverse at Thornaby last weekend and Harmison - pointing to the statistic that following every defeat, Ian Skinner’s men have bounced back – has asked the home supporters to play their part.

“The game should attract a big crowd,” he said, “our fans have been excellent again this year and hopefully they’ll be able to help us on Saturday.”

“We have lost a couple of players who are hard to replace and to be honest you are looking towards higher leagues to replace Dean Briggs.

"Hopefully the management are looking to bring in a centre forward but if not, we will have to play with what we have got and lads will have got to step up to the plate.”