This Saturday, once again the Robin’s will put their unbeaten status on the line as Ashton United take a trip to the Proctor Cars Stadium for their first meeting in the league with Matlock Town. Ashton are currently sitting pretty at 8th in the Northern Premier League whilst Matlock are on the chase, down in 10th. Three points in this early stage of the season can mean so much for the table so both teams are willing to through caution to the wind, expect a scrap between two of the league’s most hungry teams.
The most recent clash between Matlock and Ashton came only two months ago in a preseason friendly which ended 1-1. The match was certainly tough for the Robin’s with skipper Josh Wilson being the sole goal scorer of Ashton in that cagey affair. With it only being preseason the Robins certainly didn’t field what could be described as their strongest side so expect a different result this time around if the Robins can get their way. Since that match, Matlock Town have had a solid start to the season picking up four points in three games including their most recent result, a draw at home to Basford United. Matlock goals in that match came from Kendall and Hughes so they will certainly be on the Robin’s radar this weekend.
Ashton United travel to Matlock frustrated after another draw where the Robins looked the better side. Tuesday’s Bamber Bridge game finished goalless with the lions share of chances being in the Robin’s favour, unfortunately only one statistic matters, and it clearly wasn’t to be for the club’s goal scorers on Tuesday. With a collection of strong defensive displays, it was a performance from Stavros Tserpes which stood out the most as we nearly saw the Robins come away with all the points. The charismatic defender put in a solid shift for Ashton and was touching distance from a clear goal of the season contender. If Stavros can get himself another start on Saturday he will certainly be a player to keep an eye on as he can offer so much offensively and defensively, proving himself to be crucial in a game where every Robin will have to be at their best.
Manager Michael Clegg spoke highly of his team in his post-match interview on Tuesday calling the match ‘the most one sided Northern Premier League game he’s ever watched’. Forever positive Michael was impressed that the Robins registered another clean sheet now taking the clubs clean sheet ratio to 66.6% in the league. However, with goal scoring seeming to become more of a problem this season, forwards such as Tom Bentham and Millenic Alli will want to squash any attacking issues on Saturday.
This week there are more issues with the team selection for Michael Clegg, its unknown as to whether Sam Baird is match fit yet after his recent struggles with a knock which saw him miss out against Bamber Bridge. Sadly, Michael Raynes won’t be wearing the new yellow and black away shirt this weekend and the defender misses out with a controversial red card doled out by the referee on Tuesday night. The return of Louis Almond may also inject some more life into the Robin’s front line as he was so crucial in the latter stages on last season. With plenty of decisions to make it will certainly be interesting to see Michael sets up this weekend
As usual Saturday’s game kicks off at 3pm, unfortunately tickets had to be reserved by Thursday so any Robin’s who have missed out will not be able to watch Clegg’s boys play in person. For those who were lucky enough to get a ticket for a trip to the Proctor Cars Stadium we ask you adhere to
social distancing rules as you would at Hurst Cross to help protect your fellow Robins. If you couldn’t pick up a ticket for Saturday’s game then do not worry, with live commentary from the ever-passionate Tom Langford available you can get play by play updates whilst shouting your house down cheering along for the mighty Ashton United. We look forward to your support as the year of the Robin continues.
Written by Zak Taylor