|Ashley began his playing days with spells at
both Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday. Commendably he decided to
study at University rather than go for a full time football career, and
turned out for Worcester City, Malvern Town, The 61 Club (Luton) and
eventually Heybridge Swifts where he first played for Garry Hill.
Ashley's form at Heybridge was such that
Barry Fry took him to Peterborough in December 1997 for £5,000, however,
he failed to settle at London Road playing just 1 first team game and
re-joined Hill at his new club, St Albans City after just 6 months for a
£10,000 fee. When Garry moved on to Victoria Road Ashley eventually
followed when the Saints surprisingly made him available and he was signed
for a nominal fee in March 2000. He has won representative honours for the
Ryman League and an FA XI in 1999 and 2001.
Ashley is a tall streaky looking defender
who is comfortable at either centre back or, rather surprisingly, left
back. He is the sort of player that fans hate when they play for another
side, but when he plays for your team, you love him. His "bambi"
like legs win unlikely tackles when all seems lost and he invariably
manages to get the man as well as the ball and get away with it.
started 2001/02 badly with a red card in the Essex Senior Cup final in
August which earned a three match ban, but came steaming back, even
scoring the "golden goal" that won the LDV tie against Luton
In 2002/03 he again had his disciplinary
problems and lost out towards the end of the season with illness but still
featured in 42 games.
Ashley in action at Basingstoke
Ashley in action against Southport
Ashley in action against Plymouth
(c)Jamie McDonald/Getty Images
Ashley during the Scarborough match
Ashley watches a dramatic fall by Stevenage's Elding
During pre-season 2003/04