New Mills AFC’s pre-season preparations ended with an injury-time defeat against Ashton United last Saturday.
In the Millers’ final friendly clash before their Evo-Stik Division One North campaign gets underway, Ashton hit them with a late sucker punch.
Arguably the home side’s best chance of the entire game occurred in the opening two minutes.
Jack Poxon appeared to ignore the unmarked Jamie Rother and shoot for goal only to see his effort smartly blocked down low by Ashton’s joint-manager Paul Phillips.
The closest either side came to breaking the deadlock in the opening half came at the mid-point when Jamie Baguley unfortunately trod on the ball and lost possession to Matty Burke in midfield whose ferocious effort from distance cannoned back into play off the underside of the crossbar.
Following a keenly and evenly matched opening half, the game’s flow and rhythm was interrupted by a constant flow of second-half substitutions.
Half chances fell to either side with the Millers’ best opportunities falling to Poxon and the returning Steve Moore, but the game was ultimately decided with a strike in the first minute of stoppage time.
Martin Pilkington bundled over a right-wing cross from close range which consigned New Mills to a harsh defeat.
New Mills: Pugh, Weston, Roscoe, Knight, Parker, Shaw, Poxon, Baguley, Burke, Rother, Hewitt.