A Game of Two Halves
It was a chance for a large contingent of players to have a good run-out. Report by David Robinson.
Ashton scored a narrow victory after an entertaining encounter with their hosts from Oldham. With a familiar line up and a 3-4-3 formation in the first period, Ashton were first to threaten as a long ball from Jay Gorton found Martin Pilkington running in behind the home defence, but fired his effort across the area. A good ball forward for the hosts then released 'Curley' who cut inside but put his left foot attempt over the target.
Chadderton then won a free kick in midfield which was quickly taken finding Harewood free on the left hand side of the area and he finished confidently past Phillips for the opening goal. The Robins were level almost immediately as Chris Baguley’s chipped pass put Pilkington free to fire home the equaliser. A corner then reached Tom Pratt who put his effort straight at Latham, before Richard Bennett released the same player for a cross/shot which went right across the area. After 'Curley’s' cross had seen Sherwood put a free header straight at Paul Phillips, the hosts moved ahead again on the stroke of half-time as Sherwood reached the byline and saw his pull back converted by Forde.
Ashton changed their whole side for the second-half and it was Sam Fitzgerald who went closest, making progress through midfield, before shooting straight at the keeper. But, shortly afterwards he latched onto Tuaniebe's pass and steadied himself before firing home.
Matt Chadwick, who was captain, was having an influence from the right-wing and turned well before putting his effort past the near post and Rouse and Tuaniebe looked like they may have set up the winning goal, but the latter fired too high.
Hill was then picked out by a fine cross-field pass and did everything right before slicing wildly off-target, but the winner arrived as Rouse made a great run through midfield and checked back onto his left foot before sweeping home the decisive goal.
First-Half Team: Phillips, Coppin, Pearson, Gorton (C), Halford, Young, Pratt, Gee, Pilkington, Bennett & Baguley (2-1).
Second-Half Team: Ashley, Fitzgerald, Roberts, Coo, Hill, Robinson, Shaqueel, Chadwick (C), Tuaniebe, Rouse & Haslam (0-2).