“It’s a tough draw – and I don’t think we have got a fantastic record there”

By Brian Bennett

Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner will lay down a challenge to his side ahead of
Saturday’s trip to face Stockton Town in the preliminary round of the Emirates FA Cup.

The Woodhorn Lane boss said: “It’s a tough draw and I don’t think we have got a
fantastic record there so the challenge to the lads is an obvious one. We’ll certainly need
to defend better than we did against Brighouse Town that’s for sure because the
Stockton front line is one of the best in the division. We’ll prepare properly as we always
do and do our homework on them – albeit we know quite a bit about them already and
we’ll go there looking to try and win – just as we do in every single game we compete in.”

Nathan Buddle picked up an injury in the days leading up to Ashington’s opening game
in the Northern Premier League against Brighouse last Saturday and Skinner said: “We
were dealt a bit of a blow on Thursday after training when we lost Nathan (Buddle) and
with Jordan Summerly also ruled out, we had to change two of the back four which had
kept a clean sheet against North Shields in our FA Cup win and that might have
contributed slightly towards our downfall in terms of defending our box against

He went on: “We’ll need to check on the fitness of one or two players including Nathan
(Buddle) but I reckon it’ll be touch and go for him this weekend.”

Meanwhile defender Darren Lough is looking forward to a hard clash on Teesside:
“Stockton is not an easy place to go to,” he said, “I have played there a couple of times
before on the artificial pitch and they (Stockton) play nice football. However, we also
play nice football so it’s going to be a hard game and if we don’t win then hopefully we
can get a draw and bring them back to our place for a replay. Our run in the FA Cup last
season was great and we have some new faces in the squad this time round it so it
would be fantastic if we could have another journey like last year.”