By Brian Bennett

Ashington FC central defender Ryan McKinnon has said that it was a ‘no brainer’ to sign for the Colliers.

However McKinnon, who joined the Woodhorn Lane outfit from Tow Law Town, has still to make his debut – more than a fortnight after putting pen to paper!

The 26 year old played for the Lawyers against Ian Skinner’s side in their FA Cup preliminary round tie which Ashington won late in the contest thanks to a Robbie Dale penalty and has obviously missed out on the continuing run in the competition by the Wansbeck side as he is cup tied.

McKinnon said this week: “I know a lot of the lads at Ashington like Dean Briggs, Liam Smith and Craig Spooner and played against them earlier in the season. I know how good an outfit they are – so when I spoke to Ian Skinner it was a no brainer to sign for them. It’s a great set up including training which is all I’ve been involved in with the group so far because of the cup run – and I’m happy to be here.”

However McKinnon admitted that he is frustrated and is a bad watcher when his new team are in action: “I love watching football in general but when you are on the sidelines for the team you play for, you are kicking every ball because you want to be involved in the game,” he said, “I get too invested and when it’s a big occasion like this FA Cup run, it’s something which you want to be part of. They are big games which attract loads of spectators – and that’s what you want. From my point of view it’s frustrating – but on the other hand it’s positive times for the club and it’s great to see the lads doing well.”

Manager Ian Skinner said: “Ryan signed for us about two and a half weeks ago and he hasn’t kicked a ball yet! We had the replay against Ashton United – and he’s ineligible – then the West Auckland game was postponed due to the sad passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and then we played Bradford Park Avenue in the next round of the FA Cup. Ryan has trained four times since he joined the club and he looks everything we thought he was. He’s big and strong and is good on the floor in terms of the way we try to play out but he’s also strong in the tackle and good in the air – but I knew that and that’s why I brought him to the football club. Any player who comes to us has got to be the real deal – and Ryan is. I had a bit of a chat with him after training just to make sure he was settling in alright and he’s enjoying it – although he’s desperate to get out there on the park.”

Casting an eye towards Saturday’s Ebac Northern League clash against Penrith in Cumbria, Skinner added: “I’ll be having a long hard look in terms of everyone’s playing time which I keep a log of because we’ve got some players who have played a lot of football. These boys have played in two physically and mentally tiring cup ties against Ashton United and Bradford Park Avenue and there are lads who are chomping at the bit to get some minutes – so it might just be time to freshen things up.”


By Brian Bennett

Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner’s immediate reaction on hearing the draw for the next round of the Emirates FA Cup was one of disappointment – and that his side will face a ‘real tough tie away from home’ when they travel to face Stocksbridge Park Steels on Saturday week (October 1).

The Colliers booked their place in the third qualifying round on Saturday after a 2-1 win over Bradford Park Avenue at Woodhorn Lane whilst at the same time Sheffield based Stocksbridge – who play in the Pitching In Northern Premier League East Division – scored a late winner against Marine to secure their spot.

Skinner said: “First of all, I was disappointed that we didn’t get a home tie because that’s what we really wanted. I think the draw could have been more unkind in terms of the opposition but obviously we will still give Stocksbridge the respect they deserve. They play in a step above us so we’ll be gathering as much information on them as we can.”

He continued: “We’ll prepare properly – just like we do for every game – and we’ll have a little look at where our strengths lie and potentially some of the areas we think we can exploit in their team. It will be a real tough tie away from home but it’s one which we’ll look forward too. No doubt we’ll take a good following of supporters and we’ll be giving it our best shot.”

Meanwhile Skinner’s thoughts this week turn to Saturday’s away trip to face Penrith in an Ebac Northern League first division clash and he said: “It’ll be nice because it feels like ages since we last played a league game. Our last outing was away to Carlisle City three weeks ago so it’ll be good to close the gap on those number of games because some teams are into double figures now with matches played whilst we have only completed six so we’ve got a lot to catch up on. However, if I’m honest if someone had said to me before the start of the season that we may need to catch up on a few league games but have a good run in the FA Cup, I think I would have taken it.”


By Brian Bennett

Ashington FC skipper Ben Harmison described the Colliers’ win over Bradford Park Avenue in the Emirates FA Cup at Woodhorn Lane as being a ‘day to remember.’

Harmison went into the contest with an extra spring in his step after helping Ashington Cricket Club to win promotion to the Premier Division of the North East Premier League.

And the 36 year old not only led from the front at Woodhorn Lane with a colossal display but also netted what proved to be a crucial second goal for the black and whites with quarter of an hour of the clash remaining.

Harmison said afterwards: “The result was brilliant – and we deserved to win. We knew about Bradford and that they were struggling in their league – whilst we were confident. Our manager Ian Skinner had been to watch them and reported back to us that there was no reason why we couldn’t win – and that’s the message which we took into the game. We had nothing to fear and had that belief that we could beat them and it didn’t matter to us that they were three levels above us because we’ve got players in our side that can easily play at that standard.”

He continued: “The early goal helped us and then for a period of ten minutes, we made them look ordinary. However, for some reason we took our foot off the gas and let them come into it with the wind. They had some quality on the left, putting balls into the box but we defended well as a team.”

Harmison was pleased to get his name on the score sheet with a looping header: “I looked to get a good contact on the ball and let the wind take it in,” he said, “Naturally I was delighted when the ball hit the back of the net because it put us 2-0 up and gave us a bit of a cushion. I thought we were getting tired and it showed in the last ten minutes which was understandable for a club at our level.”

He went on: “We are in the hat for the next round and with the exposure the club will get, it was a fantastic day. To get this far in the competition is not just brilliant for lads but for the fans and the club in general.”


By Brian Bennett

Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner has praised the ‘fantastic’ support his side received before, during and after their 2-1 victory over Bradford Park Avenue in their FA Cup clash on Saturday.

He said: “The supporters have excelled themselves again. With all the local football which was on in the area, they came out in their numbers and were fantastic. I’d like to thank them and also to those who came along for the first time from the town and cheered us on – let’s hope we get them all back again.”


By Brian Bennett

Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner revealed he had to make a ‘big’ decision ahead of his sides second qualifying round clash in the Emirates FA Cup against Bradford Park Avenue at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday which the Colliers won 2-1.

Skinner brought skipper Ben Harmison back into the team with Thomas Kalthoeber named amongst the substitutes – but the boss explained: “To be fair, I had a big decision to make – and Thomas Kalthoeber was unlucky today. Thomas dropped out at training on Thursday night with a little bit of an injury on his ankle. He reported this morning (Saturday) and said he felt fine – but I just felt that I couldn’t take the risk of playing him in a game of this size and potentially having to make a substitution early in the game.”

He continued: “With Ben Harmison available, I plumped for putting him into the side and to be honest I thought he was our man of the match today with his defending if I’m honest whilst he’s also popped up with a goal at the other end. It’ll be a little bit easier for Thomas to take knowing that we didn’t want to take the risk with him and that Ben (Harmison) has come in and done really, really well for us.”


By Brian Bennett

Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner certainly did his homework on opponents Bradford Park Avenue in preparation for Saturday’s second qualifying round tie in the Emirates FA Cup which the Colliers won 2-1 at Woodhorn Lane.

And after the final whistle, Skinner’s immediate thoughts were one of delight – for so may people connected with the club.

Skinner speaking within minutes of the win against the National League North side said: “I’m obviously delighted – for the players, for the club, for the fans and for all the hard work which goes into preparing for these types of games. Personally I’m not looking for any plaudits but the chairman (Brian Shotton) and myself drove down to Bradford on Monday evening to watch them in action against Darlington. I also managed to get a copy of every game in which they had played this season. I must have sat watching hours and hours of footage of them (Bradford) to work out how we could look at playing against them. Then you read comments about how it will be a great day for their strikers to boost their confidence because they haven’t scored many goals and I just thought ‘I’ll stick that piece of news on our dressing room wall!’

He continued: “One thing was uppermost in my mind – a way of how we wanted to try and play because we set up purely and simply to win the game – nothing else. I said to the lads ‘I think we can win it and I expect us to win to be honest.’ They (the players) were fantastic in training on Thursday. They showed some real quality in the final third around how we were going to play – so full credit to them because they have taken the information which they were provided with on board.”

On the first half, Skinner said: “For the early exchanges I thought we were the better side and deserved to go ahead. We had them rattled a little bit in the first 20 minutes then we just seemed to drop off a touch and invited them to have the ball. We knew their danger was big diagonal balls into their striker Jacob Blyth and then looking to get Brad Dockerty and others around him and playing off seconds – and they grew into the game and had a couple of chances. They had a goal ruled off in the first half but our ‘keeper Karl Dryden hasn’t really had a save to make and we’ve come in at half time ahead.”

He added: “We talked about one or two things at the interval in terms of being a little bit braver and staying on the ball a bit more in the way we usually play and combining and putting passes together. We knew there was a bit of a wind so when they (Bradford) tried to play a little bit more direct it (the ball) would hang up in the air. Again we fashioned some chances; Lee Mason was clean through and it was a good save from their ‘keeper (George Sykes-Kenworthy) then Mason has had a fantastic and technically brilliant strike which has hit the bar.”

With quarter of an hour remaining, skipper Ben Harmison added Ashington’s second with a header – and Skinner said: “I was right behind the effort and it was one of them where it was looping and you think ‘it’s in, it’s in’ – only it took an age for the ball to drop into the net! At 2-0, you think ‘let’s see if we can manage the game out’ but to Bradford’s credit – and it was a cup tie where they had to go for it – they started to cause us problems. The left back had real quality and started to get little three versus twos down our right hand side and they got balls into the box and from one which was half cleared, they’ve pulled one back. It wouldn’t be Ashington if we didn’t make things a little bit exciting! They had another goal disallowed for offside but then after that we managed to see the game out relatively comfortably and we’re in the hat for the next round.”


By Brian Bennett

Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner said within minutes of his side knocking Bradford Park Avenue out of this season Emirates FA Cup after a merited 2-1 victory, that when the draw for the third qualifying round is made on Tuesday, that no team will fancy a trip to face his side at Woodhorn Lane.

An upbeat Skinner said: “Our club have got a group of players who play in the Ebac Northern League but without being disrespectful lots of them already have – and others could – play at a higher standard – and they’ve shown that.”

He continued: “People can say we beat Ashton United who are two divisions above us and that in the FA Cup things like that happen and it goes down as being a bit of a shock – well Bradford Park Avenue, who play three leagues above us, came to our ground on Saturday and we beat them as well.”

He went on: “I have already said that I’m hoping for another home tie in the next round because nobody will want to come here – we’ll be the team that others will be saying ‘I don’t fancy going up there!’


By Brian Bennett | Photo: Rachel McDonald

Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner says he would ‘love’ another home draw in the third qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup.

The boss was speaking minutes after his side had produced another cup upset at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday when a crowd of 711 – which bettered the attendance in their previous round replay win over Ashton United – witnessed another piece of giant killing when the Colliers knocked out Bradford Park Avenue who operate three divisions higher in the National League North.

Skinner’s side got off to a flying start when Bradford defender Reece Staunton put through his own goal after only five minutes then with quarter of an hour to go, skipper Ben Harmison added a second. When Bradford substitute Will Longbottom pulled one back with eight minutes to go, it made for a nervous finale but apart from Eddie Church having an effort disallowed for offside for the visitors, the Ashington goal was never troubled.

Now the Wansbeck outfit eagerly await the next round draw which will be released on Tuesday afternoon. Traditionally it is conducted on the Monday after the cup ties but has been put back 24 hours with the state funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II taking place.

Skinner said: “I’d love it if we can get another home draw. I mentioned during the week leading up to the Bradford game that I fancied our chances against anybody on home soil and after claiming the scalps of higher league opposition in Ashton United and now Bradford Park Avenue at Woodhorn Lane, that’s what I’ll be hoping for.”


We very much look forward to welcoming one of our Football League rivals from the 1920s to Woodhorn Lane in the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday 17th September.

We will add various information about the tie and our history against each other to this page throughout the course of this week.


Ashington will bridge an 11 year gap on Saturday (September 17) when they host Bradford Park Avenue in the second qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup.

However following the sad news of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II whose state funeral is on Monday (September 19), the club have asked supporters to keep in touch via their social media channels in case the date of the match is changed by any government or FA decision.

It was at the same stage of the competition in the 2011/12 season when Jamie Clarke headed a dramatic late equaliser to force a 3-3 draw against Vauxhall Motors at Woodhorn Lane.

The Colliers then won the rematch on Merseyside with a single goal by Andrew Johnson.

After seeing off Guiseley 1-0 at home, Ashington bowed out at the fourth qualifying round at Grimsby.

The first few weeks of this campaign have seen the Colliers progress after wins against Newton Aycliffe, Tow Law Town and Ashton United and the run has brought a buzz around Wansbeck.

After knocking out Ashton – who operate two divisions higher in the Premier Division of the Northern Premier League – in the last round, Ashington meet higher opposition again with Bradford Park Avenue in the National League North, the same league as Blyth Spartans.

However, the Colliers were spurred on to a 3-0 victory in their replay against Ashton by a superb attendance of 671 and the Woodhorn Lane outfit will be hoping to beat that figure on Saturday where kick-off is 3pm.

If the scores are level after 90 minutes, the game will then go to a replay.

The club have confirmed that admission prices will be the same as in the last round and that supporters will save £1 if they book online in advance at the following link:


Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner is looking for his side to make home advantage count when they take on Bradford Park Avenue in the second qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday (3pm).

With all football postponed last weekend following the sad news of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, there was a doubt as to whether the cup tie would be played. However, earlier in the week Colliers secretary Gav Perry received notification from the Football Association that it will go ahead – with a one minutes silence being observed before kick-off.

Ashington boss Skinner said: “It’s an important game for us and one which we are very much looking forward too. Obviously we’ve done reasonably well to get this far in the competition and it’s another step forward from Ashton because Bradford are another division higher (than Ashton) – three above us. Its tough opposition but we’re at home and to be honest, we fancy our chances against anybody at Woodhorn Lane regardless of the level which they play at.”

He continued: “We’ve done due diligence on Bradford like we do with anybody we play so we know lots and lots about them – and no doubt they will have done a little bit of homework on us. So what I can guarantee is that we will be prepared; we’ll have a way in which we think we can play that will give us the best chance of getting a positive result. Certainly being at home and on our own patch, we’ll be looking to try and get the job done on Saturday.”

Skinner needs to check on the fitness of one or two of his players but Lewis Suddick, Max Emmerson and goalkeeper Kyle Hayes are all ruled out.

If the scores are level after 90 minutes then the game will go to a replay which will be held at Bradford’s Horsfall Community Stadium on Wednesday (September 21) with a 7.45pm kick-off.


Ashington FC defender Andrew Cartwright says he is ‘really excited’ about Saturday’s home tie against Bradford Park Avenue in the second qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup.

It will be the Colliers biggest match in the competition for 11 years and apart from describing the contest as being a ‘free hit’ Cartwright reckons it is an ideal opportunity for the Wansbeck side to showcase their skills.

“I’m really excited,” said the 28 year old, “I think it’s a massive opportunity for the club, and the boys and I don’t think its one that’s unreasonable to ask us to go out there and give it a good go. I think we’ve got a good chance and why not? We’ve got a good team so bring it on. We’re at home which always helps and the last thing they (Bradford) will want is to travel up here and play against us. They are a team who are three leagues above us so all the pressure is on them whilst we have got a bit of a free hit to go out and show what we can do – and hopefully get through.”

Newcastle-born Cartwright continued: “We’ve got a lot of players who have played at the same level as where Bradford are so it doesn’t faze us at all to be honest. If anything it’s just a game that you look forward to and you relish because it’s an opportunity to prove what you can do.”

The Gosforth-based full back – a football coach – added that he would like to see a bumper attendance from the people of Wansbeck as the noise generated from supporters spurs the team on: “We’d love a good turn out,” he said, “It’s a great occasion for their local team and in the last game when we played against Ashton United in the FA Cup replay, they really got behind us. When the highlights go out and our goals go in, you can see and hear their celebrations which are class and it really makes a difference. Also knowing that people are paying money to come in and watch us play as a team, pushes us on.”


Saturday 14th April 1923

Football League – Division Three (North)

Portland Park, Ashington

Billy Relph (2)Gerry Fell
Manager: CommitteeManager: Tom Maley
1. Alex Davidson1. Ernie Scattergood
2. Harry Featherstone2. Tom Brandon
3. James Collier3. Harold Hodgson
4. Albert Tubb4. Harold Taylor
5. Jimmy Price5. David Howie
6. Ridley Burton6. Gerry Fell
7. James Soulsby7. Ernie Thompson
8. Norman Hunter8. George McLean
9. Tom Robertson9. Bobby Turnbull
10. Billy Relph10. Hugh Hubbert
11. Jackie Foster11. Harold Peel

Report (The Blyth News – Monday 16th April 1923)


Ashington rose splendidly to the occasion on Saturday when they had Bradford as visitors to Portland Park in a Northern Section League game fraught with much consequence to both sides. The Yorkshire side aspire to return to the Second Division from which circumstances compelled their departure twelve months ago, which the Colliers are making every endeavour to avoid being the wooden spoonists of their combination. The position was therefore of the upmost importance to both clubs, and the result goes to show how little difference there is in the calibre of the sides representing the higher and lower rungs of the league ladder. The northern club is to be congratulated on the whole-hearted display they gave from start to finish, and the average supporter of the team can only sigh and wish that the methods adopted against Bradford had only been oftener in evidence. Swinging the leather about with refreshing vigour, the value of this method was shown to be much more productive than had been seen in many of Ashington’s previous games this season.


The Yorkshireman fielded the same side that had been so signally successful in recent weeks but the home side had two changes. Colling coming in at the left-back again after his recent injury, while Tubb filled the right-half position. The local side opened in a reassuring way with the sun and breeze at their backs for Scattergood had to run out and clear several times in the opening minutes, while a good situation was spoilt when Robertson got offside. This advantage was only momentary however for Turnbull soon got his wings together and he was only inches wide with a fast ground shot. He came nearer when he struck the crossbar with a capital attempt from a freekick just outside the penalty area, the game settling down to a stern contest with both defences frequently under pressure. McLean shot high over the bar when in a good position, and Scattergood had to go full length to a freekick taken by Price, but he got the leather round the post for an abortive corner. He also saved splendidly by smothering a shot from Robertson’s toe, this corner also being of no advantage to the locals.


The opening half had been well and evenly contested, but Turnbull made some excellent attempts to get through on restarting, two ground drives in as many minutes being safely dealt with by Davidson and the custodian made another great save from the visiting centre in the next few minutes. However the home quintette soon got settled down again, Robertson finding the firm footing to his liking. He beat the backs, but Scattergood came out and stopped his drive, the leather going to Relph who scored into a tenantless goal in six minutes. three minutes later the home centre again got through, but he struck the upright in attempting to place the leather out of Scattergood’s reach and Relph scored from the rebound. The visitors did not take these reverses lying down and for some time it was only fine defensive work the kept them out. Fetherstone unnecessarily handled at the end of fifteen minutes and from the freekick on the penalty line Fell headed the ball past Davidson. This success spurred Bradford to greater efforts and Davidson had several fine shots to handle, but the home attack developed fine form in the closing quarter of an hour and were the better side in this period.




Between 1922-23 and 1927-28 Ashington AFC faced Bradford (Park Avenue) twelve times in Division 3 (North) of the Football League.

Overall the record stood at three wins for Ashington (all coming at home), two draws (both at home) and seven defeats.

Bradford (Park Avenue) had their only win in NE63 in their very last visit at the end of the 1927-28 season.

All of the Football League results are below:

1922-2314-Apr-1923Ashington 2-1 Bradford Park Avenue
1922-2321-Apr-1923Bradford Park Avenue  3-0 Ashington
1923-2412-Apr-1924Ashington 1-0 Bradford Park Avenue
1923-2419-Apr-1924Bradford Park Avenue  3-1 Ashington
1924-2517-Dec-1924Bradford Park Avenue  7-1 Ashington
1924-2518-Apr-1925Ashington 1-0 Bradford Park Avenue
1925-2614-Nov-1925Bradford Park Avenue  1-0 Ashington
1925-2627-Mar-1926Ashington 1-1 Bradford Park Avenue
1926-2709-Oct-1926Bradford Park Avenue  2-0 Ashington
1926-2726-Feb-1927Ashington 2-2 Bradford Park Avenue
1927-2822-Oct-1927Bradford Park Avenue  5-0 Ashington
1927-2803-Mar-1928Ashington 0-3 Bradford Park Avenue


Saturday 3rd March 1928

Football League – Division Three (North)

Portland Park, Ashington

Attendance: 4,052

Bert Davis
Ken McDonald (2)
Manager: CommitteeManager: Claude Ingram
1. Ralph Ridley1. Jack Clough
2. Ted Ferguson2. Bertie Manderson
3. George Hamilton3. Tommy Llody
4. Joe Coombs4. Harold Taylor
5. Jimmy Price5. Billy Matthews
6. Frank Chipperfield6. Don Duckett
7. Robert Robinson7. Bert Davis
8. George Johnson8. George McLean
9. Samuel Ball9. Ken McDonald
10. Bill Watson10. Arthur Hawes
11. Jimmy Randall11. Alf Quantrill
Extract from Blyth News Ashington Post – Monday 5th March 1928



Tickets for the match can be bought in advance via our online ticket site which offers a discount of £1 compared to on the day entry prices. Of course, those wishing to wait until the day, can pay by cash and card at the turnstiles.

Online Sales


Next Saturday (17th September) we welcome Bradford (Park Avenue) AFC to Woodhorn Lane in the Emirates FA Cup – Second Round Qualifying.

This will be the first time in eleven seasons that the club has reached the Second Round Qualifying of the competition and it would be great to see as many local people as possible get behind the team on the day.

The last time Ashington faced Bradford (Park Avenue AFC (with the exception of their reserve side) was back in March 1928 when both clubs competed in Division 3 North of the English Football League.

The first meeting of the clubs in the Football League was actually in April 1923, when Bradford (Park Avenue) visited Portland Park, the score on that first meeting was a 2-1 home win.

How can you help us?

To help us advertise this match, we have produced a poster which can be download and printed if you are able to display this anywhere. A PDF and JPEG (Image) format of the poster are available to download on the below links:

Where can I buy tickets?

Tickets for the match can be purchased online via our Ticketing site which also offers a £1 discount compared to our standard matchday entry prices. Of course, you can still purchase your entry at the turnstile on the day if you prefer and our turnstiles accept cash and card. If you do want to buy in advance to speed up your entry, out ticketing site can be found at: