Robins hope play-off success can follow cup glory

ASHTON United’s manager and captain hope the club’s record 17th Manchester Premier Cup triumph can inspire the Robins to further success this season. 

The Robins have won the trophy more than any other club, having prevailed 5-4 on penalties against Avro after a goalless draw in the final at Oldham Athletic’s Boundary Park.

In front of 682 fans, the Tameside outfit dominated possession throughout but could not find a way through in what was a disappointing spectacle on Tuesday night (April 16).

In the shootout, Liam Ellis put the first penalty wide for Avro before nine successful conversions followed, with Ashton skipper Nathan Lowe netting the final kick to seal the trophy.

Ashton United celebrate the big win. Image by Jeremy Sayle

It’s the second time in three years the Robins have won the competition and was the ideal response to the setback of losing 2-1 at home to Ilkeston in the league in their previous outing.

“Any silverware is always good, it breeds winning habits and myself, all the lads and the staff are all made up to win a trophy,” captain Lowe told the club’s media team afterwards.

“We’ve got some really important games coming up in the league and we needed a bounce back from Saturday – what a way to do it at a fantastic arena.”

The Robins are still in the hunt to finish in the Northern Premier League Premier Division play-offs, which could lead to an opportunity to gain promotion and join cross-town rivals Curzon Ashton in the National League North.

Steve Cunningham’s side sit in sixth position, level on 64 points with fifth-placed Hyde United, who occupy the final play-off spot and have played two games more.

Ashton still have away trips to lowly Stafford Rangers and Matlock Town, before ending the regular league season against fellow play-off challengers Marine at Hurst Cross.

Cunningham was pleased to maintain the Robins’ impressive Premier Cup record and now wants his players to end the campaign on a high.

“We talked about wanting to have a winning culture and this is just the first of what we hope will be many successes,” the Ashton United manager told the club’s media team.

“It’s nice for the supporters, it’s great for all the young kids who have all supported us but we know that our ultimate goal is always going to be about the play-offs and trying to get promoted.

“But when you can win some silverware, especially when the club has the most victories in the competition, we wanted to make sure we keep that tradition going.

“I’m pleased we’ve been able to do that and hopefully this will just give us that little kick start again in the mini-season that we’ve got for the next three games – hopefully with another two games to come too.”

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