By Brian Bennett

The Ebac Northern League’s Cleator Cup final clash between North Shields and Ashington will now be staged at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday July 23.

The decision was made last week for what is the curtain raiser to the start of the new season after North Shields – the first division champions last term – announced that due to maintenance work, their pitch at the Daren Persson Stadium would not be ready in time.

The ENL instantly made contact with Ashington – winners of the Division One Cup – to see if the game could be switched and the Woodhorn Lane outfit gave the thumbs up.

Colliers manager Ian Skinner said: “My reactions were twofold. First of all it was nice to play at home which means the fans of our club can come out in their numbers as opposed to travelling to North Shields but then I had a bit of trepidation as we will now play three games on our pitch in a week followed by a multitude of home matches with five of our opening six league fixtures at Woodhorn Lane.”

He continued: “Albeit it may be pre season but the Cleator Cup is an opportunity for us to win silverware so we’ll be taking the game seriously. In addition, it is being held seven days before our league season starts and will give us a clear indication of how well prepared we are.”

Kick-off is 3pm.