Big cup day ahead for the Yellows
Wed 13th September 2017 | Ashton Athletic | By Ian Templeman
Ashton Athletic joint-manager Jay Foulds is looking for the Yellows to carry their recent good form into their Emirates FA Cup tie away to Albion Sports this coming Sunday.
Athletic have lost only once so far this season, and knocked out Evo-Stik League side Bamber Bridge in the last round of the FA Cup to set up Sunday’s tie in Leeds.
The start is all the more welcome, given that the club lost a number of key personnel in the summer. Joint manager Ben Kay left, leaving Jay and fellow manager Dougie Pitts at the helm, and a number of players also left, but Jay says he and Dougie are happy with the way the reshaped squad has performed so far.
“We were a little bit worried really”, admitted Jay. “We lost Ben, who was a big loss to us but he has gone to Clitheroe to be assistant manager with our best wishes.
“We also lost a few lads who wanted to try out in the Evo-Stik League, so we had a bit of a recruitment drive pre-season.
“But lads have come down, worked hard and it's showing in our results on the pitch. We are absolutely made up with the start we have made at the minute.
“The nucleus of the team stayed the same, there have been a few like-for-like swaps, but the difference from last season has been that we have been taking our chances, which we haven't in previous seasons.
“Joel Brownhill is up front and last season could only play every other week because of work, but he has changed jobs now, got fit pre-season and scored some great goals.
“Dale Corey-Butler has come down to us (from St Helens Town) and has taken his chance well, and he has been scoring goals and has been brilliant for us.
“Since we took over at Ashton, we have always struggled scoring, we've created chance after chance but never capitalised on them. But this season it just seems that when we get the chances we are taking them”.
Now, Athletic are gearing up for one of the biggest cup games in their history, following on from some great cup days season when they won the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy beating Chorley and Radcliffe on the way, and also beating Mossley 7-2 in the FA Cup.
They reached the Second Qualifying Round last season, losing to FC Halifax Town, but this time around at the same stage they face fellow step 5 side Albion Sports of the Northern Counties East League Premier Division, who beat Barnoldswick Town in the last round.
“It's not like we aim to do really well in cups, it just seems the lads get really up for it”, said Jay. “It just seems that on the day we just click and long may that continue.
“We are always confident going into every game, but as soon as the draw came out I contacted Danny Craig at Barnoldswick, and he gave me quite a bit of information no them.
“So it's not as if we are going into the unknown, we do know a little bit about them and I have been following their match reports.
“I know Hemsworth, who I watched at St Helens on Saturday, played them last Wednesday and won 1-0, and Albion had a tough game in the Vase on Saturday at Seaham Red Star (which they lost 2-0).
“But we know what we have got to do and the minimum we are looking to come away with is a draw.
“We'll be telling the lads if we keep a clean sheet we'll take a draw, simple as that and hopefully the result will follow from there”.