By Brian Bennett
Ashington FC’s assistant manager Andy Coyles licked his lips in anticipation ahead of tonight’s quarter final tie of the Techflow Marine Northumberland Senior Cup against Heaton Stannington at Grounsell Park and said: “It’s all to play for!”
The two sides met twice in a little over five weeks earlier in the season in their Ebac Northern League games with The Stan winning 1-0 at Woodhorn Lane with a breakaway goal netted by Konner Lamb after ‘keeper Greg Purvis had saved a penalty from Ben Harmison.
However, Harmison had the final say when they met again at Heaton Stannington with Ashington’s skipper scoring a late equaliser to cancel out an opener from Daniel Stephenson.
On Saturday, Sunderland West End versus Horden CW in the ENL second division, was the only game to go ahead with the rest of the programme wiped out due to frozen pitches. Ashington were scheduled to be at home to Redcar Athletic whilst Heaton Stannington were due to host Newcastle Benfield.
Consequently the first division table remained unchanged with Ashington sitting fourth from top with The Stan six points behind in sixth place.
Speaking ahead of the cup tie, Coyles said: “It’s a quarter final so it’s all to play for. From our point of view, the clash is just as important as in the league and it’s about who manages the game well and makes the right decisions.”
He continued: “We’ll have a full squad to choose from and will have five or six lads back who weren’t available for that second game against Heaton Stannington in November.”
The winners of tonight’s tie will be at home to North Shields or Blyth Spartans in the semi final.
Kick-off is 7.30pm