At long last, Northern Premier League Football is back! Ashton United’s league campaign begins this Saturday with a trip to Stafford Rangers. After a fantastic pre-season and FA Cup opener, the Robins are ready to fly from their nest and return with 3 points.
Memories are plentiful when we look back to previous fixtures against Stafford Rangers, Ashton have won 5 of the last 6 meetings between the two teams. Over these matches, the Robins scored 12 goals whilst only conceding 4. The most recent clash between the clubs saw the beginning of a new era for Ashton United as Michael Clegg earned his first managerial victory for the Robins. The 2-1 home win showed the heart and determination of Clegg’s boys as it was 86th-minute winning goal from Michael Brewster that saw the clutch 3 points in the dying embers of the game. Brewster will wish to continue Stafford’s nightmares this weekend after his man of the match performance back in January.
Ashton opened their season last weekend with a 2-0 win over Squires Gate in the FA Cup qualifying round. The first competitive match of Ashton United’s season was forwarded quite literally by some of Ashton’s star forwards, Josh Wilson and Brad Lynch. It was Brad Lynch put the robin’s ahead with a delightful chipped finish. Captain reliable then sealed Squire Gates’ fate with an inch perfect header. The display showed Ashton’s defensive solidarity, an attribute that has been a great positive throughout pre-season.
The weekend’s fixture brings a unique dynamic as Ashton United will be coming up against former manager Jody Banim. Jody began last season with Ashton United before the introduction of Michael Clegg, since Clegg’s introduction the Robin’s form has been fantastic. Emotions are likely to be high as Jody introduces the Robin’s to his new home, Clegg may look towards his most experienced players such as skipper Josh Wilson to carry the team through the weekend’s tough fixture and secure the 3 points.
. For those who cannot attend live match commentary will be provided as always by Tom Langford and Jake Mathot. Be sure to listen or attend as the weekend’s fixture is not one to miss. Let’s hope that Stafford Rangers have an appetite because as we learnt at the weekend Chef Lynch has plenty of chips to spare!