Report by David Robinson.
Ashton fell just short on their visit to Gigg Lane against play-off hopefuls FC United. They made the worse possible start with just 3 minutes on the clock as Wolfenden controlled a through ball into the area and struck his shot against the bar with ex-Curzon striker Norton knocking home the rebound.
After 10 minutes Peers pulled the ball back for Ian Bennett whose left foot effort was blocked before Beattie volleyed over the top. A couple of minutes later a great crossfield pass from Peers found Amadi who outpaced the fullback and hit a fine finish past Spencer in the home goal to level.
Midway through the half a long cross by Neville saw Platt head wide for FC and Roca was then fouled by Melling, the resultant free kick being headed wide by Jones. On the half hour Wolfenden’s searching cross was too high for Norton under pressure with penalty appeals being waved away and Johnson’s follow up hit the side netting. Neville then won a challenge in midfield and fired wide from 20 yards and the ball was then deflected through to Jones whose near post effort was blocked as the home side continued to press.
After the restart a ball into the area by Peers saw Burns beat his marker and fire narrowly wide from a tight angle. At the other end a left wing cross by Wolfenden was headed back across goal and as the Ashton defence stood and watched the ball dropped to Neville who scored with a left foot effort from 6 yards.
Chris Amadi then made a break down the left for the visitors and played the ball through to Ian Bennett whose effort was saved by Spencer and Burns then had his deflected effort saved. Wolfenden played the ball square to Roca who fired over 20 yards for the home side. Amadi was then fouled resulting in a free kick which dropped to Burns who fired home only for the goal to be disallowed for dangerous play.
Midway through the half a long ball found Norton completely unmarked on the penalty spot, he controlled the ball and set up Johnson whose effort was blocked and Norton fired the rebound wide. With 15 minutes left on the clock Amadi made great progress to get to the byline and pulled the ball back to Burns who looked certain to equalise but saw his effort denied by a superb save from the wrong-footed Spencer.
As Ashton pressed for the equaliser FC broke away and substitute Grimshaw was played clear by Norton only to screw his effort wide.
Team: T.Smith, Frost, Caldecott (Piana), Murphy(Kosylo), Melling, Robinson, Peers, Bennett, Burns, Beattie, Amadi.