Like The Saxons, Ashton had a change of management in the summer, and with new boss Ian Street at the helm they represented an unknown quantity. Brocstedes Park is never an easy place to get a positive result either, so this victory should be very satisfying for followers of The Saxons.
The Saxons took control of the game early on and Peter Withe's reign could hardly have gotten off to a better start as they went a goal ahead within two minutes, Gomez Dali, on debut, cut in from the right flank and smashed in a left footed shot from around 20 yards out that gave the keeper absolutely no chance.
The hosts were stunned by The Saxons quick start and they found it difficult to cope with the slick passing of Irwin and Bembo-Leta in midfield, while Aliou Traore looked a threat on the left of midfield. Marsden and Dali were looking sharp up front too, their movement and skill causing problems for the home defence. It came as no surprise 10 minutes in when Marsden, who had already had a couple of half chances, doubled the lead. Finding space in the left side of the penalty area he cleverly guided the ball across the keeper into the far corner. It was a fine finish and it was certainly no more than The Saxons deserved for their fast start.
Within five minutes the scoreline was better still for the visitors, Marsden's cross-shot being turned in by the impressive Dali. The link up play between the two strikers was tremendous throughout the match and could get even better still throughout the season as they learn more about each others game.
At 3-0 down the home side needed to respond, and they did begin to enjoy periods of possession and launched a series of attacks. Unfortunately for them they found skipper Raphale Evans and 18 year old Australian Jamie Street
in fine form, the two central defenders dealing with all that was thrown at them.
The Saxons scored a fourth goal before the interval, hitting the home side on the break. Liam Irwin threaded a fabulous pass through a crowded midfield for Gomez Dali to race onto and the Frenchman finished expertly to complete his hat-trick. The debutant could not have wished for a better start to his time at the club.
The second half was a much more even affair, the home side raised their game and matched The Saxons. There were few chances created, the only goalmouth incident coming on 75 minutes when Gomez Dali, showing that he is also a threat in the air, powerfully headed against the post following a free-kick from the right had side.
The game finished 4-0, a good start to the season for The Saxons. The travelling support may have hoped for more goals in the second half, but from the first game of the season the most important thing was to take the three points.
After the game, Peter Withe confirmed that he was pleased to win his first competitive game in charge of The Saxons;
“Overall I'm pleased with the score and the attitude everyone had.”
The Saxons face another tough away game on Tuesday evening when they travel to face Stone Dominoes who were only denied a first day victory at Glossop North End by a last minute equaliser.
The Saxons will be encouraged by the start they have made, but will not be carried away by one result. Withe and his back-room team will be working hard to prepare the squad for the next game in the knowledge that they need to focus on every challenge and respect every opponent they come up against. That said, they will be delighted going into the match with three points on the board already.
Line Up; 1. Danny Taberner 2. Ryan Stayte 3. Aaron Best 4. Liam Irwin 5. Jamie Street
6. Raphale Evans (c) 7. Nicolas Niagorian 8. Djeny Bembo-Leta 9. John Marsden 10. Gomez Dali 11. Aliou Traore Subs: Theo Bailey-Jones, Sean Symons, Charlie Binns, Callam Gardner
, Joseph Greenhalgh