|Full name||Ashington Community Association Football Club|
|League||Northern Football League
|2014–15||Northern Football League
Division One, 13th
|Website||Club home page|
Ashington A.F.C. is an English non-league football club from Ashington, Northumberland, currently playing in the Northern League Division One. The team, nicknamed "The Colliers", play their home matches at Woodhorn Lane.
The club was formed in 1883 and since then have played in a number of local leagues, including the Northern Alliance, the East Northumberland League and the North Eastern League, the Midland Football League, Wearside Football League and the North Regional League. The club was a founding member of the Football League Third Division North in 1921, and the Northern Premier League in 1968. They have played in the Northern League since 1970.
The club was founded in 1883, and joined the Northern Alliance at the start of the 1892–93 season, but at the end of the season the club was forced to retire from the Alliance due to a poor result. In 1895, after a financial crisis was averted and the manager of Ashington Collieries, E.O. Souther, became the president of the club, they successfully applied to join the East Northumberland League, which they won in 1898. At the end of the 1901–02 season the club rejoined the Northern Alliance on their second application, and in 1907 moved to their former ground, Portland Park. The club won the Alliance in 1914, and moved to the North Eastern League the following season, where a few mid-table performances resulted before and after World War I.
In 1921, the club was elected to The Football League and became one of the founder members of the Third Division North. They recorded their best season ever in 1923–24, finishing 8th. They recorded their best FA Cup performance during the 1926–27 season, when they reached the 3rd round, losing 0–2 to Nottingham Forest. However, they were voted out of the league in 1929 after finishing in last place, and were replaced by York City.
The club was forced to rejoin the North Eastern League at the "B" League level for a single year before rising to the upper division. Ashington remained with the North Eastern League for the next nearly thirty years. In 1950, the club recorded its record attendance, when 13,199 saw them play Rochdale in the FA Cup. However, the North Eastern League was forced to fold due to financial troubles in 1958.
The club moved to the Midland League for two seasons, but the Midland League also folded in 1960. The team then moved to the newly created Northern Counties League, which two seasons later took the defunct North Eastern League's name. Unfortunately the new North Eastern League followed the same fate as the old one, folding in 1964. The club then spent a season in the Wearside Football League and three seasons in the North Regional League before becoming a founding member of the Northern Premier League in 1968. However, they dropped out after one season, spending a single season in the Northern Football Alliance.
Ashington joined Northern League at the start of the 1970–71 season, and have remained there ever since, though one of their greatest successes in the early years of this period was cup related. In the 1973–74 season they reached semi-finals of the last FA Amateur Cup competition, before losing to eventual winners Bishop's Stortford, as well as being runners up for the Northern League Cup and the Northumberland Senior Cup. Overall, the seventies were a time of consistency and mid-table league performances, other than a near-drop in 1971–72 and some better performances near the end of the decade. The eighties were a tougher time for the Colliers, with poor performances leading to a drop into the newly formed Northern League Second Division, where they found themselves mid-table most years. The nineties showed steady improvement, with results trending more towards the top half of the table, leading to their promotion back to Division One in 2001 when they won the Division Two championship. Although they fell back down the next year, ending up two points short after a three-point deduction, they won the Division Two championship again in 2004, and were able to stick in the upper division. In 2010, they had an excellent cup year, repeating a feat from 1974 by reaching the finals of both the Northern League Cup and the Northumberland Senior Cup, but lost them both again: the former to South Shields on penalties and the latter to Whitley Bay. They finally got their revenge in 2013, defeating Whitley Bay 3–0 to win the Northumberland Senior Cup, their first cup victory in 10 years.
Colours and crest
Ashington's colours are black and white vertical stripes, used on the shirt and paired with black shorts and black socks for home matches. While away, they use an all light blue shirt and socks with white shorts.
The Ashington AFC badge has two lions flanking a badge with a stylised AFC logo, with a soccer ball between the legs of the A. Above and below the badge are banners showing the 1888 year of establishment (though the club was founded in 1883) and the town name, respectively.
Ashington plays their home matches at Woodhorn Lane, having moved there in 2008 from Portland Park. The last game at Portland Park was in February 2008 against Seaham Red Star that attracted 1,954, while the first game at Woodhorn Lane took place on 30 August 2008 against Ossett Albion, who they beat 2–1 in front of a crowd of 341 in the FA Cup Preliminary Round. Striker Gareth Bainbridge scored in both games.
Supporters and rivalries
Ashington's average home attendance for the 2009–10 season was 228, one of the best in the Northern League. The long history of the club in the town and former Football League glories help maintain strong support.
A poll on the team's forum asked readers to identify the team's biggest rivals, and the voting was nearly evenly split between the Blyth Spartans and Bedlington Terriers. The former is the more traditional rival, having played with Ashington a hundred years ago in the East Northumberland League, but have moved two steps above in the league system, while the latter is a local derby in the same league.
As of 4 August 2014
All players are of British nationality.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Ashington also has a reserve side, known as the Ashington Colliers, which plays in the Northern Football Alliance Premier Division, a ladies side, nicknamed the Angels, which plays in the Northumberland County Women's Football League and many junior sides, running from Under 19s down to Under 7s.
- 2000–01, 2003–04
- Runners-Up (1): 1964–65
- Runners-Up (1): 1960–61
- Runners-Up (1): 1958–59
- Runners-Up (3): 1905–06, 1910–11, 1911–12
- 1920–21, 1932–33, 1938–39, 1949–50, 1955–56, 1956–57, 1961–62, 1966–67, 1979–80, 2012–13
- Runners-Up (13): 1913–14, 1937–38, 1947–48, 1950–51, 1957–58, 1958–59, 1960–61, 1962–63, 1964–65, 1970–71, 1973–74, 2008–09, 2009–10
- Runners-Up (3): 1973–74, 1975–76, 2009–10
- Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup: 2 (previously called the Craven Cup)
- 1998–99, 2002–03
- Runners-Up (1): 2003–04
Records and statistics
- Best FA Amateur Cup Result: Semi-Finalist, 1973–74 (vs. Bishop's Stortford)
- Best FA Cup Result: Third Round, 1926–27 (vs Nottingham Forest)
- Best FA Trophy Result: Second Round (3 times), 1979–80 (vs. Woking), 1980–81 (vs. Dartford), 1982–83 (vs. Barrow)
- Best FA Vase Result: Fifth Round, 2011–12 (vs. Shortwood United)
- Highest Attendance (Portland Park): 13,199 vs. Rochdale (9 December 1950, FA Cup, Second Round)
- Highest Attendance (Woodhorn Lane): 906 vs. Darlington (16 March 2013, Ebac Northern League)
Football League statistics (Third Division North)
|Highest Position Obtained|
Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against;
GA = Goal average; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points
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- Official club website
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- Ashington Juniors