By Brian Bennett

Ashington FC goalkeeper is delighted to have signed a contract with the Woodhorn Lane based outfit.

Dryden said: “I’m happy to commit the next year to the club. Going off how we finished last year, I enjoyed my time after returning to the club and I think its worth giving it back. So far from pre season it’s been ‘steady away’ and implementing the new faces because there’s been quite a few additions in the close season. The changes we have had to make with Ben Harmison being in and out with the cricket season have been spot on. The lads have fitted in and they know what they need to do and it has showed in some of the games where they have done their jobs and we’ve got a result.”

On advancing in the Emirates FA Cup following the 2-1 win over Tow Law on Saturday, Ashington-born Dryden said: “We have had to grind out a result today. It’s one of those where it’s a hard game coming to Tow Law. It levelled it out that they are at home and on an awkward pitch coupled with the wind but we didn’t look threatened at any point until they scored. The second half it was how long we could dig in for and we ended up getting the win from the penalty spot as a result of a good passage of play.”

The 34 year old ‘keeper was beaten by a venomous strike by Ethan Bewley and he said: “It was one of those given the conditions today that as soon as he had half a yard and hit it – and with the wind behind it – that I couldn’t do anything about it.”

Dryden also praised the ‘very calm’ Robbie Dale who is playing in the back four: “Robbie is very calm on the ball,” said Dryden, “When he gets the ball all of a sudden he just plays at his tempo. He’s not threatened by any pressure of a striker closing him down – he’s a steady head.”

Meanwhile Liam Smith gave his reaction to putting pen to paper – with the 26 year old revealing that Ashington manager Ian Skinner played a massive part.

South Shields-born Smith said: “I’m looking forward to my time with Ashington. I probably wouldn’t have signed had Ian Skinner not been the manager because I’ve known him from when I was younger. We spoke – the boss sold me the club – and I thought why not give it a go.”

Although Smith was on the bench for Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup game at Tow Law, he had a slight injury: “I’m a naturally fit person anyway so my fitness won’t be that low,” he said, “I tweaked my calf last week so I only trained for the first time on Thursday and it’s still not 100 per cent – but I should be fine next week.”