Ashton United to go for glory in Manchester Premier Cup Final

Images courtesy of  Jeremy Sayle and Oli Biddle

ASHTON United have set their sights on silverware after reaching a prestigious final.

The Robins will lock horns with Oldham-based Avro in the 2024 Manchester Premier Cup Final following a 4-2 victory over Trafford in the semi-final.

Meanwhile, Avro – who compete one division below the Robins in the Northern Premier League West Division – defied the odds to prevent an Ashton derby and beat Curzon Ashton 3-1.

The final, of which a date and venue are yet to be confirmed, will mark the first competitive fixture between the two clubs as Avro, managed by former United defender Alex Frost, have enjoyed a rapid rise up the pyramid in recent years to confirm their status as a step-four club.

The groundwork for success was initially laid by former managers James Hampson and Lee O’Brien, who guided them from the Manchester Premier League in 2018, to the North West Counties Premier Division in quick succession.

Their subsequent departure left a hole in the club that was quickly filled by Frost, who during his first full season in the dugout, won promotion into step four.

Far from resting on its laurels, Avro have continued on an upward trajectory this season and are handily positioned as the end of the season comes into sight.

Similarly, Ashton are also enjoying a promising season in the Northern Premier League Premier Division under manager Steve Cunningham.

Although the club’s immediate focus is on the league, the players, management team and supporters will certainly have one eye on the final.

And considering their glittering history in the competition, which was founded in 1934, you can hardly blame them for doing so.

The Robins are flying high with a record 16 victories in the final – the first of which came in 1936 – while their latest success came as recently as 2022 with a 1-0 victory over Hyde United.

Given the disparity in league standings between the two sides, Ashton will head into the final as favourites.

However, you would be foolish to dismiss Avro and label them the underdogs as Frost’s side has upset the applecart throughout the competition with convincing victories against Hyde United, Maine Road and Curzon.

Now, the club will be aiming to go one step further, usurp Ashton’s dominance in the competition and deliver silverware for the first time in its history.

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