Ashton Athletic 5 Cheadle Town 0

Thursday 1st May 2008
Ashton Athletic 5 Cheadle Town 0
Vodkat League Division 2
At: Brocstedes Park
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Attendance: 45
Weather: sunny

Look carefully to the left through the trees just after exiting the northbound M6 at junction 25 and you may see the lights of Brocstedes Park. I didn't en-route but, them again, didn't realise how close the ground was to the motorway. The route, however, from motorway to is a bit longer than a few yards. At the roundabout at the end of the dual carriageway, turn right onto the A49 then turn right onto the B5207. After crossing the motorway, turn right into Booth's Brow Road then right into Brocstedes Road and the drive leading down to the ground is on the right.

Through the entrance, where the programme (£1-50) was available, all the facilities are along the nearside touchline. There are two areas of cover - a stand containing around 60 blue individual tip-up seats with another area of covered standing. On the opposite touchline are the dugouts, one either side of the half-way line.

Founded in 1968, Ashton Athletic enjoying their second spell in the North West Counties League. Having competed in the Warrington League and Lancahsire Combination, they became a founder member of the NWCL in 1982 and had four seasons in Division Three before leaving the competition. A lengthy spell in the Machester League Division One followed before they returned to the North West Counties League in 2006. The current 2007/08 season is their second in Division Two and last season they finished in 16th position.

Team line-ups were pinned up on the noticeboard inside the bar. The 28-page programme was a glossy full colour publication, issued for the original date of Saturday 12th April when the match was postponed. The cover included a photo of Joe Clayton receiving his Safe Hnds award as Division Two Goalkeeper of the month for March. Inside there was plenty to read including articles from both the Chairman and Manager as well as Ashton player pen pics, a history of Cheadle Town and statistics, etc.

Ashton (yellow shirts, yellow shorts, yellow socks) got the game underway, attacking the northern end of the ground in the first half. And they quickly took the lead in the 9th minute. Steve Bennett came from deep to stay onside and latch onto a ball over the top. He rounded the keeper and slotted home despite the efforts of defender Brad Fellows who tried to clear the ball off the line.

It got worse for Cheadle (sky blue and white striped shirts, navy blue shorts and navy blue socks) six minutes later when Ashton doubled their lead. Paul McVeigh fired home from 10 yards after good work by Bennett on the right.

Two goals just before the interval put the outcome beyond doubt. In the 43rd minute, Dave Sherlock delivered a free-kick into the area which unchallenged Bennett haeded home to score his second and Ashton's third. Just 95 seconds later, Bennett completed his hat-trick with a header via the underside of the bar.

Substitute Richard Sharpe completed the scoring in the 75th minute. He raced to the edge of the are and send a right foot shot into the roof of the net.