New Year's Loan Watch

Report by John Edwards

Picture by Jonathan Moore

Ashton United 0 Hyde United 6
A traumatic afternoon for Ashton United in the Pitching In Northern Premier League's top flight ended with the club releasing a statement announcing the resignation of manager Michael Clegg.
None of the blame for a horror show at Hurst Cross could be attached to either of Ashton's two Altrincham loanees, with full-back Aidan Roxburgh an unused substitute, after a string of consistent starting appearances, and keeper Matt Gould's renowned shot-stopping skills preventing the defeat being even heavier.
The tone for a one-sided Tameside derby was set as early as the third minute, when Tom Pratt's looping header made it 1-0 to the visitors.
Matt was called into action in the 11th minute, palming away a powerful volley, but he could do nothing about Liam Tongue and Matt Fearnley giving Hyde a 3-0 half-time lead with goals in the 34th and 44th minutes.
Ashton had already conceded a fourth goal, tucked away by Manasse Mampala in the 47th minute, when Clegg made a triple substitution in an attempt to revive his side's fortunes.
It was to no avail, as Fearnley added a fifth in the 63rd minute and Pratt rounded off the rout in the 79th. In between, Matt won a battle of wits with Jack Redshaw to pull off a superb one-on-one save from the one-time Alty striker and excelled again with two further impressive stops in the final few minutes.
But with this emphatic home defeat following hard on the heels of a 4-0 humbling at FC United of Manchester, there was no way back for first-team boss Clegg, who resigned soon after the final whistle.

Widnes 0 Macclesfield 4
The result may give the impression this was another uncomfortable afternoon for two Alty loanees, with centre-back Josh Jordan and forward Sharif Deans both in the Widnes starting line-up, but it was nothing like as one-sided as the 90 minutes at Hurst Cross.
Bottom of the NPL West Division Widnes were always going to be up against it, trying to match leaders Macc, but they managed to do just that for the best part of an hour.
Indeed, they started brightly and created a couple of early opportunities in a goalless first half that ended with the lively Deans picking up a yellow card.
Deans was replaced by Will Jones in the 58th minute, just moments after Macc had taken the lead with the first of three goals for former Alty forward James Berry.
The pick of Berry's goals was a 25-yard volley to make it 2-0 in the 62nd minute and, after Alex Curran added a third in the 64th minute, he completed a notable hat-trick in stoppage time.
Widnes remained rooted to the foot of the table, but it was an other useful 90 minutes of game time for impressive young Alty defender Jordan and further valuable experience of senior football for the talented Deans.

Hanley Town 2 Colne 2
Alty forward Eden Bailey started on the bench for Hanley, as did one-time Robins favourite James Lawrie, for an NPL West Division fixture that ended in dramatic style.
Hanley were leading 1-0 at half-time but looked to be heading for defeat after Colne came back strongly in the second half with goals in the 72nd and 84th minutes.
But with Eden on as substitute and adding some urgency to Hanley's attacking endeavours, the home side kept pressing for a point and were duly rewarded when Charlie Walford levelled matters with virtually the last kick of the game.

Trafford 2 Glossop North End 2
Another incident-packed NPL West Division encounter and more priceless experience for Ryan Morton as he continues his development on loan at Shawe View.
Alty's highly-rated young striker started for Trafford and, after Glossop had gone in front in only the second minute, almost hauled his side level with a flashing header that grazed the post in the 21st minute.
Ryan (pictured training at Alty's Egerton complex in pre-season) was replaced by Alfie Belcher in the 61st minute but will have benefitted from getting another hour of competitive first-team action under his belt at NPL level.
And, as he sat with the coaching staff and substitutes on the home bench, he saw a dramatic finale unfold, as Trafford conceded a second but hit back with goals in the 78th and 90th minutes to salvage a draw and prevent Glossop going level on points with them in the table.

Northwich Victoria 1 Bury AFC 6
Alty defender Joe Cooney was on the bench for Northwich as they suffered a Friday night hammering at the hands of Bury in the North West Counties League Premier Division.
Northwich were 4-1 down at half-time and had conceded a fifth by the time Joe got on as an 83rd-minute substitute, Bury wrapping up the scoring soon after.

*Alsager Town, who have Harlan Rodgers-Morris and Ewan McGeady on loan from Alty, have a home game with Vauxhall Motors this evening (Tues) at 8pm, while Ashton Athletic, who recently took Alty pair Lewis Billingsley and Owen German on loan for a month, make the short trip to Bury tomorrow (Weds), kicking off at 7.45pm. Watch out for updates on those games in Loan Watch at the start of next week.

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