Bluebirds Fly Past Robins
Narrow victory to Barrow in a bright contest. Report by David Robinson.
Ashton took on their toughest opponents so far in the shape of Conference North favourites Barrow and it was the visitors who scored a narrow victory. After McWilliams had been replaced following an early injury it was Walker who latched onto Cook’s knockdown for Barrow before being crowded out by Greg Pearson. Richard Bennett was then fouled 25-yards out, but Coppin put his effort straight into the wall.
Pilkington then found Bennett who put his effort over the top from 25-yards and a fine combination between the same two players put Pilkington in for a curling effort which was just off target. The decisive strike came on the half hour, as a ricochet reached the right hand side of the area and Reid stepped inside before firing home a fine left foot effort.
Just before half-time Barrow could have extended their advantage as Cook was fouled from behind by Higgins and Sheridan clipped the crossbar from the resulting free kick. Goalscorer Reid then put a free kick from 22-yards straight into Phillips’ arms, before on the hour mark substitute Ray-Harvey interchanged passes with Lacey; the latter bringing a fine left hand save out of Phillips.
Reid then combined with Cribley down the right wing and presented Walker with a chance which he put straight at Phillips, before sub Chris Baguley put Tuanzebe clear, only for a poor touch to waste the chance. Baguley himself then shot straight at the keeper from 25-yards and Ashton’s best chance of the second period saw Tuanzebe set up Rick who sidefooted well wide from a good position.
The hosts last chance of pulling level saw Hill beat two defenders before his cross was clawed out by the keeper with Haslam firing the rebound wide of goal.
Team: Phillips (GK), Robertson, Pearson, Higgins (C), Flanagan, Fitzgerald, Robinson, Gee, Pilkington, Bennett & Coppin.
Subs: Tuanzebe, Rick, Baguley, Hill, Pratt, Coo, Haslam, Young, Rouse, Hewitt & Cook (GK).