Terriers reject Ashington request to move Boxing Day derby

Bedlington’s Ebac Northern League first division derby clash against close neighbours Ashington will go-ahead as originally scheduled on Boxing Day morning with an 11am kick-off.

The Welfare Park club turned down a polite enquiry from the Colliers to defer the clash by 24 hours to the Saturday for a two fold reason.

Terriers chairman Ronan Liddane said: “Ashington requested a switch but we had to turn it down as we had everything organised for the day with after match entertainment from Brian Mabon and ‘Street Life’, as well as a karaoke by music man Steve Murther.

“On top of that, in this day and age we wanted to preserve the tradition of the derby on Boxing Day within the ethos of the Northern League.”

Ashington football secretary Brian Robson said: “We thought it an idea to give players, officials and supporters of the two clubs a chance to spend the Christmas period with their families, so we suggested the change.

“It is fair to say in the past the game has traditionally been on Boxing Day, but we don’t have a problem with Bedlington’s decision to turn our request down.”

Meanwhile Liddane, who has been at the helm for three years, showered praise on previous chairman David Perry.

““David is our vice- president and has been a godsend with his help and advice,” he said.

“He has vast experience as a chairman, being in charge during the glory years at Bedlington when the club got through to the final of the FA Vase at Wembley in 1999.

“He’s got great know how to fall back on whilst his brother Keith continues to support us by lending expertise and help and recommends players as well as providing feedback to manager Ian Skinner.”

Liddane an ex-Ashington player before becoming assistant manager to Peter Chambers, also calls for help from his father-in-law Jack Marks.

“Jack, who was coach at Ashington when they reached the semi-finals of the FA Amateur Cup in 1974, comes along to lots of our games and gives advice when needed,” he said.

“But it’s great to be involved and it is the next best thing to participating on the field and also managing – although it will never replace playing.

“I took over at Bedlington at a difficult time and it is a 24 hours, seven days a week job to maintain the running of the club - but I’m enjoying it.”