Ashington and Stockton: A history of cup competition.

This is the first meeting between Ashington and Stockton Town in the FA Cup but it’s not the first time the Collier’s have taken on teams from the Teesside town in the competition.

On 27th November 1926 the Colliers disposed of Stockton in the first round of the FA Cup by the odd goal in three at the Victoria Ground. The Collier’s were unlucky not to have scored when those in attendance thought a strike had crossed the line after hitting the underside of the bar and then were unlucky not to have been awarded a penalty. Stockton though were equal to the Third Division North side for much of the game. The Colliers took the lead on 40 minutes when Watson headed past Murray in the Stockton goal.

Three minutes after half time the home side were level. After Ridley could only partially clear Smith hit a splendid shot that hit the back of the net. After a tough period of pressure from the home side the Colliers again took the lead. After Murray had failed to clear his lines Randall seized his opportunity to score his first goal of the season for Ashington’s senior side and put them into the next round. That season the Colliers had their best ever run in the competition eventually being beaten at home to Nottingham Forest in the third round in front of

The Collier’s again drew the Victoria Park side in the 1929-30 competition. 1200 spectators were present on 16th November 1929 at Portland Park to see Ashington progress to the next round. After the first half ended goalless the second period was much more lively with Stockton entering the field a man short. Despite their man advantage Ashington fell behind when Smith smashed a penalty home for Stockton. Four minutes later however, the Colliers were level through Pearson.

Price put the home side ahead with a penalty and Turnbull added a third soon after sending an already enthusiastic crowd wild. Longstaff reduced the arrears before Turnbull got his second of the game from a free kick. The Collier’s were knocked out of the competition in the next round against Rotherham United.

When the sides were next draw in the FA Cup it was the Teesside team who would progress though no game was ever played. In 1962 when the sides were drawn together the Colliers withdrew from the competition their then chairman Mr Nunn saying “We cannot afford to continue in the competition”. Davy Davidson the teams manager went further “The fact it, it is time that the amateur clubs contented themselves with their own competition, and left the FA Cup to the professional sides”. Ashington have competed in every season of the FA Cup since.

On September 18th 1965 the clubs met again at Victoria Park with the Colliers unbeaten. After only 20 minutes however they were dealt a huge blow when Ronnie Routledge was unable to stop a powerful drive by Jones and crashed into the post badly bruising his leg. The Colliers keeper was unable to continue and replaced in nets by outfield player Ron Heckley. Moor and Fuller grabbed further goals for the home side with Blackhall grabbing what was a consolation.

We’ve also played sides from Stockton in the FA Vase playing both Saturday’s opponents and Norton and Stockton Ancients in the competition, the later side inheriting the remaining assets of Stockton FC when they were wound up.

Goals from Hunt and Hayton helped the Colliers into the next round back in 1987 as the Colliers saw off Norton and Stockton Ancients 2-1 at Portland Park. In the 2011/12 season a solitary goal from Jonny Godsmark just after half time propelled Ashington to the next round of the competition against the same opponents at Woodhorn Lane.

Games against Stockton Town in the competition have not been so successful. On 3rd November 2018 the Colliers were beaten 4-1 at Bishopton Road. A Goal from Woodhouse and a brace from Roberts had the home side 3-0 at half time. Glen Caygill pulled one back for the visitors but Mulligan wrapped up the victory on 75 minutes. On 31st August 2019 Goals from Hayes (2) Robinson and Owens gave the Anchors a 4-0 victory at Bishopton Road.