LEE Duckworth had demanded that an eye-catching victory at Runcorn Town on Saturday be a standard-setter and not an anomaly.

His players paid attention, and delivered another notable away win.

Frustratingly, their position in the North West Counties League Premier Division table remains unchanged – at least for now.

But the dividend for Blues’ players, particularly after scoring twice inside the final eight minutes to sink Ashton Athletic, will feel more than three points they collected.

Substitute Robbie Hatton broke the deadlock with eight minutes left when he blasted high into the net after receiving Michael Koral’s cross from the right.

And Blues made safe maximum points in the dying seconds when another replacement, Danny Hudson, sped away from tiring defenders to reach Michael Thomas’ pass over Ashton’s backline.

His shot was too powerful for goalkeeper Martin Pearson to stop it.

Winsford, without Saturday’s match-winner Callam Gardner due to work commitments, had ridden their luck earlier.

Their hosts had gone closest to scoring shortly before the break when Christopher Webster’s volley from the edge of the penalty area rattled an upright.

Goalkeeper Matthew Green had tipped over Daniel Regan’s attempt to concede a corner from which Ashton crafted a shooting chance for Webster.

Joel Brownhill had fired high in the first minute, while at the other end Rhys Webb failed to hit the target after reaching Koral’s cross.

Aaron Cringle and Ryan Hopper traded attempts from distance that failed to hit the target before referee Conor Brown ignored claims that Ryan Steele’s goal-bound blast had struck a defender’s hand.

Ashton went close again early in the second-half when Brownhill’s shot was blocked on the line before Josh Nicholson blazed the rebound skywards.

Koral prompted Pearson to save smartly, and the custodian repeated the trick to thwart Webb.

Green stretched all of his tall frame to reach Paul Watson’s strike, tipping it around a post with his fingertips.

The home team’s appeals for a penalty, after Nicholson went down, also failed to impress Brown.

Instead teenager Hatton, on for Steele, set Blues on course for a fifth away win of the season.

Ashton | Pearson (GK), Cringle, Johnstone, Wilson, Cartwright, Webster (Munro 59), Nicholson, Watson (Harrison 83), Brownhill (Smith 64), Regan, Cusani Subs not used Jones, Foulds Booked Webster

Winsford | Green (GK), Fowles, Bircumshaw, Sherwood (Rothwell 61), Thomas, Foster, Taylor, Hopper, Koral, Webb (Hudson 77), Steele (Hatton 46) Subs not used Lee Duckworth, Joe Duckworth Goals Hatton 82, Hudson 90 Booked Sherwood, Webb

Referee Conor Brown

Attendance 54