STALYBRIDGE CELTIC 1, ASHTON UNITED 4
Ashton United came from behind to record a comprehensive win at Bower Fold for the first time in 20 years in front of a bumper crowd of 1,247 on Non-League Day.
It was a victory which leaves the Robins in a position of relative safety in mid-table while Celtic remain one place and one point clear of the relegation places as their poor run of form continued
Jack McKay was back in the Robins’ line up replacing the absent Harry Bunn and he was to have a significant impact on the outcome scoring a goal and winning the penalty which made the game safe.
The home side made the stronger start as Raul Correia’s run to the edge of the area was stopped by Sam Baird.
Celtic made a seventh minute breakthrough when a right wing move led to Harry Benns putting a clever chip into the area which was collected by Curtis Morrison who rounded Tom Scott and slid the ball home.
As Ashton attempted to hit back Lewis Thompson forced Joe O’Shaughnessy into a low save with his foot before Dale Whitham drove his shot past the far post.
Shortly afterwards, Thompson’s left wing cross saw Jason Gilchrist’s header fall to Adam Porter whose shot clipped the outside of the post.
With Ashton dominating the possession, they equalised after half an hour when McKay won a corner on the break which saw captain Sam Baird heading home Cole Lonsdale’s delivery close in.
In the aftermath, an altercation between O’Shaughnessy and former Ashton defender Kyle Harrison saw the latter dismissed, the third consecutive time Celtic have finished a man light against Ashton.
On the resumption, Lonsdale’s pass into the area was missed by a defender allowing GIlchrist to round the keeper before running the ball out of play.
After 53 minutes, a great pass out of defence by Sean Newton then saw George Milner reach the by-line and his first time cross was deflected into the side netting from Dale Whitham’s shot, the resulting corner seeing another Baird header turned over the line by McKay for his first goal for the club.
With 13 minutes left, a great run and pass from Milner freed McKay who ran at Anis Zaknoune with the full back conceding a penalty which saw Nathan Lowe confidently put the matter beyond doubt.
Three minutes from time, Whitham showed admirable patience holding the ball up in the area before releasing it just in time for the advancing Adam Porter to fire home leaving Ashton elated and the hosts still in relegation trouble.
Ashton United: Scott, Milner, Newton, Lonsdale (Hobson 87), Baird, Porter, McKay (Regan 84), Whitham, Gilchrist, Lowe (Baillie 87), Thompson. Subs (unused): Mendes, Adams.
Report: David Robinson.