Ashton United travel to the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium on Tuesday night, having lost their long unbeaten run on Saturday away at Barwell. Despite this defeat the Robins still sit in a strong league position and a victory against the Rams would 99% confirm a play-off spot for Paul Phillips and Steve Halford's side.
A 1-0 loss at Kirkby Road ended a run of back-to-back victories without conceding for the Robins, at the same time meaning Barwell were the first side to take three points of Phillo and Ackers men since the 3rd January 2015.
The defeat also spelt an end to the Robins continuous goal scoring record that had stretched back to the 23rd February 2015, a game in which the side drew 0-0 against Ilkeston FC at the New Manor Ground.
Tuesday night is the side’s penultimate away game of the season and with nine wins on the road already, the Robins will be looking to break double figures which would equal their 2013/14 away record.
Ashton United have lost just two of their nine away games since the turn of the year, picking up 15 points from a possible 27. Having scored 11 goals in four matches between late February and mid-March, the Robins have scored just seven times in their last six matches, meaning they have averaged just 1.1 goals per game in the past month. The 3-2 away victory at Buxton on the 7th March 2015 was also the last time the side’s front line scored more than 2.5 goals in a game.
The key man for Tuesday night’s fixture is wide man Kayde Coppin. The former Mossley man is now back to full fitness and despite not starting every game in recent weeks, he has definitely brought much needed pace and width to the starting eleven. Having figured 39 times for the side this season, the former Trafford FC man will be looking to add goals and assists to his game in order to send the Robins into the play-offs high on confidence.
Our opponents Ramsbottom United sit 14 places (18th) and 29 points (49) behind Ashton United going into Tuesday evening’s fixture. The side managed by Jon Robinson looked to be play-off hopefuls after a strong start to the season however, a run of just three wins since January has meant the Rams will have to be content with another season in the division, which would represent success after their promotion through the play-offs in 2013/14.
At the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium, the Rams have an indifferent record, having won seven and lost eight of their 19 home games. The club formed in 1966 have not won at home since late November having gained two points from a possible 24 since the 28th December 2014. The Rams have also failed to score in three of their last five matches in front of their supporters. Due to adverse weather conditions, the side have also played just seven home games in 2015. A competitive game between both sides has never been played at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium, due to the Rams recent seasons in the North West Counties and more recently the Evo-Stik NPL Division One North. The Rams back four have not kept a home clean sheet since October and the prolific Ashton United forward line will be looking to exploit this statistic by extending their run without a shut-out.
A win for Ashton United could see them move above Workington AFC and Ilkeston FC into second position. Three points for our opponents Ramsbottom United could see them move as high as fourteenth, due to the close proximity of sides in the division’s mid-table.