Skipper calls for league concentration

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ASHINGTON CFC skipper Liam Atkin soaked up the terrific atmosphere which reverberated around Woodhorn Lane on Saturday following his side’s 2-1 win in the FA Vase third round over AFC Rushden & Diamonds.

But the captain was quick to warn that the Wansbeck side need to concentrate over the next month on pushing on with their league form.

He said: “Believe me, this was a great win, but when we return to training during the week we need to focus all of our attentions on pushing on in the league.

“We are in mid-table and after a blip against Bishop Auckland the other week when we slipped to a 1-0 defeat, we definitely need to get back to winning ways.”

Atkin believed the Colliers did enough to deserve their win over Northamptonshire-based AFC Rushden & Diamonds on Saturday.

“It was a great win because we didn’t play particularly well,” he said.

“We controlled the game for long periods but we lacked a bit of quality and creativity and needed a bit more spark.

“We had chances to win it before the late goal but didn’t make the most of the situation when Rushden went down to ten men.

“Nevertheless, it’s all about getting through, regardless of how you win and thankfully I thought we just did enough.”

He added: “The atmosphere was brilliant when our winning goal went in.

“It was unbelievable and the fans were overjoyed the way we did it on Saturday – but we like to keep people thinking.

“In my time at Ashington, the win just pipped our 3-2 extra time victory over Blyth Spartans in the Northumberland Senior Cup semi-final three seasons ago.”

Ashington now return to the bread and butter of the Ebac Northern League first division.

“We have got some big games coming up over the next few weeks against the likes of Hebburn, Spennymoor and Bedlington Terriers,” said Atkin.

“Keeping ourselves fit is the priority – but the weather could also have a big say on our forthcoming fixtures.”