Managerial movement at Ashton Athletic

Ashton Athletic joint manager Dougie Pitts has stepped down from his position at the club.
Dougie PittsDougie Pitts
Dougie Pitts

Pitts took over the reins with good friends Ben Kay and Jay Foulds in June 2013, and has helped to oversee a hugely successful period in the club's history.

"When we were offered the job as a trio in 2013 it was at a time when I had just finished playing football, started a family and wasn’t actively looking at being involved in the game," said Pitts.

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"I truly believe it was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. At the time, it was a big call to put three unknowns in charge, but hopefully we repaid that faith, first as a trio and then a duo.

"The support I have received from the club during my time has been unwavering.

"I am not going to go through everyone at the club and thank them for what they do as we all know that without each other the club simply wouldn’t run.

"It is extremely hard to be involved in a ‘non-league’ club and one that is very time consuming.

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"With that, we all have a moan sometimes and I think that comes with the role as a ‘volunteer’, but we can’t walk away because we know Ashton Athletic is a special club.

"My family and I certainly won’t be walking away, I have found friends for life in players and volunteers; watched my kids grow up on a Saturday afternoon while having a beer and made memories on the pitch I never thought I could."

The club were also quick to put on record their thanks for Pitts' effort and commitment over the last eight years.

"On-field performances have been consistent over the years with top 6 finishes but the most success has been in cup competitions," read a club statement.

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The FA Cup highlights have been playing Halifax at home, creating history with the highest ever attendance, York away in the final season at Boothman Crescent, Chorley at home and beating our highest attendance and being broadcast on the BBC Iplayer to name a few.

"Doug helped to bring the first silverware to the club and it didn’t take long!

"In the first season for the trio they secured the challenge trophy beating Maine Road 1-0 at Curzon Ashton.

"The second piece of silverware was brought back to the club in 2017 with a 2-1 win over Radcliffe Borough at the then Reebok Stadium.

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"It is not just on the pitch Doug has been a massive influence but off the pitch his ideas, fund raising, organisation and hands on manual labour (which he isn’t used to) have been massive."

On the pitch, Athletic drew 2-2 draw on the road at Barlick.

The Yellows were off to a flier and ahead inside the first minute.

It looked as though an away win was on when Athletic doubled their lead, only for Barlick to pull one back on 26 minutes.

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And the hosts forced an equaliser with 13 minutes remaining to share the spoils.

Neighbours Ashton Town went down to a 2-1 defeat at Cleator Moor.

The visitors made a solid start and led thanks to Leon Wright's cool finish.

But the home side took advantage of some poor defending to level just before the break.

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And Cleator Moor scored what proved to be the winning goal shortly after the restart after a cross wasn't cleared.

Meanwhile, Billinge came unstuck in the Cheshire Football League at the weekend, losing 4-1 at high-flying Egerton.

The home side came into the game on the back of 10 straight wins and, despite a spirited performance by the Storks, whoi were the better team for much of the game, mistakes at the back and missed chances up front gave Egerton another win.

Egerton went ahead on just ten minutes when Liam Thomas gave away a penalty that Jonny Higham converted.

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The Storks responded well bossing much of the game but missed chances cost them dearly and on 60 minutes Higham got his and Egerton's second.

Billinge quickly halved the deficit through an Aaron Bowen header but two late Egerton goals from Ladi Oseni and Robert Spilsbury gave the home side their 11th consecutive victory.

"While the scoreline clearly flattered Egerton, mistakes - and I sound like a broken record - cost us again," said manager Wayne Wardle said.

"But credit to Egerton for punishing us."

It wasn't a great day for the Storks as their reserves fell to defeat in the third round of the Liverpool County FA.

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In an excellent game that finished 5-3 two late goals for Naylorsfield FC saw them into the hat.

It was harsh on the Storks as they lost their striker with injury on 15 minutes, before their goalkeeper suffered the same fate just before half-time, leaving the reserves gaffer Dave Lawrenson a disappointed man.

He said: "I thought we performed superbly against an excellent side but the injuries caught up with us late in the game.

"However there were plenty of positives to take away including three superb goals."

This Saturday Billinge entertain Daten FC: Kick-off 2pm.

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