Two Goal Cushion Enough For Rebels To Take The Spoils Report Steve Lee
Ashton United failed to take advantage of sides above them dropping points on Tuesday as they suffered only their third league defeat of the season against mid table FC United of Manchester.
The Robins gave themselves an uphill task as they conceded two first half goals in what was a dour opening half before Aaron Burns continued his fine goalscoring run to give the home side hope from the spot on the hour mark.
Danny Johnson gave new signing from Marine, Thomas Moore a debut, and he created the first chance of note by setting up a chance for Burns, but his first time effort went harmlessly over the bar.
FC United had never won at Hurst Cross with league points up for grabs, but took a huge step towards laying that ghost on Halloween when Jon Worsnop’s long goal kick wasn’t dealt with by the Ashton defence and Matthew Wolfenden produced a lob over Paul Phillips for a simple finish.
Ashton’s attacks were few and far between in the first half, often overhitting their passes which caused no problems for the Rebels, although an incisive run from Scott Hogan down the right ended with a shot at the near post that hit the side netting.
The visitors took a firm grip on the game as Wolfenden produced a shot from long range that deceived Phillips to double the FC United lead with less than twenty minutes played.
Tom Baker had Ashton’s best chance to reduce the arrears close to the break when he fired over from the edge of the area.
Early in the second half the Robins were handed a lifeline as Burns was brought down by Worsnop for an obvious penalty, but the referee only brandished a yellow card when a red ought to have been produced with Burns denied a clear scoring opportunity.
Worsnop didn’t get anywhere near Burns spot kick as he blasted into the roof of the net, his twelfth goal in the last six games.
Ashton then conceded a soft penalty just two minutes later only for Phillips to dive to his right and palm Dean Stott’s spot kick, the ensuing melee ought to have resulted in a goal, but the Robins somehow survived.
Burns fired a free kick at Worsnop and then Craig Robinson had a shot blocked as the visitors defended bravely against an Ashton side that sensed they could still get something out of the game.
Hogan had a shot blocked and then shot wide from the rebound whilst Chris Lynch was off balance when he got on the end of a cross from Matty Kosylo and his header too went wide.
FC United could have secured the points late on, Michael Norton produced a neat turn only to fire wide and Nicky Platt had a shot at the near post that Phillips saved.
Ashton were awarded three free kicks some 25-yards out in the dying minutes but failed to make the most of them and the visitors hung on for three hard earned points.
Ashton: Phillips, Frost, Caldecott (Mulholland 78), Burke, Robinson, Lynch, Hogan, Baker, Burns, Moore (Kosylo 61), Johnson. Subs not used Harrop, Barlow, Beattie