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United face tough Trophy test

It’s back on the march with Margy’s army this weekend as FC Untied make the short trip to Hurst Cross to play league leaders Ashton United in the first qualifying round of the FA Carlsberg Trophy. Craig Phillips provides this preview"¦

United come into the game in great form having gone four games unbeaten; a run which includes a 4-0 demolition of Nantwich Town and of course the midweek FA Cup win over Stalybridge Celtic. Karl Marginson will be looking for his side to make a statement in their performance against the team that currently sit top of the UniBond Premier League.

The United team may have one eye on next week’s big FA Cup tie at Northwich Victoria and a potential place in the first round proper of the FA Cup but they will have to keep their heads in what showed itself to be a tough game when the two sides met last year.

The teams hold a win over each other after Ben Deegan scored to give The Robins a 2-1 win over the festive season last year, before a hat-trick from Carlos Roca saw United thrash the Robins 4-0 at Gigg Lane towards the back end of last season.

United went through two rounds of the trophy last year beating Radcliffe Borough and Worksop Town before they were eventually beaten 3-1 by Boston United at Gigg Lane.

This first qualifying round could potentially be the first of nine rounds on the way to Wembley if either team can emulate the success of last year’s winners Stevenage Borough.

Saturday’s opponents are Ashton United, who were originally formed in 1878, but were known as Hurst FC and only changed their name to Ashton United in 1946 after the end of the Second World War.

Hurst Cross, the Robins’ home ground, was first used by the club in 1880 and stands as one of the oldest football grounds still being used in Britain. The Robins also have a history in the Trophy, they reached the quarter final stage in 1997, and also won the NPL Division One that very same season.

The club have been performing well over the past couple of years and have recorded their best ever finish in the UniBond Premier League in both seasons, so they will be looking to build on that this season.

The Robins currently sit top of the Premier League with 26 points from 14 games, two points clear of second placed Nantwich Town and nine points clear of United, although the Reds have two games in hand.

The Robins form has dipped a little recently losing last weekend 3-0 away to Boston United before letting a two goal lead slip in the last 15 minutes at home to Whitby Town on Monday evening to take a point from a 2-2 draw.

Given the form of the two teams in recent games it’s hard to say who are favourites for the fixture but one thing is a given; both will be looking to put one over on what are potential promotion rivals in this illustrious competition.

Saturday’s game is a 3pm kick off with admission priced at £8 adults and £5 concessions. So get yourself to that football ground and sample a unique piece of cup football.

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First Posted ~ 13:50 Thu 15 Oct 2009
News ID ~ 2478
Last Updated ~ 12:56 Mon 21 May 2018