By Brian Bennett

Ashington FC manager would like nothing better than his players to enjoy another exciting and mouth watering run in this season’s Emirates FA Cup.

The Colliers had some fabulous tussles and victories against the likes of Ashton United, Bradford Park Avenue and Stocksbridge Park Steels during the last campaign – all clubs higher up the footballing pyramid – before they eventually bowed out 3-1 away to Kings Lynn in the fourth qualifying round despite a gallant effort against a side from the National League North.

The draws were conducted last week and in the FA Cup, Ashington will be at home to North Shields in the extra preliminary round on Saturday August 5 with the winners facing an away tie against Stockton Town: “It’ll be tough,” said Skinner, “At least it means we will start the season at Woodhorn Lane which is always a bonus. Hopefully we can try and rekindle some of the magic we had in the FA Cup last season. Obviously it’s a competition which the players look forward to playing in; the club look forward to being involved in; the supporters love it – and it’s got its financial gains as well.”

In the Isuzu FA Trophy, the Wansbeck outfit will travel to meet Dunston UTS in the first qualifying round on Saturday September 9 with the victors away to either Liversedge or Nantwich.

“It will be the club’s first appearance in the FA Trophy for many years and again, it could not have been much tougher than an away game at Dunston UTS. However, at least we’ll have a bit of time to do a spot of homework on them and prepare for it.”