Ashington AFC




Tue 6 Sep 2016 | Ebac Northern League Division One | Home


Woodhorn Lane





By Brian Bennett

Ashington’s Ebac Northern League first division clash against Penrith at Woodhorn Lane on Tuesday night was abandoned following a sickening injury to Colliers striker Damien Stevens. The Wansbeck outfit had already seen midfielder Scott Blandford carried off early in the contest before Stevens put them in front, lashing the ball home from a Kyle Downey assist in the 19th minute. But only five minutes later, the forward went for a 50-50 ball inside the area with Cumbrians ‘keeper Jonny Jamieson and after a purely accidental coming together, it was the stopper who immediately signalled that the injury to Stevens was serious. An ambulance - which was summoned – arrived but after a stoppage of 40 minutes, referee Stephen Dial abandoned the game. Harmison was full of praise for the match official; also stated that the Penrith goalkeeper was upset and stressed it was important for Stevens to received full support from the Woodhorn Lane based outfit: “We’ve played part of a game of football where there has not been a bad tackle – yet we’ve got two of our players in casualty, one where the ambulance has had to be called. I’ve just said to the lads in our dressing room about praising the medical staff we have got at our club – Jay Robertson, who was fantastic in both situations and Leanne Symonds, our former physio who attended the game and ended up on the field to lend assistance. I have thanked all of the players who were around at the time comforting Damien - and helping to lift his spirits - because the boy was in pain. The goalkeeper was upset but there was no malice involved – it was a 50-50 tackle - which happen all over the pitch.” He continued: “The ambulance men didn’t want to move Damien so in my eyes it was a no brainer to abandon the game. To be fair, I’ve criticised referees lately but the way he (Stephen Dial) went about the whole situation was excellent. Penrith wanted to continue - probably because of the distance which they had travelled – and although my players would have still gone on the field, I’m not sure what state of mind they would have been in.” Harmison added that football should take a back seat over the next few days with all our thoughts centred on Stevens: “On Damien, he’s got better and better as the season has progressed,” added the boss, “He scored again tonight to get us in a winning position and as I have said before, when we are in a winning position, we are a different team. It showed again because as soon as we scored that goal we were completely different. But it’s not about football for the next few days – it’s about how we get Damien’s spirits up. Damien got a nice round of applause when he was lifted into the ambulance – but that’s only the start of what this football club needs to do for him. The most important thing now is making sure he gets the full support of Ashington footballers as well as Ashington FC - and whilst I am here they will always do that.” Harmison added that Scott Blandford has suffered an Achilles injury: “Scott said he felt a ‘pop’ and we’ve sent him to Cramlington Hospital to get things checked out,” he said. Meanwhile Ashington head south on Saturday for their FA Vase clash against Albion Sports and Harmison said he will be taking a 16 man squad. However, Stevens, Blandford, Craig Scott, James Taylor and Paul Dunn are all ruled out whilst James Harmison is rated ‘very doubtful.’


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