‘A day to remember’ – Bootle goalkeeper Sam Ashton ‘buzzing’ after heroics in Macclesfield win

Sam Ashton saves for Bootle against Macclesfield

Bootle goalkeeper Sam Ashton has praised his teammates for their role in securing the win over Macclesfield.

Ben Hodkinson’s double helped the Bucks beat the league-leaders with a last-gasp winner to add to his memorable moments with Bootle.

Joe Bunney fired Macclesfield in front but the two first-half goals from the attacker secured the triumph to ensure Steve McNulty’s positive start continued.

Ashton was the busier of the two shot-stoppers as he come up against Liverpool loanee Marcelo Pitaluga and the 35-year-old was forced into action on a number occasions with some crucial stops.

He told Off The Park: “It was brilliant, we nailed our game plan and come away with the three points so it was a day to remember I can imagine for the Bootle fans.

“I think you always know when you go to places like Macclesfield, you always know you’re going to be busy and I think the lads knew it was going to be a tough game. I think we always knew if we could stick in the game, we knew we would have enough in the end to scrape even a draw but to get the win, it’s even better.

For Ashton, the win was made that little bit sweeter as it came against his former team.

The shot-stopper featured for the Silkmen last season as they won promotion from the North West Counties Premier League. Following their successful campaign, he was named the Reusch Goalkeeper of the Year – keeping 11 clean sheets in 28 games.

He said: “You always want to play better against a team you’ve come from. They’re top of the league, they set the mark so we want to be up there, we’ve all got to be at our best.

“The lads, I know I made a few saves, they ran themselves into the ground, they was pressing, Tom [Peterson] pressed from the front, he had the midfield lads behind him and the defenders protecting me as much as they could.

“We nullified them, there was maybe one shot inside the box but the rest of them was outside the box, you can deal with that.”

Tom Peterson’s pressure forced the mistake for the first goal, laying it on a plate for Hodkinson. Andy Scarisbrick was the architect of the winner after chasing a clearance before firing across to the attacker.

Ashton revealed the delight in the dressing room following the win but insisted that there mustn’t be a hangover when they host Ramsbottom United with the hopes last weekend’s win can be a catalyst for a positive run.

He said: “We were buzzing, no matter how you win a game or who you’re playing, if you win in the last minute you’re all buzzing. Like the gaffer and Carl [Macauley] said, they were right, enjoy today but then next week straight on to Ramsbottom because you don’t win a league in October do you?

“You’ve got to put it to the back of your mind [win over Macclesfield] and look back at that at the end of the season to say ‘hopefully that was the turning point for us to get a good run of games’.

“That’s what we’ve been missing a bit of consistency, a run of games, couple of wins and a clean sheet because we’ve been working hard as a unit, it’s only right we do start keeping clean sheets and climb the table.  

“A hundred per cent, if you get a good cup run it does bring momentum, Dunston was a poor result from us, we weren’t at the races on the day.

“Like the gaffer said, we put that to the back of our mind and we concentrate on climbing the league, putting results together, clean sheets and being together as a unit,” Ashton added on how the dressing room is evolving.

“We’re coming together as a unit, the lads are getting used to each other, the banter is getting good, the changing room is getting good, there’s a progression of things that are happening. Then you see the end product on the pitch but there’s a lot of things behind the scenes as well where we’re all coming together as a unit.”

[Featured Image: Will Griffiths]

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