Ashington v AFC Rushden & Diamonds – Saturday December 8th

 Ashington v AFC Rushden & Diamonds

Saturday 8th December 2012 – 3:00pm

FA Carlsberg Vase Third Round Proper

Woodhorn Lane, Ashington, Northumberland, NE63 9FW

AFC Rushden & Diamonds make the long trip to Northumberland to face Ashington AFC at their Woodhorn Lane ground in the third round of the FA Carlsberg Vase.

Although the competition still had an element of regionalization at this stage, the north / south split meant the Diamonds face the longest trip of the round. After the relatively local nature of UCL football this will be a chance for the club to go on the sort of “awayday” that some of their fans will remember from trips to Plymouth, Swansea or Carlisle from their R&DFC heritage.

Ashington play in the Northern League Division 1, which is a Step 5 League – i.e. one level higher than the UCL Division 1. This league has produced the winners of the FA Vase for the past 4 seasons, and both finalists last season were from that league, so the Diamonds will start the game as underdogs. Admission is £6 for adults, £1.50 for concessions. If the scores are level after 90 minutes then extra-time will be played, and then if the scores are still level the teams will replay at the Dog & Duck the following Saturday.

The winning club will receive £1500 from the FA Prize fund – see here for the current draw.

Details of any issues with respect to the weather / pitch conditions etc will be here or on Twitter (@AFCRD). Those who may not have internet access in the build-up to a game may want to make note of the club contact number at Ashington (01670 811991).

Our Opponents

Ashington has a strong footballing pedigree, with two World Cup Winners – Bobby and Jackie Charlton having been born there, as well as Newcastle United legend Jackie Milburn. Ashington AFC was formed in 1883, so is one of the oldest clubs in the country, and it was a Football League club from 1921 until the end of that decade. They played in various leagues until joining the Northern League in 1970 – the Northern League is the second oldest in the world.

The Colliers moved to their Woodhorn Lane ground for the 2008-09 season, and with the support of locally-born businessman Sir John Hall they extended their covered terrace to accommodate 500 fans in addition to the 150-seater stand.

The Colliers are managed by Gary Middleton, and their club website is here. They play in black and white striped shirts, with black shorts. In the second round of the competition they defeated local rivals Sunderland RCA. In recent weeks they have been on an unbeaten run of seven games following a defeat by Darlington (1883), but that run ended last weekend when the lost 1-0 at home to Bishop Auckland leaving them in 10th place in their league.

One of their famous old-boys is England cricketer Steve Harmison.

 Directions / Travel Options

Ashington AFC play at Woodhorn Lane, Ashington, Northumberland, NE63 9FW. As the ground is relatively new, it may not appear on all SatNav devices – it is close to the Wansbeck General Hospital – for a precise pointpoint see this map (at Point B) – Google Streetview shows the Ground Entrance at that point.  The ground is about 250 miles from the Dog & Duck – for directions / map see here. There is limited car parking at the ground but there is an overflow area (weather permitting).

A supporters coach has been arranged for this game – details here – leaving at 7:30am on the day of the game. There is also an Executive “Fans Experience” option offered by the club, as detailed here, which is a three-day trip with accommodation and certain meals.

Those preferring to use public transport will need to take a train to the North-East and take a bus to the ground. The closest station would be Morpeth, from where you can take Arriva North East Bus 35 to Ashington, then change to local Bus 20 to get to the ground. Alternatively you can get a bus from Newcastle bus station if you fancy a stopover in the City before the game, and bus X21 will take you directly to a stop near the ground (Wansbeck Hospital Stop). This may also be a preferred route after the game (possibly with a change to the X20), especially should it go into extra time, as the last train from Morpeth is at 17:52, whereas there are trains from Newcastle until 19:03.

You can use the Traveline website (North East option) for local directions or to plan a journey from Newcastle, and the Arriva Northeast website for bus timetables.

Those arriving early at the ground may be interested in visiting the nearby Woodhorn Museum which includes various exhibits relating to the Ashington Coal-Mining heritage.

Other Info

Individual player profiles for the AFC Rushden & Diamonds squad are available here, with a summary list of player and management profiles here. Summary stats for the season to date are here, including appearance, attendance and goalscoring details.

Latest Ticket News and Fixture News are provided on the AFC R&D website by clicking on the appropriate link. There are details on how to become a member of AFC R&D here, as well as news on Multiple Game Tickets and related prices here.

A full directory of UCL clubs, including links to websites, ground details etc, along with club links including Twitter details and some general UCL links is here.