Match off sees Tait available for game


NEW signing Michael Tait was like a bear with a sore head after he learned that Ashington’s FA Carlsberg Vase tie against Shortwood United had originally been put back 24 hours to last Sunday.

But the postponement and rescheduling of the game for this Saturday will see the midiflelder enjoy the best of both worlds.

Wallsend based Tait, 23, the latest signing by manager Gary Middleton to bolster his playing squad and moreover a wafer thin pool of players available for selection for the prestigious Vase, will happily travel down with his team-mates on Friday in preparation for the rescheduled tie the following day – only a couple of weeks after having a major headache.

The midfielder, who joined the Colliers from Conference North side Harrogate Town, had already been delighted to accept the invitation of being a godparent at the christening of his niece Myla Rose when his brother-in-law – North Shields footballer Andy Bowman with whom he works alongside for Advanced Radiators – informed him of Ashington’s enforced game switch.

“Obviously when I signed for Ashington the original date for the Shortwood game had been set for a usual Saturday fixture – until it was moved on police advice with Forest Green hosting Luton Town on the same day,” he said.

“My sister, Alexis, had asked me to be godfather at Myla Rose’s christening at St Georges Church in Cullercoats on February 12, and even when the game was put back I never gave the clash of events a thought.

“However, it clicked with Andy and I then had to inform Gary Middleton that the christening had been arranged for a long time and meant a lot to us all.

“We had family travelling up from Oxford and Watford and unfortunately it was just one of those things which I couldn’t miss, especially with the football match being moved.”

However, according to the hymn lyrics written by the late William Cowper, “God moves in mysterious ways”, the three inches blanket of snow which covered Shortwood’s Meadowbank pitch came to Tait’s aid.

“Without sounding selfish, I was over the moon when I heard that the game had been called off,” said the former Blyth Spartans player, pictured

“I had wanted to play but thought the chance had been taken away and I had been left disappointed – but I’ve come out of it quite well as I will now have the best of both worlds.

“It is a massive game for the club and we will have a better look and balance as a few of the players who were injured come back into contention.

“A better squad can only be good for the club and our chances of making progress, and gives more competition for places.

“The intensity in training has already picked up because everyone available wants to play – every single player will be looking for a starting spot.”