ST HELENS Town crashed out of the FA Vase at the first hurdle as hosts and former landlords Ashton Town ran out 3-1 winners as they simply out-battled Lee Jenkinson’s charges at Edge Green Street.

Inside three minutes Town’s Liam Diggle tested the home stopper with a fierce shot but Courtney got down well and averted the danger.

Ashton’s opening effort, on 6 minutes, fell to Smart as his snap shot from 20 yards was tipped over by Town ‘keeper Kechil. The home side forced another good save from the Town ‘keeper as the game reached mid-way in the first period; new signing Jason Carey shooting from distance.

Ashton continued to dominate possession and on the half hour mark they took a deserved lead, Dylan Glass going on a mazy 30 yard run before finishing in the bottom left hand corner of the Town goal.

Town were struggling to get beyond the Ashton central defensive pairing of Noon and debutant White with the latter dominant in the air. Town’s best chance of the game saw Danny Greene switch wings and his left sided burst and driven cross just failed to connect with Diggle on the penalty spot.

Ashton doubled their lead five minutes into the second period and it was Glass who added to his personal tally with a neat finish just inside the box after good work from Johnson on the left wing.

Town should have reduced the arrears just before the hour when Ant Whelan rose well to head goal wards but his effort hit the upright and Diggle put the rebound narrowly wide.

Substitute Andy Presho gave Town a life line on 84 minutes when he slotted home after a period of sustained pressure and Diggle had a great chance to level the scores but couldn’t get enough on his effort as Courtney plucked the ball from the air.

With Town pushing forward in stoppage time the game was settled in favour of the home outfit as substitute Jack Baker broke clear following a Ryan Botell long ball and he coolly lofted the ball over the advancing Kechil with the final whistle blowing seconds later.

Town travel to AFC Liverpool on Friday evening (7th September) kick off 7.45pm at Marine AFC