Ashton United kick off their Northern Premier League campaign against Atherton Collieries this Saturday at Hurst Cross.
Ashton United kick off their Northern Premier League campaign against Atherton Collieries this Saturday at Hurst Cross. Both teams come into the season on the back end of very different campaigns. Last season Ashton suffered relegation from the National League North, which didn’t come as a shock to most with Ashton’s core squad being poached after their promotion. Atherton on the other hand comes into the season on the back of an impressive promotion campaign as champions of the Division One West.
Fortunes have changed at Hurst Cross however. New owners have come into the Robins promising a new age at the club with the formation of a women’s team and also the introduction of a junior organisation. On top of this the new owners have invested heavily into the first team squad after a number of new signings including Jonathon Hunt from Curzon Ashton and Josh Wilson from Chorley.
The Robins have endured a patchy pre-season with just one win out of their six fixtures which was a 4-2 win at Droylsden respectively. With this in mind the pressure must certainly be building up on manager Jody Banim to deliver this season considering the calibre of players they have brought in. Promotion is surely the goal for Ashton as they aim to back up to the National League North at the first time of asking.
Ashton have got players with plenty of experience of getting out of the division and that could prove to be key as the season plays out. They have kept four players from their promotion campaign in 2018 also with Aaron Chalmers, Sam Sheridan, Liam Tomsett and John Pritchard remaining at the club.
There are no injury problems for both teams as they are able to select from full squads.
It is set to be a bumper opening game at Hurst Cross with both teams looking for a good start. Ashton will also be offering free entry to the game for all Bury FC season ticket holders, as they have no game this weekend.
Kick Off: 15:00
Hurst Cross stadium