04 Mar 2018 in General News
By Brian Bennett
Not surprisingly the ‘Beast from the East’ weather saw a blanket of football fixtures postponed on Saturday – including Ashington’s Ebac Northern League first division derby against neighbours North Shields.
Woodhorn Lane football secretary Gav Perry said: “Due to the exceptional weather across the UK, Kevin Hewitt, Secretary of the Northern Football League implemented the leagues directive to allow games to be postponed by clubs where it was clear that matches did not have any chance of going ahead. At noon on Thursday I inspected Woodhorn Lane and with approximately six inches of snow covering the playing area and spectator areas being unsafe, I took the early decision - which was clearly inevitable - to postpone our game. We never like to postpone games, however the safety of players, officials and spectators has to come first at all times.”
Ashington player/manager Steve Bowey could not hide his disappointment at Saturday’s clash falling foul of the elements: “Naturally I wasn’t surprised,” he added, “But that doesn’t stop me from being disappointed and frustrated. For the first time since I took over as manager in October, I had a full squad available and we went into the clash having won our last two matches and with confidence high.”
Bowey who has lived in Stanley for 15 years was snowed in for four days at his County Durham home: “I live in a row of only six houses and we were blocked in by about two to three feet of snow,” he said, “There are fields either side of our estate and drifts were over ten feet.” Despite being hemmed indoors, Bowey had initiated plans to have an input in a training session but with access to all facilities denied, eventually had to concede defeat and instead gave his squad the day off: “The lads were going to train,” said Bowey, “My intention was to bark out instructions via a satellite link but we were forced to put our plans on ice – literally!”
When conditions eased at Stanley, Bowey - a self confessed fitness fanatic - went to a class called ‘Iron fit’: “It was a brutal session,” he said. Weather permitting, the boss now prepares his players for a trip to Teeside on Saturday [March 10] where they face Billingham Synthonia at the Norton Sports Complex: “We will be looking to make it three victories on the bounce,” he said, “I’ve been involved in this game far too long to take anything for granted but if it were to happen where we make it three wins in a row then it would be a great achievement considering what we have been through over the last few weeks.” Once again, Bowey has a full squad at his disposal for the clash which has a 3pm kick-off.
Meanwhile Ashington’s fixture against North Shields has been rescheduled for Saturday April 28.