Billy Heath’s Shaymen head to Brocstedes Park in Ashton-in-Makerfield to kick-off their FA Cup campaign. The cup-tie comes off the back of a surprising 3-2 defeat to Gainsborough Trinity in a game that saw Town have their lead pegged back twice.
Ahead of the clash, here are 5 things you definitely didn’t know about Ashton Athletic…
Ashton Athletic started life as a Sunday League club in Wigan where they would rise to the very top, winning promotion in every season. They were then entered into the Warrington District League where they continued their success after swapping Sunday morning for Saturday afternoons.
The Ash share the town with two other semi-professional clubs. Ashton Town A.F.C. and Garswood United F.C. Town play in the North West Counties League Division One (one level below Athletic) and Garswood play in the Cheshire League (two levels below Athletic).
Brocstedes Park, the home of Ashton Athletic, joins the Ricoh Arena, St Andrews, Villa Park and the Bescott Stadium in being one of the only five stadiums visible from the M6 motorway.
Former Bury right-back Les Hart, who has since received formal recognition for his 44 years’ service at Bury FC at the National Football Museum, was born in the town. During his four decades at the Lancashire outfit Hart went from Player to Coach to Physiotherapist and was even Manager at the club. Stanley Matthews called Hart the “best sliding-tackle he had ever come up against”. After his death in 1996, Bury renamed a stand ‘The Les Hart Stand’.
For Ashton this will be the biggest cup game in their history and the Shaymen will be determined to make certain that there will be no cup upsets at tiny Brocstedes Park.
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