ASHTON TOWN 3-3 LITHERLAND REMYCA
Saturday 21st March 2015, Edge Green Street, Ashton in Makerfield
North West Counties League Division One.
For the second time in a week, Litherland Remyca ventured along the East Lancs Road, this tome to face Ashton Town. After a decent-on-paper 4-0 away win at Wigan Robin Park the previous Saturday, “The Remy” were keen to consolidate their play-off charge, however, a six goal game and a killer blow later, that may now be a little beyond Phil Stafford’s men as the spectre of a poor start to the season has come back to haunt them.
Remyca were forced into two changes from the Wigan Robin Park game with Jamie Simms in for the unwell Callum Webb and John Hastings in for the unavailable Chris Lowe.
The game got underway and just like the previous game, Remyca again were slow out the blocks but this did not prevent them from taking an early lead, when with their first meaningful attack they went ahead. Great work down the right from David Flynn and Daniel Duffy combining well saw Flynn getting to the by-line and pulling back a tantalising opportunity for Skipper McDonald to slot hope at the second attempt on just seven minutes. It did not take long though for Ashton to equalise, Litherland seemed to switch off after taking the lead and on 18 minutes a cross from the right hand side was fired home first time from just inside the box by Marcus Cusani giving Litherland Keeper’ Sean Lake no chance to make it 1-1.
As the game progressed it became a bit scrappy with a stop-start period where niggling challenges were all too willingly punished. Both sides were pressing forwards when possible but both defences seemed to be in tune to the threats. As it looked like it would be level at the break, Ashton Town took the lead for the first time in the game, a long ball forward splitting the Litherland defence for Ahmed Ally to slot home and give the home side a 2-1 lead at the break.
Remyca came out in the 2nd half with a bit more aggression and we’re soon pressing for the equaliser. The visitors having the best of the possession early on which paid off on 54 minutes with a good move in midfield, a short passing burst lead to the ball breaking to John Hastings who shot from the edge of the box and deflected into the net, wrong footing the keeper for a well deserved equaliser. Ten minutes later Remyca regained the lead when another good move in midfield saw the ball spread across the park to exploit a gap in the Town defence, a short pass to Louis Austin out wide who’s pace beat the full back and his low shot was tapped in on the line by full back, Jamie Simms to give the away side the lead.
At this point in the game Remyca were well on top and substitute Jamie Colbourn almost made it four on 75 minutes, but his shot hit the cross bar off yet another good attacking sortie. Ashton were only getting the scraps at this point and struggling against their famous slope in this half. Litherland’s failure to kill the game off still gave the hosts a glimmer of hope and with two minutes remaining Town broke Remyca hearts when they were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box, the ball was floated in to the area and it caused panic at the back, it was not dealt with well and the ball fell to Scott Baker who fired in from 10 yards to the delight of the home side. As the game time wound down Remyca pushed hard for the last couple of minutes but couldn’t get anything back from their possession and were unable to regain the advantage.
The game finished 3-3, scoring three goals away from home is always splendid, however conceding three was the problem as well as a slightly lethargic approach when taking the lead early on. Remyca’s form since Phil Stafford and his backroom staff arrived in October has been superb and had the league have started then Remyca would be fourth in the table and a cert for the play-offs but that is irrelevant. Litherland have a lot of momentum still behind them, whilst the play-offs are not totally out of the question, they now look just out of reach but they still have much to play for. Remyca travel down the East Lancs for the third Saturday on the spin this weekend when they face Atherton Colls in the Reusch First Division Cup Semi-final.
LITHERLAND REMYCA: Lake, Flynn, D Siadanky, King, Simms, Hastings, Jones, C Murphy, Austin, Duffy, McDonald (C).
Subs; Webb, Colbourn, K Siadanky, Watkinson, Edwards.
ASHTON TOWN: Lowe, Slater, Boyle, Buitendyk, Keenan ©, Munroe, Ally, Tagoe, Smart, Baker, Cusani. Subs; McDonough, Norris, Dobney, Belger, McNally
Report: Gary Langley