Skelmersdale United lost on Saturday, with a lack lustre display against an Ashton Athletic side who were hell bent on putting the Emirates FA cup 1st Rounders to the sword.
United with 3 regulars missing and a number of positional changes never got to grips with the game and the loss of influential defender Daniel Murphy on 25 minutes turned out to be a crucial factor.
As Murphy was still being lead away and the United defence having a re shuffle, former United player Josh Nicholson, with something to prove, ran at United and coolly slotted home, two minutes later, with the defence still re-organising Nicholson added a second from close range.
United did gather some composure before half time but could not create the telling shot that would get them back in the game.
Richard Brodie was introduced at the break, with Manager Paul McNally going for a three up front trying to salvage pride, with Mitchley and Brodie going close, giving the United faithful a brief glimmer of hope.
However, all the good work was undone as Chris Bandell was allowed space to run at the defence and casually clipped past Barnes for 3-0; the writing was on the wall for the blues.
Josh Nicholson completed a Man of the Match performance with his 3rd goal on 80 minutes. The final whistle couldn’t come soon enough for United.
For Manager Paul McNally, he will be glad that all his players came through unscathed, Daniel Murphy’s knock being only slight.
It was obvious that United players had “bigger fish to fry” when they travel up to Harrogate Town next Friday evening for their Emirates FA Cup encounter, which is being shown Live on BT Sports.