After seeing his side put on a professional display to knock Ashington out of the Northumberland Senior Cup Spartans defender Danny Parker hailed the “synchronicity of the side”. It was Parker himself who gave Spartans the lead in the first half with a bullet header and he was delighted to play his part in a far more comfortable tie than when the two sides met in the semi finals of the same competition last season.
“Everyone in the side was so synchronized and that made the difference. Last year was tough but tonight we took the battle to them and we were ready for them. That was the difference and it gave us the space to play, we knew once we had that we would dominate and that’s exactly what we did”
The former Bishop Auckland centre back has suffered a disrupted season with the jaw injury suffered in August against Whitby Town. That stopped him carrying on the momentum he had built up in an impressive debut campaign at Croft Park but Parker feels he is on the way to recapturing the form that saw him play an integral part in Spartans fine performance last season.
“Tonight was exactly what I needed to be fair. Once I came back from my injury I have been in and out of the side but I am so thankful for what happened tonight, getting a goal and a win. To be honest when I came back against Leek Town I took an early blow to the jaw and that was a good thing, it’s not really psychological. It’s just a case of getting the basics right and getting my confidence right. Scoring tonight will help that process”
While much of the focus at Spartans remains on the league and FA Cup Parker insisted that for the players the Senior Cup remains high on the agenda. Last season Spartans were beaten in the final by Newcastle United U21s and he wants another shot at the St James Park showpiece.
“The Senior Cup is important and we shouldn’t forget it’s silverware and a chance to play at St James Park like we did last year. There are a number of new lads who have come into the club and they will want to experience exactly what we did, so for us as players it is an important competition”