Mixed fortunes for Ashton sides as Billinge back on song
Ashton Athletic had an excellent weekend, thanks to a 4-0 thrashing of Avro FC.
Ethan Beckford put the Yellows ahead on 18 minutes after cutting in from the flank.
And he doubled the lead from the penalty spot just after the hour mark.
Good work from substitute Dale Korie-Butler allowed Lewis Boyd to make it 3-0 with 20 minutes still to play.
And Cian McDermott added the fourth with 11 minutes left, Korie-Butler again the provider.
Neighbours Ashton Town were hammered 5-0 at Bacup.
The hosts took an early lead against the run of play, and never looked back at the Brian Boys West View Stadium.
A penalty made it 3-0 by half-time, and a second spot-kick after the break helped the hosts reach five without reply.
Billinge made it three wins out of three as they beat Daten FC 1-0 at Culcheth Sports Centre.
It was a deserved victory for the Storks after a dominant second-half performance that could and should have yielded more goals.
The winner came after 75 minutes when full-back Liam Thomas produced a great cross that was met on the volley by Richie Allen - producing a brilliant save by Daten keeper Josh McMutrie.
Fortunately for Billinge, John Humphreys was well positioned to fire home the loose ball.
The first-half had been a cagey affair with chances at a premium.
Humphreys had the best opportunity for the Storks when he fired just over the bar from distance.
Moments earlier the home side had the ball in the back of the net but were denied by a correct flag from the assistant referee.
While Billinge never looked in any real danger in the first period, they needed to up their game in the second 45 - and this they did as they took the game to the Atoms from the restart.
Aaron Bowen and Rob Lamont both went close before Allen had a shot well-saved by McMutrie.
The Daten cat was in fine form before Humphreys swooped to break his heart.
The final 15 minutes saw Lamont go agonisingly close while substitute Jordan Monthe tested McMutrie from distance.
It should have been two on 88 minutes when Liam Fitzgerald found himself through on goal but the midfielder shot straight at the keeper.
As it was the Storks defence - marshalled by Zak Riley and the PlayerProUk and Brothers Burgers man-of-the-match Joe Andrews - were excellent all afternoon and saw out the final moments with authority.
"It was another good solid performance against a good Daten side," said Billinge manager Wayne Wardle.
"We've still plenty to do but the hard work from everybody at the club is slowly being rewarded."
Next week Billinge entertain FC St Helens in the first eagerly-awaited derby of the season (2pm).
Billinge Reserves kick-started their season with an excellent 2-1 victory against an experienced FC Marsden, with Paddy Pitchford and Danny Powell getting the goals.