Restructuring Robins Undone by Abbey Hey.
Report by Jeremy Sayle.
Having lost the services of Jack Higgins, Ashley Young, Greg Pearson, Keith Briggs, Mark Haslam, Dale Johnson and Ben Deegan from last season's squad and with players such as Gary Gee, Martin Hill, Kayde Coppin, Chris Baguley & Sam Wilson present but not selected, joint-managers Paul Phillips and Steve Halford introduced lots of new faces in Ashton United's first pre-season run out at Abbey Hey.
Starting alongside a host of trialists (five in the first half and five more in the second period) for a first run-out in Ashton's colours were three new signings; ex-Rochdale man Godwin Abadaki - a pacy striker signed from Northwich Victoria, former Liverpool & Wolves trainee Dylan Moth - a winger/forward who has been playing for BK Sport in Sweden over the summer, and seasoned ex-professional Will Haining (pictured) - a defender signed from Macclesfield, he counts Oldham, St. Mirren & Morecambe amongst his former clubs, all featured at The Abbey Stadium.
Ashton started brightly but, given the number of trialists used, plus the fact that the hosts had already got two pre-season games under their belts, it wasn't too great a surprise that the visitors lacked the same cohesion as Abbey Hey - even though they too were ringing the changes to give all their squad players a run out, which included familiar faces such as Sam Freakes, Steven Yarwood and Nico Collins. After a stalemate in the first-half, and with the clock nudging the hour mark, a long range effort by Ashford Blake was deflected by team mate George Noone as he was challenged by Ashton's Steve Mason, with the end result that the ball looped into the top corner of The Robins' net; substitute Malam Varela was given space and time to double the lead with two minutes left and ensure that Ashton had no way back into the game.
Whilst the result won't have pleased the The Robins' bench, there were some eye-catching performances amongst the trialists that will have lifted the mood - the Hurst Cross faithful who didn't travel on Saturday will have the opportunity to see the new signings on Friday night as Burnley send a team to face Ashton in a game that kicks off at 7.30pm, before The Robins take on Chadderton (away) the following day with a 3pm start on the Saturday.
1. Paul Phillips (GK - Off HT)
2. Kyle Jacobs (Off HT) - Signed for the club after the game!
3. Luke Horrocks
4. Glenn Belezika
5. Steven Mason
6. Will Haining (Captain 1st Half - Off HT)
7. Astley Mulholland (Off HT)
8. Jack Poxan (Off HT)
9. Godwin Abadaki (Off HT)
10. Dylan Moth (Off HT)
11. Kevin Leadbetter (Off 55')
13. Dylan Forth (GK - On HT)
14. Lee Rick (On HT)
15. Martin Pilkington (On 55')
16. Joel Melia (On HT) - Signed for the club after the game!
17. Joel Wilkinson (On HT)
18. Daniel Grimshaw (On HT)
19. Jason Gorton (Captain 2nd Half - On HT)
22. Araducil King (On HT)