By Brian Bennett

Ashington FC’s Thomas Kalthoeber and Ben Sampson are hoping to give manager Ian Skinner a double boost – despite the end of the season being just around the corner!

The two defenders are currently out of action with hamstring injuries but both are eyeing the possibility of a return before the Colliers travel to Consett for their final league game of the campaign on Saturday April 16.

Twenty year old Kalthoeber has a grade one tear which could keep him out for four weeks: “I’m not going to push things in case my hamstring goes again but ideally I would like to come back before the end of the season as we want to finish as high up the league as we can,” he said, “I picked up my injury in the Division One cup game against Thornaby over ten days ago and although I know we face a tough test against Guisborough in the quarter finals of the competition, if we can progress, it would give me an added incentive to try and return to the fold. I think the cup is an exciting prospect with some good teams left in.”

Meanwhile Ben Sampson said: “My hamstring was a bit tight in the cup match at Thornaby on the Wednesday and I played through it – then I felt okay when I was warming up against Seaham Red Star on the Saturday but during the game I went to kick the ball down the line and it just went. I’ve been resting it and I don’t think it’s too bad – and I’m hoping to be back before the end of the season.”

The 23 year old continued: “I’m gutted that I’m out when we’ve had an sticky spell over the last few weeks. However, we have improved so much and it’s easy to forget how far we have come.” Manager Ian Skinner said: “Obviously we will see how things develop but I’m writing Thomas and Ben out of the equation for the rest of the season. If we can get them back then it’ll be a bonus.”