New man in at Ashton as Billinge pipped in marathon shoot-out
It's a new era at Ashton Town after the appointment of Lee Bignell as first-team manager.
Bignell returns to Edge Green Street for a second spell, having served as assistant manager under Glynn Hurst last year.
"I am absolutely delighted to announce the appointment of Lee Bignell as Ashton Town manager," tweeted chairman Mark Hayes.
"When Biggs left us, I promised him I would call when the time was right.
"The time is right 100 per cent to work alongside Adam James, who has been outstanding for us."
On the field, it wasn't such a good weekend as the side went down 4-1 at Nelson.
Jay White opened the scoring for the visitors, but Nelson had recovered to lead by half-time.
And they added two more goals in the second half to complete a comfortable victory.
Neighbours Ashton Athletic had an even more painful Saturday on the road at Northwich Victoria.
The visitors actually took the lead on four minutes as Josh Nicholson cut in from the left and curled a lovely shot from 20 yards into the top of the net.
But that was as good as it got for the Yellows, with Northwich levelling six minutes later through Brad Lynch, and never looking back.
Carl Grimshaw put Northwich in front on 24 minutes, despite a valiant attempt from Athletic goalkeeper James Aspinall, and two quickfire goals from Lynch completed his hat-trick before the half-hour mark.
Matty Birchall made the half-time score 5-1, with Lynch adding his fourth and Northwich's sixth four minutes into the second period.
Chad Whyte swept the ball home in the closing stages to make it 7-1.
Meanwhile, Billinge were cruelly knocked out of the Liverpool FA Saturday Challenge Cup on Saturday when they lost to Sefton Athletic after a marathon penalty shoot-out.
The game finished 1-1 after 90 minutes with both goals coming in the first period.
The Storks went ahead on 16 minutes when a fine flowing move saw John Humphreys step inside to fire home from the edge of the box.
Five minutes later they could have doubled their lead when Jason McShane headed over from close range.
It was a miss the Storks would rue as Sefton equalised on the half-hour mark when a Stephen Rockliffe rocket from 35 yards found the top corner of the net.
McShane had two more glorious chances after good work on both occasions by Aaron Bowen, but it wasn't to be.
To prove it wasn't to be McShane's day - who was excellent throughout - he had a headed 'goal' chalked off for offside, and the match finished 1-1 going straight to penalties.
If the last 10 minutes were played out in gloomy conditions, the actual match finished in the complete dark as the shoot-out finished 15-14 to the home side.
After all the players had taken their penalty the score stood at 10-10 with just one miss each.
The penalties started again and with the score sat at 14-14 Sefton scored their 15th spot-kick only for Billinge to miss theirs, sending the home side through to the third round.
After the game Billinge player-manager Wayne Wardle said: "I didn’t think that was going to end!
"It was a game of two halves for me, and I thought we were excellent for the first 30 minutes.
"The venue change didn't help us as we were originally meant to be on a 3G pitch and some of our lads didn't have the right studs.
"But we had enough chances in that first half-hour to have wrapped it up.
"Credit to Sefton they came back at us and deserved the draw after 90 minutes.
"The penalties are what they are - and it's back to league action next week."
Earlier in the day Billinge Reserves beat St Helens Town Reserves 4-2 at Ruskin Drive.
In an excellent end-to-end game, the Storks goals came from John Wilkinson (2), Ned Davies and Paddy Pitchford with Michael Lacey getting two penalties in reply for Town.
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