Non-league round-up: Ashton Town seeking new manager
Ashton Town are searching for a new manager after parting company with David Dempsey for the second time in two years.
Dempsey returned to Town last year after a short spell at Atherton Collieries.
But his sterling work attracted the attention of Widnes, who have lured him to Cheshire.
"Demps has been outstanding for us, and it was 100 per cent the correct decision to reappoint in Covid," said Town chairman Mark Hayes.
"However football is football & we move on.
"This club has come on leaps and bounds under Demps, and the squad he leaves is outstanding.
"I obviously wish him all the best, and he goes with my best wishes.
"Onwards and upwards as always, with no bigger than Bury away next up, which has my 100 per cent focus."
On the field, Town bowed out of the FA Vase at the fiurst qualifying round stage.
They were beaten 4-1 at Runcorn Town, with David Moore pulling one back towards the end.
Neighbours Ashton Athletic also fell at the first hurdle, losing 1-0 at Abbey Hey.
Jordan Lazenbury's penalty 10 minutes from time was the difference, as the home side made it nine wins in a row.
Athletic had chances of their own, with Ethan Beckford being denied by a brilliant save by Ross Heywood in the first half.
At the other end, Ashton goalkeeper James Aspinall made a stunning save to prevent Dylan Fitzgerald breaking the deadlock.
The match-winning moment came when Abbey substitute Cameron Darkwah was felled in the penalty area, and Lazenbury converted the spot-kick past Aspinall.
Athletic ended the game with 10 men when, after being booked for diving, substitute Samuel Houghton exchanged words with the referee and picked up a second yellow.
Meanwhile, a much-depleted Billinge side suffered a heavy defeat at Middlewich Town in the Cheshire League.
Due to injuries, illness, Covid issues, holidays and unavailability, the club were down to the bare bones, and had to postpone their reserve team game to enable them to get an XI out on the pitch.
As it was the young Billingers succumbed 5-0 on the day but never gave up the fight, and it was individual mistakes that did for them.
In fact for much of the game there was nothing between the teams, other than the sharpness up front from the Witches.
"We knew at the beginning of the season we'd struggle on this day as we had three senior players away," said manager Wayne Wardle.
"But then in the week we find out we have five lads isolating with Covid. It never rains and all that.
"We were that low on numbers that our 44-year-old goalkeeper coach Mark Power was named on the bench, and of course our goalkeeper only got injured!
"But credit to Mark he came on and pulled off a worldie save."
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