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Salford 6 - 25 Wigan
The 19-year-old Ashton, was recalled to plug the gap caused by injury to Michael Withers and made the most of his opportunity by scoring one try and sending winger Mark Calderwood over for another.
He missed the last 10 minutes after being sin-binned for a 'flop' in the tackle but the Warriors had by then secured their third win of the season.
Salford, fresh from a 10-try thrashing by Bradford Bulls, had their moments early on but finished a well beaten side and worryingly find themselves next to bottom of the table.
Salford improved their defence but generally lacked ideas in attack and suffered a major blow with the loss of inspirational captain Malcolm Alker in the first half with a knee injury, while second rower Mark Edmondson was forced off in the second half with a shoulder injury.
Wigan were the more creative side throughout but ruined the good work of stand-off Trent Barrett with a series of handling errors in a sloppy first half.
Great Britain second-rower Gareth Hock was the worst offender, knocking on three times in the first 22 minutes, but few players enhanced their reputations in a scrappy opening.
Centre David Vaealiki dropped Barrett