Report by David Robinson.
Ashton completed their away fixtures with a fine victory at Kendal’s Cosyseal Stadium which has not been the happiest of hunting grounds in recent years.
Playing with the considerable advantage of the slope in their favour in the first half the visitors were soon carving out chances and after Amadi had made progress down the left his cross reached Ian Bennett whose left foot effort went narrowly wide of the far post. 5 minutes later at the other end the ball broke to centre back Joseph who tried his luck from the edge of the area and saw his effort pushed away by Terry Smith.
Next a long ball into the home area by Caldecott found Burns on the left hand side but he fired over the top but the opening goal was not far off as, somewhat against the run of play, Alex Frost underhit a headed backpass allowing Leadbetter to lift the ball over the advancing Terry Smith to give the home side the lead. Halfway through the half Leadbetter then ran through from Farrell’s flick but dragged his effort wide and then 10 minutes later a crossfield pass reached Kendal winger Williams whose ball into the area saw McEvatt denied by a point blank save from Smith.
With 3 minutes left before the break Amadi made progress down the left before cutting inside and firing narrowly wide of goal and then the same player picked up a loose ball 20 yards from goal and hit an effort which clipped the outside of the post with home keeper Dootson flat footed. Into injury time and Sanasy’s knock down found Bennett 20 yards out and he capped a fine first half performance with an unstoppable swerving shot into the top corner to bring Ashton deservedly level at the interval.
United started the second period as they had ended the first as Amadi squared the ball to Burns who checked back onto his left foot before firing home. Shortly afterwards Burns appeared to have doubled his tally as he finished a rebound from Lambert’s effort but saw the flag raised for offside. However, Ashton’s leading scorer was not to be denied and soon completed his brace as he headed home unchallenged from Bennett’s corner.
Kendal almost reduced the deficit as a corner travelled right across the area and was headed against the post by Joseph with the rebound being sliced wide, and the visitors could have extended their lead as Burns charged down Dootson’s clearance but pulled the ball back behind the supporting players. Town’s substitutes Taylor and Jackson then combined but the return pass was too strong and Ashton were able to comfortably play out time and retain the chance of an 8th place finish.
Team; T. Smith, Rose (Middleton), Caldecott (Roberts), Lambert, Frost, Robinson, Bennett, Beattie, Burns, Sanasy (Kosylo), Amadi. SNU B. Smith, Murphy