Manager racks up 34 years in charge of Ashover

'Mr Ashover', Don Carline.
'Mr Ashover', Don Carline.

The 22 years that Arsene Wenger managed Arsenal pale into insignificance when compared to Don Carline, who is now entering his 34th year in charge of village team, Ashover.

While he was still playing, Carline was asked to take on the manager’s role at the Peak District side by his dad, Roy, who had suffered a stroke.

And there has been no looking back since, with a total of 42 trophies won, most recently the Midlands Regional Alliance title in 2006.

Ashover have switched to the Hope Valley League side in recent seasons and, last Saturday, sitting third in the table, they welcomed leaders Chapel Town to Milken Lane.

The visitors took a third-minute lead when Matt Sherlock thumped a superb 20-yard strike that flew past goalkeeper Will Mott. But they responded with Perry Richards hitting a post and Ollie Rouse lobbing inches over before they equalised nine minutes into the second half when Rouse powerfully headed home from a corner.

In an end-to-end game, Carline’s men were beaten 2-1 after Chapel bagged the winner nine minutes from time as Tyson Elwin made space for himself in the box to fire home via a post.