By Brian Bennett | Photo: Ian Brodie
There was double delight for Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner on Saturday. The boss saw his side follow up their cup upset win over Stocksbridge Park Steels in midweek with a hard fought 2-1 victory in their Ebac Northern League encounter against Tow Law.
Skinner then announced after the final whistle that the legendary Robbie Dale – who was his first signing of the summer – had also agreed to join the management team at Woodhorn Lane.
A beaming Skinner said: “Obviously I missed the cup replay win against Stocksbridge through some coaching commitments in Portugal and I asked Robbie (Dale) if he would support the management team following some conversations I had with him that’s been going on for a little while. I then asked Robbie if he’d like to officially step up and be part of the management team and he’s accepted it so as well as having a playing role, Robbie (Dale) will also be part of my team moving forward. We’ll finalise all the roles and responsibilities over the next few days now that I’m back but when you’ve got somebody of Robbie’s experience after what he has achieved in the game and where his understanding of the game is brilliant, it’s another pair of eyes and hands which can help me out. I’m delighted that he is going to be part of the set up and he can share some of his experience and some of his thoughts with the players and he’ll be another fantastic addition.”
Dale said: “Ian (Skinner) asked me before the replay against Stocksbridge on Tuesday if I would help out. He spoke to me a little bit about it in the summer but I didn’t really want to do it – but I agreed (to do it) for the replay and give the lads a hand. I enjoyed it; we got a good result and everything went well. On Friday night I got a phone call from Ian (Skinner). He wanted me back on the sidelines for the game on Saturday and that’s what I think he wants going forward as well so we’ll see how it goes.”
Newcastle-born Dale continued: “I’m happy to do it. I’m injured at the moment, so it keeps me occupied as well. I played in the game at Stocksbridge and its put me back a few weeks. Down at Stocksbridge we were short of a couple of players and I took the risk knowing that I would probably be out for a few more weeks.”
Reflecting on the 3-0 win over Stocksbridge, Dale said: “I know it was record attendance for the ground but to get over 1400 people through the doors on Tuesday evening was unbelievable. Any night you get that many fans behind you, you should beat the team you are playing and when we started like we did, the crowd are only going to get louder. We got those two early goals and I thought we had more than enough quality to beat them (Stocksbridge). It was a great result.”