Yet another 6 pointer, so no pressure on the Rangers then. If you look at corresponding league records, then there is a very strong similarity. Ashton at home in the league have won 1, drawn 2 and lost 6 whereas on our league travels we have won 1, drawn 2 and lost 8. Ashton lie 21st in the table with 15 points from their games while we are 3 points behind them but having played 2 more games. Goal difference is tight such that a win for the Rangers by 2 goals will take us of the bottom. Ashton’s poor home form has seen only 1 home win, that being against fellow relegation candidates, Gainsborough, and they have two draws with Atherton and Matlock. Defeats have come at the hands of FC United, Nantwich, Radcliffe, South Shields, Stalybridge and Whitby.

Ashton came into non-league hierarchy in 1992 with promotion from the North West Counties to the Northern Premier League 1, gaining promotion to the Northern Premier League in 2002. 2004 saw promotion to Conference North, but that lasted only for one season, and became the clubs first ever relegation in their history. Last season saw their second season in Conference North, but they returned to the Northern Premier league with another relegation. They were tipped for a quick return but find themselves, like us, deep in a relegation battle. However, just before Christmas the Ashton Board acted, parted company with manager Jody Banim. They quickly appointed Michael Clegg having tempted him from Atherton Collieries. His first move was to transfer in two players from Atherton in Ben Hardcastle and Michael Brewster. Clegg had won three promotions in five years in charge at Atherton Collieries. He has however had a tough start, yet to get a victory, so hopefully we intend to stop him getting his first win.

In recent years Hurst Cross has not been a happy hunting ground for us, with defeats in seasons 2013/14, 2016/17 and 2017/18. However, our first three visits saw us gain points in 2004/05, 2011/12 and 2012/13.

I know it is asking a lot for a large away following in our current form, but for those intrepid followers you need the sat nav of OL6 8DY to find Hurst Cross, Surrey Street, Ashton Under Lyne. Please note that there is limited street parking around the ground. Railway travellers have a choice of train from Manchester Victoria or a tram ride from Manchester Piccadilly, but with both you will have a good 30-minute walk. Admission is £12 Adult, £8 concession, (Junior 12-17, students and OAP’s) and £3 for Under 12’s, however all under 12’s must be accompanied by an adult.

Games played on January 11 this century
2003 Moor Green A 1-1 Southern League
2005 Alfreton A 1-0 Conference North
2011 Telford H 0-2 Conference North
2014 Blyth A 2-6 Northern Premier League

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