Hurst Cross, Ashton-under-Lyne OL6 8DY
Outside the ground is the access to Ashton United’s Social Club, very much the hub of the Hurst Cross community as it has been for a number of years. Entry to the ground is gained by the turnstile(s) at the junction of Surrey Street and Rowley Street, where you will be greeted straight away by programmes and a club draw sellers.
Moving to your right and back along the stand there is the food bar (excellent pies) and club shop before you get to the actual stand. A covered seated area, I’d guess for around 200 people, under which are the changing rooms.
Beyond this is access to the clubhouse and sponsors/VIP suite. On both sides of the seated area there is terracing behind the 2 dugouts. Entry to the ground is currently set at £10 for the league, with no extra cost to sit.
East Stand: incl Roy Donnelly Stand
Behind the goal is an open terrace, with a covered structure at the back of it, named in honour of Roy Donnelly. There is open access all around the ground to freely move around.
A long terrace, covered in the middle.
Like the East Stand with more room.
Ashton-under-Lyne has both a Train Station and a Metrolink Stop, with about 200 metres separating the two. Now, it is only a mile or so from these to the ground, but it is pretty much all uphill. And in this part of the world that does not mean a gentle slope either. Get a bus or a taxi. Walking back is much easier.
If you are coming from Manchester, you can always jump on the 231, which drops you pretty much right outside the ground.
Me & Hurst Cross:
I have quite some history with this old club. Up to the age of 10 I lived about 500 yards from the ground, though I was still not born when my father made a handful of appearances for the club.
Aside from walking past the ground every day for years on my way to my junior school up the road, my main memory as a kid was Manchester City sending a ‘youth’ side to pay United as part of a deal when they signed Barney Daniels. This side had many kids who would go on and play for the first team and become Internationals, beating their hosts 8-1. The over-riding memory of the night though is of Joe Corrigan taking a penalty for City, hitting the bar and bouncing back out into open play as he tried to get himself back down the pitch.
Whilst I moved away from the area, I do still have family who live close by and I would bet that a number of old junior school friends are also still neighbours to this old club.
My Ground #: 11
Female Officials: 0
Penalties: 2 – both scored
Red Cards: 1
Ashton United (6); Altrincham, Colwyn Bay, Northwich Victoria, Ramsbottom United, Stocksbridge Park Steels & Trafford.
24/02/18 – Ashton United 3 Altrincham 3
17/01/17 – Ashton United 1 Northwich Victoria 0
12/01/16 – Ashton United 6 Ramsbottom United 0
31/08/15 – Ashton United 1 Colwyn Bay 2
12/03/14 – Ashton United 3 Stocksbridge Park Steels 2
07/09/13 – Ashton United 2 Trafford 0
24 February 2018
Ashton United 3 Altrincham 3
The EVO-STIK Premier Division
Just 18 days before this match, the two teams met on the other side of Manchester at Moss Lane, the home of Altrincham. The hosts that night deservedly won 3-2 in a game they pretty much dominated for 80 minutes. Credit had to go to United that night as they still had a go and did not give up, pulling one back from a penalty with just over 5 to go and another direct from a free-kick in added on time.
Less than 3 weeks later, the return game saw the league leaders Alty visit Hurst Cross, having only played 1 game in-between, Altrincham remain unbeaten since New Years Day. United are also in decent form, the loss at Moss Lane being their only league defeat since mid October and they sat, pre-match, in 5th position. The play-offs beckoning them again.
After a few days without rain, the pitch looked mostly in good condition as a bitter wind blew in from the moors. Altrincham brought a fair few with them for this local clash, swelling the attendance to over double any other at Hurst Cross this season, they were in fine voice too. Well, for most of the game.
It was Alty who started the brighter, right winger Johnston causing problems, something he was going to do all afternoon. He was also lucky to escape punishment for pushing Chalmers head first into the advertising wall. It was the start of a bad afternoon for the centre-half, he’d be stretchered off shortly before half-time, speedy recovery lad.
We had played 15 minutes before we came close to a goal, Harop seeing his effort saved by Carnell’s outstretched foot. Alty then started to turn up the heat even more, a goalmouth pinball session was followed by a Hulme backheel being saved, then just after the half hour mark the deadlock was broken. Poole was brought down in the box by Roberts. Johnston converted. Altrincham led. Their fans celebrated.
Those celebrations were short-lived, less than 60 seconds later the game was level, Pritchard picking up a through ball and showing composure in addition to finishing as he kept his cool to fire past Thompson. United were level. The match quietened a little following the equaliser, apart from the aforementioned injury, the game drifted to the break.
Half-Time: Ashton United 1 Altrincham 1
If the end of the first half seemed to drift away, the second 45 minutes did not disappoint. United started the brighter and were slowly creating opportunities, Granite heading wide from a free-kick, errors at the back for the visitors were presenting the hosts with corners and opportunities.
It was from one of these corners that Chadwick had a great chance, his shot though was straight at Thompson, Alty broke, Johnston was flying and after a couple of neat interchanges he finished with class into the top corner. Carnell did not stand a chance. 2-1.
Five minutes later, it was 3-1. A corner won by Johnston, was played in, Jones got a head to it and whilst he might try and claim the goal, it hit a United defender, without whose touch the ball would not have gone in. O G.
Surely game over. No. Another five minutes played and we had another goal. This one to Ashton. Not learning any lesson from the game earlier in the month, Alty gave away a free-kick on the edge of the box, ideal for Pritchard to curl one in. Just like the game at Alty he did that. Just like that night he made it 3-2. Unlike that night there was more than seconds left to play. There was 22 minutes.
United gave it everything, Altrincham weathered the early pressure after the goal, started to look dangerous on the break. Surely they has seen out this one? No. With a little over a minute to go United won a corner, over hit, Granite chased it down, muscled off an opponent and then for a second turned himself into a winger. He played in a great cross, Tomsett got up and flicked a header past Thompson, but it hit the bar, then there was Chadwick. All alone. He nodded into the empty net. 3-3. The noise was suddenly coming from the home fans.
What a game
Full-Time: Ashton United 3 Altrincham 3
Post Match Stats:
1600th Goal – Johnston penalty (Altrincham)
25th Penalty of the Season
146th Penalty, 99th scored.
Home: P 6 / W 4 / D 1 / L 1 / F 16 / A 7
Overall: P 9 / W 6 / D 1 / L 2 / F 29 / A 11
Overall: P 12 / W 3 / D 7 / L 2 / F 21 / A 17