Marks calls on Colliers to play their normal game

FORMER Ashington and Blyth Spartans boss Jackie Marks has urged the Colliers to “play their own game” in the FA Cup tie at Grimsby.

Marks was the manager of the Ashington side who reached the semi-finals of the last Amateur Cup in 1974 as well as coach of the Spartans who had a dream FA Cup run to the fifth round during the 1977-78 season.

“During that glory run at Ashington we drew at Slough then beat them 2-1 in a replay at Portland Park,” he said.

“In the semi-final we were locked 0-0 with Bishops Stortford at Sunderland’s Roker Park before losing the replay 3-0 at Brentford.

“And it still remains an unrivalled achievement for a non league club when Blyth were in the draw for the sixth round of the FA Cup during the 1977-78 campaign.

“That was – and will remain – an unforgettable run.”

In regards to Ashington’s tussle with Grimsby Town on Saturday, Marks, who watched from the sidelines when the Colliers defeated Guiseley in the last round, reckons Gary Middleton’s side should play their own game.

He said: “FA Cup ties are great experiences because no matter who you play, you have always got a chance.

“The mindset from Ashington’s point of view if they want to get a result against Grimsby is that they should play their own game and not set up defensively.

“At Blyth we proved it time and time again.

“We never played for a draw – we played our own game and tried to attack.

“It will be a difficult game for the Colliers but against Guiseley they defended well and have a good team spirit.

“They play for each other and are a reasonable side, so they have definitely got a chance provided they show a bit of grit.”

Marks also believes the Ashington supporters can play their part.

He added: “If they get behind their team it will provide the players with a big lift and that would be a great help.”