A WEEK after ASHTON UNITED suffered what he terms as the worst defeat of his managerial career, Jody Banim is hoping his side can erase the painful meories by beating Boston United at Hurst Cross tomorrow (Saturday) in the third qualifying round of the FA Trophy.
The Robins were leading 2-0 at Nationwide League North leaders Bradford Park Avenue, and looking in total command, only to concede three very late goals.
“It must be the sixth time this season we’ve surrendered a two-goal lead,” said Banim. “It would be a very different tale if we hadn’t thrown those points away. Losing at Bradford was probably the worst defeat I’ve known as a manager and I’ve had a tough time trying to get over it.
“We’d looked solid defensively and better going forwards. I really felt we’d turned the corner a little bit, so it was very disappointing to capitulate in the last five minutes.”
Matty Chadwick remains injured but Banim is irked by the fact Salford refuse to allow him to play Josh Askew, even though he’s on a season-long loan. He said: “I’ve spoken to them today and they say they’ll let Josh play in the next round, if we get through. That doesn’t help us tomorrow.”
Banim is hopeful his side can make it into the first round and pick up the £5,000 prize money. “We drew with Boston two weeks ago but I think people who watched the game would agree we were good value for the three points. I’m confident we can with the game and progress,” the Ashton boss added.
CURZON ASHTON have to visit Evo-stik NPL premier division title contenders Basford Town, and manager John Flanagan has several injury problems to contend with that were picked up in midweek training.
Centre-back Danny Shaw is ruled out with a calf strain, Connor Hughes has damaged knee ligaments, and Louis Khoury has a hamstring strain.
Adam Morgan is also sidelined, after the recurrence of a stomach muscle problem.
Cameron McJannett returns after completing a two-match suspension.
STALYBRIDGE CELTIC welcome old cup foes Workington to Bower Fold. Manager Simon Haworth has a fully fit squad to choose from.
There will be a change between the sticks though, with Jake Turner recommencing his loan spell from Bolton Wanderers after recovering from a broken wrist. Paddy Wharton has returned to his parent club Tranmere Rovers.
Defender Chris Smalley missed last week’s defeat at Matlock through injury but is back in contention as Celtic look to progress to the first round proper.
HYDE UNITED head for Warrington with strong doubts over Grant Roberts, Tom Pratt, Kyle Harrison and Ross Daly. Matty Hughes returns after suspension but Janni Lipka has to serve a one-match ban for accumulated bookings.
Manager Darren Kelly is known to be considering academy players and pursuing new signings to fill the gaps. One of these may be Chester’s former Ashton defender Dom Smalley. The clubs are understood to have been in contact but despite speculation on social media no loan has yet been agreed.
Preston striker Connor Simpson’s loan has been extended until January 1 but Douglas Nyaupembe has returned to Bury, and reserve keeper James Hodges has moved to Tadcaster Albion.
In the Evo-stik NPL first division west, MOSSLEY will be hoping to build on their 5-1 defeat of Skelmersdale when they face Leek Town at Seel Park. Co-managers Dave Wild and Terry Hincks have a full squad except for Steve Mason and Adam jones who are both banned.
GLOSSOP NORTH END are home to Trafford who have just signed defender Curtis Jones who had been on loan at Surrey Street before being released by Ashton United.
Midfielder Paul Marshall joins the Hillmen on loan from Curzon and Josh Stachini is fit and available for selection.
DROYLSDEN have no match as Ramsbottom are in the Trophy.