Ashton began his career as a professional football player for the then English second division club Crewe Alexandra and went on 11 January 2005 at Norwich City, where he scored 17 goals in 44 league games.
After Norwich City relegation at the end of the 2004/05 season, he moved in January 2006 to West Ham United, where he arrived in the remaining games of the season 2005/ 06 to eleven league operations, nine times was in the starting lineup and scored three goals. He is the record transfer of the London club, who paid an initial transfer fee in the amount of seven million pounds for him.
From its category -wise he was a real goal striker who could establish itself as well with his 1.85 m and 80 kg. After nine games in England's Under-21 team, the then national coach Steven McClaren invited him for the first time to an international match against Greece when he broke his ankle. Instead, he made his debut on 1 June 2008 in the 3-0 win against Trinidad and Tobago, where he played one - only moderately successful - first half.
In December 2009, Ashton announced his injury Conditional End of career. Doctors saw its long-term mobility is at risk. After his broken ankle in 2006 he had the end of 2008 suffered an ankle injury again. He denied then no longer a game.