Ashton Town make most of Wigan Athletic's blank weekend

Ashton Town made the most of Wigan Athletic’s unexpected blank weekend - on and off the field.
The bumper crowd at Ashton Town celebrate the late winning goalThe bumper crowd at Ashton Town celebrate the late winning goal
The bumper crowd at Ashton Town celebrate the late winning goal

Town chairman Mark Hayes opened the doors to Latics fans with tickets for the postponed game against Oxford to get in free.

He was rewarded by a bumper crowd of 266 at Profiles Park – the fifth biggest in the whole of the sixth tier.

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And the team responded on the pitch, by coming back from 1-0 and 2-1 down to beat Cleator Moor Celtic in a five-goal thriller.

“Well that was some day and it’s still sinking in,” said chairman Mark Hayes.

Football really is an amazing gift when it comes together like it did today, from literally all directions of the globe.

“We provided a platform today from absolutely nowhere, for us to showcase our club in front of hundreds and we gave them everything a football fan can wish for

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“If ever a day could show and prove ‘football family’ then it’s today. Magic, simply magic.

“The game had everything, and the 266 fans cheering us on for the win was special.”

Among the spectators was a Latics fan by the name of Michael Jackson, who had flown over from Atlanta, Georgia.

After his story was picked up on social media, he was invited down to the DW Stadium for a quick tour and photo with the FA Cup, before being driven to Ashton in time for the game.

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Meanwhile, neighbours Ashton Athletic welcomed former York City man Richard Brodie to the management team with a 1-1 draw at Runcorn.

Brodie, who has spent the last three years as player-coach at Skelmersdale United, fills the void left by last week’s departure of joint manager Dougie Pitts.

Athletic led 1-0 at the break at Runcorn, but had to settle for a 1-1 draw.

“Disappointing to draw,” said boss Jay Foulds. “It feels like two points dropped.

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“I thought we thoroughly deserved to go in 1-0 up at the break. We missed a great chance early on when a Josh Nicko cross just eluded Gabe Elis.

“Another Lewis Boyd superb free-kick gave us the lead and we looked in total control.

“The second half fizzled out with not much happening.

“We gave away a poor goal from our point of view, but there were lots of positives which we can take into the next game.

“It was great to have Richard Brodie on the side, he brings experience and professionalism.”

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