Stockport Town bounced back from their derby day woes on Good Friday by overcoming a struggling Ashton Town 2-0 on Easter Sunday in the Hallmark Security League.
Goals from Ben Halfacre either side of half-time secured all three points for Dave Wild’s Lions at the Ashton Town Stadium in what was a dominant display from start to finish.
Speaking after the match Wild made it clear that he had got his message across before the game and that he is already looking ahead to preseason for the next campaign. He said: “It was vital that we got back to winning ways after the embarrassment of the derby defeat on Good Friday.
“I let my players and staff know that it was not, and never will be, acceptable for that standard of gutless showing before the game and I think the rocket was needed for three or four players who have been maybe going through the motions since the play-off chance has gone past us.
“I thought on the whole we were far and away in control of the game, and for better finishing we could and should have ran out bigger winners. Our football was much more of what I expect and what we work on week on week.
“We are still not the finished article as a few are struggling to match the demands of what we are aiming for and over the course of preseason there will be changes and new faces to strengthen and improve our side.”
Another brace for Halfacre saw Wild pleased with his strikers response after his performances in recent weeks. Wild added: “Ben Halfacre is a lad who lives off goals and his brace against Ashton takes him to nine in 13 for me.
“Now when I got the job, and that had been offered to me, I'd have been over the moon and in the box he is a real threat and clearly knows where the goal is. But he is one of the lads who got a piece of my mind in recent weeks for his work rate and in fairness to the lad he threw his hands up and admitted he needed to do more.
“You just have to look at his performance today to know that he has got it in his locker. He chased every lost cause, was more aggressive in the air and added the nasty side to the game that he has been lacking. He knows these are minimum requirements to stay in my squad and doing it once isn't enough but on the whole much better today.”
The only negative to come from the Ashton fixture was the injuries to a few members of the team, none more so than captain, Adam Stubbs, but Wild has been assured his squad will not be depleted in their next outing.
He added: “We finished the game with nine men which was a major concern to me and Ellie Parker [physio]. However after conversations with Ellie it appears that it's muscle fatigue and we will be fully fit, bar Cameron Darkwah who is only our long term absentee.”
Looking ahead to the final home game of the season next Saturday against St Helens Town, Wild is looking for nothing less than ending the home season with a win. The Lions boss said: “We as a group are looking forward to the final home game of the season against a strong St. Helens side.
“We saw first hand what St. Helens can do if you’re not on your game as they brought an end to our brilliant unbeaten run. Apart from Friday we have always given a good account of ourselves at home and I expect no different this Saturday as we aim to end the season on a high.”
All the action gets underway at Stockport Sports Village this Saturday afternoon, kick-off 3pm.