STEETON continued their wretched recent run of form with a disappointing 2-0 loss away at Ashton Athletic in the North West Counties Football League First Division North.

The game was goalless at the interval, but a dismal second half showing from Steeton, in which they only mustered one shot on target, condemned them to a second straight defeat.

It leaves the Chevrons with just one victory from their last 11 games, and they have now slipped to 12th in the table, eight points off the play-offs.

And in the absence of manager Roy Mason at Ashton, his number two Stewart Airdrie was left questioning the end product of the players once again.

Making two changes from the previous week’s loss to Darwen, Luke Baldwin made his first start following an injury lay-off, while Jacob Smith debuted after his dual-registration move from Silsden.

Fellow new signings Jodi Tiffany and Charlie George were both named among the substitutes.

In a timid first half, the first opportunity went the way of the hosts, as James Catlow made a superb low diving save to his left to tip the ball out for a corner.

With the playing surface deteriorating under foot as the first half continued, both sides were struggling to play any brand of football with chances few and far between.

The hands of Catlow again kept the Chevrons in the game, as he got across to the near post to tip a Kyle King free kick wide.

Steeton themselves also managed to get the ball into dangerous positions towards the end of the first half but the bounce caught out Josh McKiernon, before a last-ditch tackle from Deklan Hill prevented Baldwin from racing through on goal shortly before the interval.

The second half began in a similar vein, as the weather and conditions continued to worsen, with both sets of players struggling to get a foothold to control the game.

After a tetchy period, with tempers flaring on both sides, but not boiling over, the opening goal finally came on 67 minutes.

Ashton skipper Josh Nicholson took the ball out on the left wing and proceeded to run through a number of green shirts to find his way to the edge of the area.

Taking a glance up, the forward fired off a strike which beat Catlow and deflected off the near post.

It rolled across the face of goal and crept inside the far post to break the deadlock.

Steeton pushed for an equaliser but the closest they came was a McKiernon strike that was brilliantly blocked by the heroic defending of Zach Conway.

McKiernon also saw a free kick deflected high and wide for a corner but the home side scored a second goal with four minutes to go to kill the Chevrons off.

Coughing up possession cheaply on the halfway line, Steeton fell victim to an Ashton counter-attack down the slope and towards the goal.

From there, forward Jack Smith struck a shot from inside the area beyond Catlow to secure the three points for his side.

With the game now petering out to its conclusion, there was at least the opportunity for Airdrie to introduce Tiffany and George for their debuts from the bench.

Ashton had a late penalty appeal waved away, but that proved academic, as the win moved them one point behind Steeton into 13th.

The Chevrons desperately need three points to get back on track this season, with their next game coming at struggling Daisy Hill this Saturday.