23/24 On The Road: Ashton United

The Lions return to league action after eventually coming out on top against Ossett United in the County Cup, and after a stunning victory at Radcliffe last weekend, writes Scott Kelly.

Previous Meetings

Hopefully not a bad omen for the Lions, but this weekend’s hosts have won the last three encounters between the sides, including a 1-0 league defeat at Nethermoor in September. Guiseley actually haven’t beaten these opponents in the league since 2010, although they did defeat them 2-1 at Hurst Cross in the FA Trophy in December 2021. The Lions goals from that day came from Jordan Thewlis and Jamie Spencer.


The Lions’ Form Book

Guiseley needed a penalty shoot-out to defeat Ossett United in the West Riding County Cup. The league must remain the Lions main priority though, and they continued their impressive away form with victory at top of the table Radcliffe last weekend. The 4-3 success came courtesy of two Reece Kendall penalties, an own goal and Kallan Murphy’s strike. What was more impressive is that the Lions played over 70 minutes with 10 men, as skipper Jameel Ible saw red.

This was the Lions’ fourth away win on the bounce and cemented a 100% record of away wins in 2024. The level of inconsistent form at Nethermoor will be of concern though. A 4-0 victory against Matlock on 21st November secured a 5th consecutive home win, the 2-0 win against Bamber Bridge has been the only victory in the five home matches since.


A Look At Ashton United

Founded: 1878
Managers: Steve Cunnigham
Nickname: The Robins
Stadium: Hurst Cross
Address: Surrey Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, OL6 8D
Capacity: 4,500 (250 seated)

Ashton sit four points behind the Lions and will be looking to close the gap in Saturday’s game. They narrowly lost 1-0 at Worksop last weekend, and their 4-3 win over Atherton the previous weekend is their only victory in their last eight outings, with four draws and three defeats in the other seven. Their top league scorer is James Hardy with nine goals, and he will be looking to hit double figures here.

Current players include Sean Newton. The full back made his 50th appearance for the club in the Worksop defeat and has played for Buxton and York City among others. Luke Burke has played at National League level for AFC Fylde. Paul Cooper is a goalkeeper on loan from Barnsley and Saturday’s clash could be his last game for the club with his one-month deal shortly coming to an end. Jason Gilchrist is the clubs second top goalscorer with seven goals and has played much of his career in non-league but started his career as a trainee at Burnley.

Ashton United are also the only side in the top half of the table to have a minus goal difference (F: 44 A:45).


A Look At The Lions

Jameel Ible will miss the trip to Ashton through suspension following his red card at Radcliffe last week. Gabriel Johnson’s return to fitness provides a welcome boost to Andy Welsh’s attacking options. Josh Ashman could be in line for a start at Ashton and new signing Adam Dawson could make his Lions debut.

Reece Kendall, Aiden Walker and Leigh Whelan could all make their 30th appearance of the season at Hurst Cross, all one game behind Kallan Murphy who will be playing in his 31st Lions game should he feature at Ashton.

Lewis Whitham and Laurence Sorhaindo remain out through injury.


What Are They Saying?

“We were pretty dominant over the 90 minutes. If anything, there’s disappointment we didn’t get more than goal. We hit the crossbar hit the post. Jammers (Jameel Ible) was convinced one went over the line second half. A win is a win; you move it forward and what we must do at this football club is build a winning mentality and not give up”.

Andy Welsh was pleased with the victory over Ossett United, despite needing penalties to overcome them. He hopes to build on that this Saturday.

“Leigh needs to learn. I am his biggest fan; I think the kid is a brilliant player. Saturday, he starts a melee and tonight two bookings. Whether that second is a booking or not you are still running that tightrope. But we dealt with it well and still created chances with 10 men.”

Welsh was unhappy with Leigh Whelan post-match after his red card appeared to give Ossett the belief they needed to go and grab an equaliser. But overall, he appeared pleased with the team’s overall response to the setback.

“Every game is going to be tough. Anyone can beat anyone in this division. We want to get that momentum and that consistency. We need togetherness now both on and off the pitch.”

Speaking last weekend after victory over Radcliffe, Welsh preview this fixture and reiterated that consistency is needed. He also praised the fans for their support and hopes it carries on into future games.


Tickets and Travel for Ashton United

Tickets can be purchased at the turnstiles on entry to Hurst Cross with payment by cash or card, you can also buy online in advance here.

Tickets are priced at:

  • £12 Adults
  • £8 Concessions (over 65), students (16-21) and U15s
  • £1 Children U-12

If you like to pick up a matchday programme then Ashton’s is available at just £2 each, you can also order a copy online here.

Coach travel is available with Guiseley AFC Supporters’ Club, just call Paul on 07518 445861 to secure a seat.

The coach leaves Nethermoor at 11:15am priced at £20 for members and £25 for non-members.

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