“I’m quite happy with our start” says Ashington boss Skinner

Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner was quite upbeat - but inwardly cautious - last week after the Ebac Northern League released the fixtures for the upcoming season, writes Brian Bennett.

Monday, 28th June 2021, 11:32 am
Ashington FC.
Ashington FC.

The Colliers go to Penrith on the opening day (July 31) and follow that with a home clash against West Auckland on Tuesday August 3 at the dwmedia Stadium.

Over the years, Skinner has always given the same reaction - describing the start as being ‘tough’ – and although the boss again made use of the‘t’ word, he nevertheless had a smile on his face when he said: “I’m not too disappointed with the list (of fixtures) to be honest. It means we will be going to Penrith on a Saturday and historically the sun shines on the first day of the season.

"It’ll be nice to travel across to Cumbria because I believe we went to face them in midweek last term and also given the restrictions which have been in place due to Covid-19 and the inability to do much as a group, it’ll be even better if the sanctions are lifted by then. If that turns out to be the case, we’ll look to journey by coach and use it as a little bit of a team bonding exercise.”

He continued: “Penrith is always a tough place to visit and it’ll be a tough game too but they are usually decent games and we generally perform okay. I also like the fixture because personally I know the people involved who run Penrith and they always make a fuss of me and I like to reciprocate that when they come to Ashington

Turning his attentions to the West Auckland clash, Skinner said: “I seem to recall we played them two seasons ago at Woodhorn Lane in a midweek game,” he said, “It’ll be our first home game under lights and again we tend to do okay results wise against them (West Auckland) - but then we want to win as many home games as we can and make Woodhorn Lane a difficult place for opposing teams to come too.”

The 45 year old went on: “We are used to the surroundings (at the dwmedia Stadium) as we train at the ground regularly and I want us to be a hard team to beat on our own patch. If we can do that and win the vast majority of home games then we should be alright.”

*Ashington begin their group of warm up matches on Saturday (July 3) when they travel to face ENL second division outfit Birtley Town (3pm).