Aspen brace sees County move top
2:28pm Tuesday 26th February 2013 in Football
TOM Aspen struck twice as Bolton County went top of the Second Division for the first time.
And with games in hand on their rivals, manager Henry Chapman admitted: “It’s ours to lose.”
County have had a remarkable rise since Chapman took over in the summer, signing 12 players and transforming the club’s fortunes.
They have never been out of the Second Division since joining the league nine years ago and are now just three points off their all-time record tally.
County dominated the top-of-the-table clash at Walney Island but went in all square at half time with Aspen’s header cancelled out before the break.
Aspen, who has been with the club through recent more difficult years, put his side ahead on 65 minutes before Sakeel Abdullah stepped off the bench to score a superb winner 10 minutes from time.
Two early goals from Paul Fletcher and Liam Boswell maintained Ladybridge’s impressive recent run as they beat Barrow Wandereres 2-1 at home, while a strike from Jamie Boyd and an own goal earned CMB a 2-2 draw at Furness Cavaliers.
Bolton’s two Premier Division teams had impressive wins, Eagley moving to within two points of top spot with a 5-2 victory at Euxton Villa, and Tempest going goal crazy at home.
Mark Drew grabbed a hat-trick in nine minutes before half time as Tempest destroyed Crooklands Casuals 8-0 to move further away from the relegation zone.
Jamie Hylton scored two and Matty Crook, Danny Ashcroft and Gareth Gemmill got the others.
Manager Trevor Ball said: “That’s been coming for a while. On Saturday they showed what they can do.”
Tempest climbed over Crooklands and will face a sterner test when leaders Longridge Town visit Tempest Road on Saturday (kick off 2.30pm).
In Division One, Stoneclough hit rock bottom when they were hammered 6-1 at Millom, who are one place above them.
Stoneclough shaded the first half, Dean Dearden equalising with a stunning strike before they conceded before the break and collapsed in the second half.
A Steve Fitton strike 15 minutes from time earned mid-table Turton a point in a 1-1 draw at fifth-placed Burscough Richmond.
Jordan McLoughlin wasted a glorious opportunity two minutes before the home side capitalised on a mistake by goalkeeper Nick Howard to take the lead.
Star man Keiron Sisson smashed the crossbar with a 30-yard free kick and Howard made amends with a stunning save before Fitton pounced.