Clubs agree Friday fixture to avoid Spartans cup tie

ASHINGTON CFC are hoping to attract there biggest crowd of the season to date on Friday when they host local rivals Whitley Bay at Woodhorn Lane.

The clash was originally set to take place the following day but with near neighbours Blyth Spartans and Gateshead meeting in a quarter- final showdown of the FA Trophy, the Colliers approached their opponents to ask for the match to be brought forward to avoid a clash.

Ashington CFC football secretary Brian Robinson said: “With Blyth playing Gateshead in the FA Trophy at home on the Saturday, I spoke to Spartans’ football secretary Ian Evans who confirmed that their game would stay on the Saturday at 3pm.

“We had already considered bringing our match forward on Saturday to an earlier kick-off to allow people to attend the Blyth game as well as ours.

“However, when we spoke to Whitley Bay and our manager (Gary Middleton), it was mutually agreed that the Friday night would probably be the best option so we have decided to bring the game forward now to the 25th, which I’m pretty sure will give us a much better crowd.

“We’re hoping that the public will respond and come out in force.

“Any game between Whitley Bay and ourselves now tends to be very competitive and the fact that we actually got one up on them in the Northumberland Senior Cup this season, I’m pretty sure they will be looking for some pay back on that one so it will be more than interesting.

“We now seem to be competing at a higher level, certainly against teams like Whitley Bay, with whom we are now holding our own these days.

“And we don’t seem to just recognise games against Morpeth and Bedlington as being derbies, as you can definitely say that the game against the Bay also falls into that category.”

Seahorses secretary Derek Breakwell said: “Ashington approached us with a view to bringing our fixture forward to the Friday night with the big match at Blyth taking place on the Saturday, and with floating supporters wanting to see both games we were happy to switch.

“The move will also give us an extra day to prepare for our FA Carlsberg quarter-final tie at Dunston, which is being played the following weekend.”

Neil Sharp will be the referee for Friday night’s eagerly awaited clash which has a 7.30pm kick-off.