Non-league round-up: Athletic motor past Vauxhall

Ashton Athletic enjoyed a fine 2-0 victory on the road at Vauxhall Motors FC.
Action from Ashton Athletic's victory at Vauxhall Motors (Pic: @Anobrdedphoto)Action from Ashton Athletic's victory at Vauxhall Motors (Pic: @Anobrdedphoto)
Action from Ashton Athletic's victory at Vauxhall Motors (Pic: @Anobrdedphoto)

The Yellows were indebted to goalkeeper James Aspinall for making a brilliant save in the opening minute.

But the visitors quickly found their rhythm, and Joe White scored just before the interval to edge them ahead.

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Edward Servuts doubled the lead on the hour mark, and only some good saves from the home goalkeeper kept his side in it.

Motors did have the ball in the net 10 minutes from time, but it was disallowed.

Neighbours Ashton Town went down 2-1 at home to Garstang FC.

The visitors took the lead after only four minutes through Daniel Squires.

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And Town's task was made doubly difficult on the half-hour when Joseph Noblet netted from the penalty spot.

Chris Hill ensured a tense last five minutes when he pulled one back, but Garstang held on for the points.

"Disappointing afternoon that, but we win as a team and we lose as a team," tweeted chairman Mark Hayes.

"First half was not good enough but we know that. Fair play to the visitors who are a well drilled outfit and battling for a play-off spot."

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It was also a bad day at the office for Billinge as they crashed to a 3-0 defeat at Knutsford.

Three second-half goals in eight minutes did for the Storks in a game they dominated for large periods.

The Claret and Blues squad was decimated with Covid issues, injuries, unavailability and they started the game poorly, with the home side completely bossing the early stages.

They came out of the blocks the sharpest and could have been 3-0 ahead in the first 15 minutes as Ben Geary hit the post twice and George Riley thundered a shot against the bar from 35 yards.

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This forced Storks player-manager Wayne Wardle to change the formation and the team quickly got a foothold in the game.

Craig Davies had a shot well-saved by Knutsford keeper Connor Beard, and on the half-hour mark the same two players combined but again Beard was up to the task.

The Storks then had a huge claim for a penalty when Liam Bott was hauled down in the area only for referee Justin Walton inexplicably wave ‘play on’.

Defensively, the otherwise excellent Brad Higgins was almost caught out as his clearance ricocheted back over the bar and then Riley shot wide as the half finished goalless.

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Billinge started the second period well as Davies put in a teasing cross that was deflected over for a corner and then on 51 minutes Liam Fitzgerald had a 40-yard rocket well-saved by Beard.

However, three minutes later the hosts were ahead.

Richie Allen was clearly fouled but referee Walton again saw nothing in it, the ball fell to Markell Bennett whose shot took a wicked deflection to beat Mark Power in the Storks nets.

Seven minutes later it was two as Bennett found himself in space and slotted from 10 yards.

Then from the restart Knutsford's Elvis Omorogbe didn't so much 'leave the building' but leave the Storks defenders standing as he collected the ball 75 yards out and simply ran up the wing, cut inside and curled an unstoppable shot past Power.

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The game was now seemingly out of Billinge's reach but they took the game to the home side and had four very good chances.

Allen found himself through on goal but Beard saved his attempted chip shot well before John Humphreys headed Bott's free-kick into the path of Davies who shot wide from 12 yards with just the keeper to beat.

Humphreys then had two great chances of his own as he firstly headed over from six yards and then moments later should have maybe done better when he brought a simple save out of the keeper.

It left manager Wardle an unhappy man as he said after the final whistle: "It was one of those games that we could have lost 6-0 but equally could have got something from the game.

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"But on reflection Knutsford were the best team on the day and deserved their victory."

Next week the Storks travel to Warrington to take on Greenalls PSO in another vital game (2pm).

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