Shortwood face tough game

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SHORTWOOD United boss John Evans gave an honest assessment of his side’s forthcoming FA Carlsberg Vase tie against Ashington at Meadowbank on Sunday.

He said: “We have a tough job on our hands.”

At the same time that the Colliers were wrapping up a superb 3-2 victory over Newport Pagnell in Buckinghamshire in the last round, Evans’ outfit were on their way to a single goal home win over Enfield 1893.

However, the boss acknowledges that Gary Middleton’s side face tougher opposition week in, week out.

“We’re excited about the game on Sunday,” said Evans.

“We already know that Ashington are in a stronger league than ourselves and know that games against teams from that area are tough.

“I played for Forest Green against Blyth Spartans in 1970 in a Rothman’s Cup tie, losing on penalties to the Croft Park side after a 5-5 draw on home soil, so I’m aware of the challenge we face.

“Although I haven’t watched Ashington myself, we have enquired about them and heard from other sources – and know we have a tough job on our hands.

“We had thought about seeing them last weekend but then were advised about the wintry weather which consequently scuppered our plans.

“We have performed well in the past few seasons in cup and vase matches.

“We played Havant and Waterlooville in 2008-09 – the season after they had twice been in front at Liverpool in the FA Cup before going out 5-2.

“In the same competition we drew 2-2 with Havant only to lose the replay 1-0 when we missed a last minute penalty.”

“In terms of a tournament in which we’ve got a chance, Sunday’s match is our biggest game since we lost at the same stage 1-0 at home to Forest Green in 1982, and more recently against Barwell, who went on to reach the semi-finals.

“All I can ask of my lads is to give everything they have.”

Shortwood won a Floodlit Cup match last week on penalties against Highmoor Ibis but Saturday’s League Cup game against Woodley was off.

Evans must reckon without striker Terry Bohane who is cup-tied, but otherwise he has a full squad to select from with no injuries or suspensions.

Sunday’s game was put back 24 hours from the Saturday after the Gloucestershire Constabulary were brought into discussions.

Not far away from Shortwood’s ground, Forest Green host Luton Town on Saturday and on police advice, the vase tie was moved.