Richardson delighted to be back in Ashington starting line-up

Ben Richardson returned to the Ashington side on Saturday for only his second start in five and a half months.

Monday, 6th February 2017, 12:36 am
Updated Monday, 6th February 2017, 12:41 am
Ben Richardson during his time with North Shields Picture by Ally Middleton

The Carlisle-born midfielder, who had previously been ruled out for two months before signing for the Woodhorn Lane outfit, made his debut for the Colliers against Dunston in mid October but was again forced onto the sidelines with a persistent ankle injury.

However, the 28-year-old was delighted at the weekend as the Wansbeck outfit overturned a 2-0 half-time deficit to run out 3-2 winners against Sunderland RCA.

“I was delighted to get back, and it was nice that after losing seven games in a row we stopped the rot.

“Now I’m looking at a triple target – to get some games under my belt, to stay injury free and for the team to get more points on the board.

“I had a couple for games for North Shields at the start of the season and didn’t feel right, then after joining Ashington I thought I would give it a ‘go’, but the ankle was still causing a problem.

“Ashington FC’s physio Jay Robertson has been brilliant with me over the past few months.

“I played in the two recent friendlies against Alnwick Town and a Whitley Bay A side and I’m happy with my fitness.”

Richardson said that the character of the outfit came to the fore on Saturday.

He added: “It was a great second half. We got a roasting at half-time which was rightly deserved, but we came out all guns blazing and gave it a right go.

“Everything went for us and after going in front, we saw the game out with our character shining through.”

Richardson admitted to being a bad spectator during his prolonged absence.

He said: “During my time out I found it difficult to watch from the sidelines because I was just itching to get out and play and help the lads by contributing.

“Now we’ll be looking to kick on against Guisborough on Saturday.”

Meanwhile Colliers boss Steve Harmison applauded his side’s terrific comeback against Sunderland RCA.

The visitors had been in an identical position of holding a 2-0 lead the previous week in their FA Vase tie at Newport Pagnell before exiting the competition in extra time, and Harmison was convinced the game was far from over on Saturday.

“Once again we shot ourselves in the foot by ball watching and not following runners and all of a sudden following another mistake we find ourselves 2-0 down at the break,” he said.

“We were staring down the barrel at eight consecutive defeats, but from my point of view, I was not really wanting to have a go at them [the players] too much because there was still 45 minutes left.

“Things were said by management staff, and rightly so as a lack of urgency and being lackadaisical were both apparent and we were treading on quicksand.

“We had to be mindful not to panic and make sure we stepped on the gas that little bit more, but I had seen enough in the opening period and had a belief that the game wasn’t over.

“We had to have a go so we put more of an attacking option on down the left hand side and Lee McAndrew made a difference when he came on.

“All in all, though, the performance shows what spirit and character we have got in the camp, and I still think some team will get a hiding off us soon.

“The longer the match goes without scoring, the more the opposition come into in – and that for me was the gist of the game.

“It’s been a good two weeks for us. There was not much in the game and the 1-0 defeat against Shildon, who are arguably one of the top teams in the league, and then we’ve come back from 2-0 down to win against RCA, who were in the last 16 of the Vase.

“With a bit of luck we could have been talking about taking four points out of six from the two games, but I’ll certainly settle for three [points] after our recent run.”