Non-league matters: Ashton United look ‘strong’ ahead of season-defining month, says manager Steve Halford

By Arandeep Singh Dhillon

Ashton United joint-manager Steve Halford is confident of a push for the play-off places as his side gears up for their biggest month of the season so far.

His side face a trip to Grantham Town in the Evo-Stik Premier on Saturday as they look to build on last weekend’s league win at Ilkeston.

The Robins currently lie in 16th – eight points off a play-off spot – but have game games in hand over a number of sides above them which Halford believes could be key.

“We have got a tough game against a physical team on Saturday and we need to be up for it, if not we will be turned over,” he said.

“If we can win our games in hand we go 5 points off the play-off positions so Christmas is a big period for us, we have some big games coming up but if we put a decent run together I can’t see why we can’t knock on the door.

“We have 27 league games left now so we need to see where that takes us, we’re doing the most we can in games but just need to pull away a little bit more.”

Halford added that he is pleased with the competiton at Hurst Cross despite the small squad.

He said: “We have a small squad which is what we wanted and they all want to be playing and getting game time which is good, we’re looking strong at the moment.”

Ashton have no injury concerns as Halford is set to have a full side to choose from.

In the other games, bottom-of-the-table Droylsden host Stocksbridge Park Steels as they seek their first win of the season.

FC United are at home to Worksop Town and Garry Vaughan’s Trafford travel to Matlock Town.

The First Division North also has a number of intriguing ties as Mossley travel to Kendal Town in a mid-table clash.

Curzon Ashton play Ramsbottom United at the Tameside Stadium and Salford City host Harrogate Railway Athletic.

Image courtesy of Iain Lees, with thanks.

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