Having picked up no bookings in their final two league matches, Ashton United’s players ensured that they won Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division’s ‘Fair Play’ award for April - the second month running the club had lifted the award.
The fantastic effort over the final two months also netted the club £1,000 as the overall divisional winners for the for 2011-12 campaign – a feat made to look quite remarkable when considering that the club finished BOTTOM of the Fair Play table in 2011.
Robins’ manager Danny Johnson expressed the pride he drew from his squad’s improved disciplinary performance in his final programme notes of the season, just a couple of weeks on from having collected the monthly Fair Play award for March from sponsors Evo-Stik; the sponsors will be having another trip to Hurst Cross early next season to present a large cheque to the club.
A fact that makes Ashton’s rise from bottom to top even more significant is that manager Johnson still maintained the core of his squad from last season – eight of the players starting the last game of the season against Mickleover Sports had also played for the club in 2010-11, along with two of the three substitutes used; injured winger Matty O’Neill, who was sat in the stands, is another player retained from last season and would have been virtually certain to have started if fit to play.
The club’s annual awards presentation was also held after the Mickleover game, with defender Alex Frost the big winner on the night, collecting both the Supporters’ and Players’ Player awards; midfield dynamo Warren Beattie landed the award given by his manager, whilst it was trusty keeper Terry Smith who most caught the directors eye over the season.