Ashton Town began their North West Counties First Division campaign with a thumping 5-1 victory over AFC Liverpool on Saturday.
Jesse Dowling and Dylan Glass’ two-goals and Alex McMillan’s spot-kick was enough to ensure that Ashton made a statement to their division rivals on the opening day of the non-league season.
The hosts took the lead in the early stages of the match after winger Dowling cut inside onto his right foot, and beat Lee Carr with a magnificent curling effort from the edge of the penalty area.
But Ashton’s lead was short-lived after Jay Howell fired AFC Liverpool back level just two minutes later with a thunderous strike into the bottom corner.
Town did regain the lead immediately after the restart when Alex McMillan confidently converted his penalty, after a spot-kick was given for a hand ball.
Dowling gave Ashton an two-goal cushion with his second fine finish of the match after he was played in-behind AFC Liverpool’s backline by right-back John Edgerton.
Striker Dylan Glass then scored twice in a matter of minutes to hit AFC Liverpool for five and put the result beyond any doubt.
Ashton Town manager David Dempsey gushed with delight after his side’s second-half performance blew the Reds away.
“It was brilliant - I can’t really ask for much more on the opening day of the season," he said. "We won 5-1 against a team what some people say are favourites to win the league.
“The lads have been working really hard, and they’re all absolutely buzzing inside that dressing room.
“I’ll be honest, it was probably a really difficult start for us. Some lads were apprehensive about playing AFC Liverpool at home only because we could’ve had an easier draw - but with that being said - they applied themselves really well.
“In the second-half more so as they’ve took what we’ve asked them to do- read the ball quickly- and they’ve scored four goals so we’re really pleased.
“What a start. My players can be very proud of themselves. We’re really forward to Tuesday’s game now.”
Ashton Town will return to action on Tuesday night as they host Daisy Hill FC at the Scott Rees and Co Stadium.