Home start against Jarrow Roofing for Ashington

Ashington will host newly promoted Jarrow Roofing on Saturday, August 9 – the opening day of the new Ebac Northern League season.

A local clash against Morpeth at Craik Park as well as a midweek contest at home to Guisborough and an August Bank Holiday Monday derby at Woodhorn Lane against Bedlington are included in the first group of fixtures.

But Gary Middleton’s outfit have avoided facing Shildon, FA Vase runners-up West Auckland or Celtic Nation in the first few weeks of the campaign.

Boss Middleton said: “It’s nice to start at home but we will not know what to expect against a Jarrow Roofing side who will have momentum; be fired up and wanting to impress.

“No matter who we would have drawn on opening day would have been a difficult challenge – teams in this league continue to get stronger and it is becoming more difficult and competitive.

“We ourselves will be trying to get the right blend in what again will be a massive challenge.”

The boss is hoping to recruit newcomers to his squad over the coming weeks.

“I have got irons in the fire,” he said.

“And I’m hoping everyone from last season will remain with us – but it will be the old cliché of taking one game at a time.”

The return derby against Bedlington is set to take place at Welfare Park on Boxing Day.

Meanwhile, the Colliers face a trip to Teesside in the second round of the League Cup after being pulled out of the hat against Thornaby.