For Ashington’s newest recruit midfielder Steven Shaw it was definitely a case of many happy returns on Saturday.
Shaw who celebrated his 29th birthday last week, made his second debut for the Colliers when he came on as a 56th minute substitute for Andy Ferrell, and played a part in what proved to be the winning goal from Glen Taylor in a 2-1 victory over Penrith.
Shaw, a building project manager, said: “I loved it when I was at Ashington four years ago and it’s great to be back.
“I made the switch to join Dunston but I felt I needed a change and it was just nice to get on to the park and get back playing.
“I knew I wasn’t going to start after Ashington had won 3-1 at Newcastle Benfield in midweek, but I just wanted to come on and make some sort of impact.”
Shaw returns to Woodhorn Lane from Dunston as an FA Carlsberg Vase winner – the Gateshead-based outfit defeating fellow Ebac Northern League first division outfit West Auckland 2-0 at Wembley three seasons ago – and he clearly cherishes his medal.
“I played in every game for Dunston leading up to and including the final,” he said.
“It was an unbelievable and surreal experience and certainly the best moment in my footballing career without a doubt.”
And Shaw harbours a dream of a return to Wembley with the Colliers.
“The lads at Ashington are spot on,” he said.
“The club will be coming into this season’s competition shortly and without a doubt it would be fantastic to go back to the home of football.”
Woodhorn Lane boss Gary Middleton said: “I’m over the moon to get Steven Shaw back to the club because he’s the type of player we need.
“He’s one of those hard working and energetic midfielders who gets tackles and headers in and can circulate and pass the ball very simple.
“I was disappointed when I lost him a few seasons ago but thrilled he has returned.
“He will be a major player for a lot of years here at Ashington because he is a top Northern League player.”