Johnson hoping for win to break opening day duck

Ashington midfielder Andrew Johnson. Picture by Ian Appleby -
Ashington midfielder Andrew Johnson. Picture by Ian Appleby -

Andrew Johnson is hoping Ashington can break new ground on Saturday when the curtain goes up on the new Ebac Northern League football season.

The striker was one of Gary Middleton’s first signings when the ex-manager of West Allotment Celtic took over the reins at Woodhorn Lane before the start of the 2009-10 season.

But as the Colliers prepare to host Jarrow Roofing – who make a return to the top flight following promotion last term – Middleton and Johnson have one thing in common on the eve of a sixth campaign, with the Wansbeck outfit still yearning for an opening day victory.

It is a statistic which has not gone unnoticed by the Ashington skipper, who scored the consolation goal in a 3-1 defeat against Hebburn Town in the last warm-up match at the weekend.

Johnson, is optimistic ahead of the 3pm kick-off, although he is fully aware that the visitors from Tyne and Wear will pose a serious threat.

“We know that to break our duck with a win on opening day lies in our own hands,” he said.

“But the answer is simple – if we perform to our capabilities then we can beat anyone.

“Obviously we want to start with a win and over the last few seasons it has been frustrating because you can try too hard at times, which backfires on you.

“We will treat Jarrow just like any other opposition, but we need to relax and enjoy it.”

The 26-year-old project officer for the Newcastle United Foundation, has also asked his team-mates to turn back the years and mirror the formbook.

He said: “We want to win all of home games.

“Our intention will be to turn Woodhorn Lane into a fortress and make it a tough place for opposing teams to come, just like it was at the old Portland Park ground.

“Jarrow have been busy adding to the squad during the summer and consequently are going to be stronger, but our management have made some eye-catching additions and we fear no one at home.”

On Wednesday, August 13, the Colliers make the short trip to face Morpeth Town, and Johnson added: “It’s another game to look forward too.

“The Highwaymen have strengthened, but we will be looking to get two wins under our belts before we travel to take on Holker Old Boys in the extra preliminary round of the FA Cup on August 16.”