Renaissance man Jamie Clarke is hoping to play his part in another Ashington upset against Guiseley on Saturday.

The Colliers pulled off a big surprise in the last round when they defeated Vauxhall Motors, from the Blue Square North, in a replay, after coming back from 3-1 down with only minutes remaining in the first game.

Clarke, who works for North Riding FA as a county welfare officer, joined Northumberland club Ashington from Norton in late August, and has already scored nine goals for them, five of them in the Cup.

And now he’s hoping to be on target as the Northern League first division side look for a place in the last qualifying round of the FA Cup for the first time since 1975. They were in a similar situation last season in the third qualifying round, but lost 4-1 at home to Droylsden.

“We think this will be a more difficult game than the game against Vauxhall Motors,” he said.

“Maybe Guiseley are at the other end of the spectrum compared to Vauxhall Motors. Guiseley are flying high in that league at the moment and looking for promotion. Vauxhall Motors were near the bottom of their league, having a bad run and we could tell that one or two of their players were short on confidence.

“So we’re expecting a more difficult game, but we’ve taken a lot of confidence from beating Vauxhall Motors, especially at their place in the replay. And the whole club is buzzing as well.

“Our fans made a huge amount of noise in both games against Vauxhall Motors, and they gave us a great lift. It was a very special occasion when we won down there last week.

“It’s a win/win for the situation for our lads. There’s hardly any pressure on us, and we could reach the last qualifying round of the FA Cup.”

Clarke has played for several Northern League clubs and Gateshead under Tony Lee in their previous Conference days, but he’s never really sampled the spotlight of a run past this stage of the competition “I’m at the same stage today as I was last season with Norton,” he said.

“We played FC United last season in front of a big 2,000 crowd at home. At one point we were 2-1 up, but then we took our foot off the pedal and let them back in the game. We lost 5-2 in the end, and so obviously I’d like to make up for that defeat today.”

The 38 year old, one of the oldest regular players in the Northern League, says that he’s enjoying a renaissance with Ashington.

“There wasn’t any fall out with my last club Norton,” he said. “I’ve been looked after by many of my previous clubs, and Norton certainly took care of me. I’ve known Gary Middleton, the Ashington manager, for a while, and he wondered whether I fancied joining them. I wanted a new challenge to get me going again, and it’s certainly worked so far. The way he sets his team up, suits me down to the ground and the team play to my strengths – all the other lads do the running! The rest of the lads have got some good quality, and they’ve made me feel a bit younger!

“We’ve had a free midweek to prepare, so hopefully everybody will be fit and fresh, just like they were in the last round – and hopefully we can upset another club.”

Guiseley are third in the Conference North, 78 places above Ashington in the national system. They reached the Blue Square North play offs last season.