Familiar faces for Ashington in FA Cup

Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner has described Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup clash against Albion Sports at Woodhorn Lane as a ‘big day for the club’.

Friday, 9th August 2019, 9:25 am
Updated Friday, 9th August 2019, 9:25 am

The tie brings together the two sides for a fourth meeting in FA competitions in six years and Skinner – who saw his revamped side chalk up their first victory of the new season with a narrow 2-1 result over West Auckland on Tuesday – added that he will be looking for another positive performance.

“I think everybody with an interest in football gets a buzz when you mention the FA Cup,” said Skinner.

“I know I certainly do with it’s tradition, history, prestige and everything that goes with it.

“It’s the same FA Cup that the big boys in the Premier League compete for and it’s a game everybody likes to play in.”

He continued: “We are delighted to have been drawn at home and hopefully we’ll get another good crowd.

“It’ll be a big day for the club and financially the returns from the competition are really good so we’ll be looking to put on a positive performance.

“Certainly I’ll be looking for us to take some of the positivity from Tuesday night’s performance into Saturday.”

Skinner admits that the Yorkshire based club – who operate in the Northern Counties East League Premier Division – are an unknown quantity.

“I don’t know much about them but even if I did have a bit of an insight, the important thing for us is to concentrate on ourselves and not the opposition,” he said.

The prize at stake for the victors is a home draw in the next round against BetVictor Northern Premier League outfit Marske United – and Skinner added: “I’m not looking beyond Saturday’s clash with Albion Sports.

“Only if we get the result we want will I even contemplate thinking about what lies ahead.”

Meanwhile defenders Gavin Caines and Marc Lancaster made their debuts against West Auckland and Skinner said: “The performances from both was pleasing.

“Gav (Caines) has played 100 plus games in the football league and knows what his strengths are including his positional play and his reading of the game.

“On Tuesday, he played alongside our captain Curtis Coppen and I thought the pair of them complimented each other quite well.

“With Marc (Lancaster) you know exactly what you will get from him and he is one of these players who will consistency earn himself a seven or eight mark out of ten.

“He defends really well and goes forward when he gets the opportunity to do so and he’s got a great little range of passing where he can play the ball into the forward or down the side to the wide man.

“Unfortunately Marc misses out on Saturday due to work commitments so that’s a little bit disappointing after his debut performance but we are hoping that young Thomas Kalthoeber will be fit to return.

“At a push Thomas possibly could have played or been in the squad against West Auckland but we erred on the side of caution knowing that Marc (Lancaster) was unavailable for the FA Cup game.”

For Saturday, Skinner also has to reckon without another defender – Ben Sampson – who is ruled out through injury whilst he awaits fitness reports from a couple of his squad ahead of the 3pm kick-off.

If the game ends all square after 90 minutes, the replay will be at The Citadel in Leeds on Wednesday, August 14, with a 7.45pm kick-off.