Why should I watch..?

To see if Witton Albion can further demonstrate their credentials as a contender to finish in a promotion play-offs position.

They start Saturday afternoon’s game with five points to make up on fifth-placed Shaw Lane.

They do so buoyed by beating Altrincham last time out on New Year’s Day, although the postponement of last weekend’s meeting with Stalybridge denied them an opportunity to start 2018 with back-to-back Premier Division wins.

Visitors Ashton have contested the play-offs in three of the past four seasons, and have their sights set on doing the same this time around.

Jody Banim’s men are unbeaten in their past nine league games, and have lost only once on their travels since the first week of September.

What they’ve said

“We’re in a good position.

“Perhaps outside of the club it would be a surprise if we were to finish in the top-five.

“That’s not how the players think, and from the start of pre-season we felt we have a chance. And we still do.

“It’s not our way to just settle for being in the middle of the league.”

Michael Wilson, Witton Albion defender

“With games in hand, we’re in a handy position. However the season is only at half-way and so we’ve got work still to do.

“I’d rather have the points on the board, but our form is good and we’d hope to continue picking up wins.”

Jody Banim, Ashton United manager

Numbers game

Witton haven’t won any of their past four home games in the Northern Premier League

Witton team news

Owen Dale’s groin injury is likely to rule him out, while Anthony Brown (knee), Anthony Gardner (ankle), Nick Ryan (fractured jaw) and Paul Williams (knee) are also still missing.

Defender River Humphreys, who scored on his debut against Hyde United in the Cheshire FA Senior Cup in midweek, could make his first Northern Premier League appearance since signing from Widnes.

Ashton team news

Striker Jack Dyche has returned to Scunthorpe following a loan stay with the Robins, who are also without leading goal-scorer Matty Chadwick (knee) through injury.

Alex Johnson (ankle) also hasn’t featured for the past month.

Man to keep an eye on

Will Jones

It is the Witton striker’s birthday, and he will be looking to pick up where he left off after scoring a stunning winner in a 4-3 win at Altrincham on New Year’s Day.

That increased his tally to 10 for the season, and he continues to form part of a formidable attacking trident with Rob Hopley and Steven Tames.

Form guide (past six in league)

Witton W D L W D L

Ashton W W D W D W

Most recent meetings

Ashton Utd 2-1 Witton (NPL Premier, April 21 2015) Report

Witton 5-2 Ashton Utd (NPL Premier, November 22 2014) Report

Ashton Utd 1-4 Witton (NPL Premier, April 26 2014) 

Remember when…?

Ashton United most recently visited Wincham Park for a Northern Premier League fixture?

Albion, then managed by Tony Sullivan, had lost their previous 12 Premier Division matches – a club record.

However, inspired by Danny Andrews who scored a hat-trick, they defied expectation to thrash the Robins.

A three-goal burst inside an eight-minute spell at the start of the second-half settled the outcome in a relieved home team’s favour.

The Guardian was there, and this is how we reported on what unfolded:


Witton 7/5

Draw 11/4

Ashton 6/4

Essential information

When Saturday, January 13

Kick-off 3pm

Address Wincham Park, Chapel Street, Wincham, Northwich CW9 6DA

Admission Adults £10, Concessions (OAP/Students) £7, Under 18s £3, Members of HM Armed Forces Free

Parking Free at the ground