By Brian Bennett

Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner has said that his outfit will need to be at the top of their game if they are hoping to find success when they tackle a Newcastle United under 23’s side at The dwmedia Stadium next week.

The Colliers meet the Magpies in the Techflow Marine Northumberland Senior Cup on Tuesday (December 14) with a semi final place at stake.

Skinner said: “We’ll be adopting the same approach as we do with every other game we play. We’ve trained this week and start to prepare for the Newcastle clash and we’ll have a little look at how they play and see if there’s anything we can use to our advantage. It’ll be a tough game but one which we’ll be trying to win and make progress in the competition.”

The boss believes the home crowd can play a huge part in a clash which has a 7.30pm kick-off: “It’s a game which the players and myself are looking forward too because it’s always good to pit your wits against full time professionals and I’m sure we’ll get a decent attendance through the turnstiles,” he added, “However our supporters can also play a key role by being our 12th man with the noise and encouragement they generate from the stand and on the terraces.”

He continued: “It’s a nice occasion for the club but all I’ll be interest in is trying to advance into the next round – and I’ll make sure we are ready to do that. I’ll be looking at it as being 11 v 11 but we’ll need to be at our best and if we are, we’ll give them (Newcastle) a good game and hopefully we’ll come out on the right end of a good result.”

Skinner has to reckon without Jordan Lashley who is unavailable for the tie whilst Adam Johnson is cup tied: “We haven’t got a game on Saturday (December 11) so we’ll probably train or have an in-house sort of practice match,” added the boss.

West Allotment based whistler David Pill will be in charge with Charlie Ford and Dora Jakab as his assistants.

*Meanwhile Thomas Kalthoeber is back in the fold at Woodhorn Lane following a spell with Percy Main Amateurs. Kalthoeber came on as a substitute towards the end of the 6-1 victory over Whitley Bay on Saturday and Ashington manager Ian Skinner said: “Thomas has returned to the club full time having been at Percy Main to get game time and regain fitness. He has trained well with the squad over the last two weeks and it was good to see him back on the pitch against Whitley Bay on Saturday.”