11 Mar 2018 in General News
By Brian Bennett
Ashington FC manager Steve Bowey is desperately hoping Saturday’s trip to face Sunderland-based Ryhope CW goes ahead – even though the Woodhorn Lane boss will be in a race against the clock as soon as the final whistle is blown. For the 43 year old will then head up to Palmeston Park in Scotland to take part in a talk-in – which is a sell out - at Queen of the South FC, one of his former outfits.
Bowey will be a special guest at a ‘Meet the Manager’ evening alongside Queen of the South manager - and ex Scottish International and Everton defender - Gary Naysmith and former Blyth Spartans and Whitley Bay manager Paddy Atkinson. And Bowey makes no secret of the fact that his time spent with the Dumfries-based club – just short of five years – represents his finest hour in his entire footballing career: “I’m really looking forward to it,” he said, “It will be a return to one of my former stomping grounds where I enjoyed great success on the field. We won the Scottish second division title as well as the Bell’s Scottish Cup and from a personal angle, I won ‘Player of the season’ three years in a row and the memories are the highlight of my career. After being promoted to the Scottish Championship, the club finished fourth top – the highest position by a part time team.It’s the first occasion where I have been part of a talk-in and I’m looking forward to it immensely.”
For Saturday’s contest on Wearside, Bowey will have to reckon without the unavailable David Edwards and injured Shaun Henderson but striker Lee Scott edged closer to match fitness after playing 90 minutes for Ashington Colliers at the weekend: “Lee scored a belter of a goal,” added Bowey, “His fitness levels are getting stronger and stronger and he is looking a class act.”
Meanwhile Kevin Hewitt, the secretary of the Ebac Northern League, has admitted that this campaign has been his ‘most challenging’ yet. He said: “Postponements have made it the most challenging season for arranging fixtures since I took over as league secretary. We try to avoid fixture congestion, but the atrocious weather over the last couple of months has made it very difficult for clubs to play their fixtures, despite all the best efforts of ground staff, committees and volunteers. Marske for example still have 19 league games to play - along with a two legged semi-final of the Vase against Stockton.”
He continued: “Until the end of the season, many teams will be playing at least twice and sometimes three times a week. It’s not the situation we want, but we’ve been left with no alternative. We’d like to thank everyone for all their hard work in getting games on - both in the last couple of months but also for the rest of the season.”