In the Spotlight: Ashton Town AFC

Ashton Town AFC scoring a goal against Daisy Hill in 2019

Back in May 2019 Scott Rees & Co announced a partnership with Ashton Town AFC. As part of the sponsorship deal, the home of Ashton Town AFC would be renamed to the Scott Rees & Co Stadium and for their players to receive a Man of the Match award after every home league game.

In this article, we’ll learn more about this club and how they’ve progressed so far this season.

About the club

Ashton Town Association Football Club (Ashton Town AFC) are a semi-professional football team founded in 1953. They currently play in the North West Counties Football League, Division One North, which is the 10th division of the English football league. To put this league into perspective, the Premier League that every football fan knows is the 1st division.

The team

At the time of writing this article, the team is consists of:
John Courtney, Ben Purdham, John Edgerton, Luke Edwards, Jay Thomas, Michael White, Anthony Shinks, Alex Noonan, Ant Potts, James Sigsworth, Jesse Dowling, Joe Whittingham, Alex McMillan, Jack Richards, Chris Hill, Brad Smart, Tom Molyneux, David Moore, Charlie Duke, Daley Woods, Dylan Glass and Jason Carey.

The gaffer

Dave Dempsey, manager of Ashton Town AFC 2019

Dave Dempsey, manager of Ashton Town AFC

Ashton Town AFC is currently managed by the talented Dave Dempsey who took over the managerial role in 2017. In his first season as manager he played an important role in getting the club promoted from the Cheshire League Premier Division. His second season (last season) saw Ashton Town AFC finish in the top half of a very challenging league.

When asked about his expectations for this upcoming season, he said: “We finished ninth last year and the message to the boys will be just enjoy the ride and finish as high as we can. Anything below top half will be not the best of seasons. Anything above ninth would be brilliant.”

“I won’t sit here and say that I think we’ll win the League or finish in the top four. Hopefully we’ll give it a right go but, if it doesn’t come off, as long as the lads are enjoying it and push into that top half, then I’ll be happy.”

All about momentum

After a positive pre-season, it is important that the team carries this momentum into the start of the season. As fate would have it, you couldn’t have picked a harder set of matches to open the season with than AFC Liverpool, Daisy Hill and Prestwich Heys.

Jesse Dowling receiving his Man of the match award from Mark Hayes

Jesse Dowling receiving his Man of the match award from Mark Hayes

Ashton Town 5-1 AFC Liverpool

The first match was a home game at the newly renamed Scott Rees & Co Stadium against AFC Liverpool. It was vital that Ashton Town started on the front foot and gave a strong impression of themselves, particularly against one of the heavyweights in the division.

Two goals apiece for Jesse Dowling and Dylan Glass, along with a penalty from Alex McMillan gave Ashton Town an emphatic 5-1 win over a team that finished 3rd in the league last season. The large margin in this victory is sure to send a clear message to the rest of the league that maybe, just maybe, Ashton Town can make a push for one of the top 4 spots available for promotion this season.

Congratulations to Jesse Dowling for his Man of the Match (MOTM) display and being awarded with the MOTM award by Mark Hayes, Chairman of Ashton Town AFC.

Ashton Town AFC 3-0 Daisy Hill

The second league match was played at home against Daisy Hill, who like Ashton had won their opening game.

It was described as a game of two halves with Ashton Town managing to make the most of their chances and taking a 3-0 lead at half time.

Congratulations to striker Dylan Glass for his MOTM performance.

Ashton Town goal against Prestwich Heys 2019

Ashton Town scoring against Prestwich Hays

Prestwich Heys 3-1 Ashton Town

An away game against one of the big hitters of the league in Prestwich Heys saw Ashton Town’s winning streak come to an end.

Ashton were bested 3-1 on a night when they were down to 10 men after a red card offence.

It’s a long season so every team will have their ups and downs. What matters most is how you bounce back from defeat.

Winstanley Warriors 2-3 Ashton Town

After beating Shevington 4-2 in the Wigan Cup game a week earlier, Ashton Town now face an away trip against the Winstanley Warriors.

If the manager’s words at the half time team talk were about ‘bouncing back’, then it certainly left an impression as Ashton Town came back from 1-0 down and 2-1 down to snatch victory with a last minute winner.

This win means Ashton Town will now progress to the quarter finals of the Wigan Cup, which they won last year.

Dylan Glass dribbling past Bacup Borough opposition 2019

Dylan Glass dribbling past Bacup Borough opposition

Ashton Town 5-3 Bacup Borough

An 8-goal thriller against Bacup Borough means in the past 6 matches that Ashton Town have played in, an incredible 5.3 goals have been scored per match! Talk about excitement!

Again the Scott Rees & Co Stadium played host to another incredible game of football where the home side won 5-3 and continued their march for a top 4 spot for promotion.

We know it’s a team game so it’s never easy to pick out one winner amongst many, but congratulations to Jay Thomas on his MOTM performance in this game.

Ashton Town 2-2 Emley AFC

The fifth league match for Ashton saw newly promoted side Emley AFC visit the Scott Rees & Co Stadium. It was an even game that ended in a 2-2 draw, which is a fair and respectable result for both sides. Congratulations to striker Dylan Glass for his MOTM performance after scoring another two goals.

Gordon Johnson presents MOTM award to Dylan Glass

Committee Member, Gordon Johnson presents Dylan Glass with MOTM award

Holker Old Boys 3-3 Ashton Town

An away fixture against the Holker Old Boys in Barrow-in-Furness ended 3-3. Goals from David Moore, Tom Molyneux and Brad Smart ensured Ashton Town would leave the ground with at least a point.

Pilkington 0-2 Ashton Town

Just yesterday on Bank Holiday Monday, Ashton Town played another away game, this time in St Helens against Pilkington FC. The constant pressure applied by Ashton Town in the first half resulted in a 2-0 lead which they carried until the end of the game. This is Ashton Town’s fourth league victory so far this season!

Ashton Town AFC team photo 2019/2020

Ashton Town AFC team photo 2019/2020

What have we learnt so far?

  • The Scott Rees & Co Stadium is a fortress with no home defeats so far! Long may it continue!!!
  • Ashton Town AFC needed to start the season strongly and managed it with 4 wins, 2 draws and a loss in the league!
  • Ashton Town AFC are currently sitting in 2nd position in the league, just 2 points behind leaders Lower Breck.
  • Ashton Town AFC is the team to watch if you’re looking for goals, drama and entertainment! They currently average 5 goals a game (not necessarily all scored by Ashton!). Whoever said lower league football was boring?

Support for Ashton Town AFC

If you would like to show your support and see Ashton Town AFC push for a promotion spot this season (or you just want to watch a thrilling game of football!) then feel free to follow them and attend their games.

Their home ground is the Scott Rees & Co Stadium on Edge Green Street, Ashton-in-Makerfield, Wigan WN4 8SL. Match tickets can be bought at the gate, and are usually £5 for adults (a little less for students, OAP and children) and £2 for the match programme. They also have an open bar and kitchen.

Alternatively if you would like to help in other ways, then they are always looking for more pitchside sponsors.

You can follow more Ashton Town AFC news on their Twitter and Facebook.

References

  1. https://nwcfl.com/news-articles.php?id=7603
  2. http://nonleague.pitchero.com/news/cheshire-football-league/dempsey-rimmer-take-relegated-ashton-town-helm/
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_football_league_system
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_West_Counties_Football_League
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashton_Town_A.F.C.
  6. https://nwcfl.com/clubpage.php?id=25

Image source(s)

1. Flickr; Dawn Marshall; https://www.flickr.com/photos/88682822@N03/albums