Ashton Slow Out Of The Blocks Again!
Spirited Performance Draws A Blank - Match Report by David Robinson.
Ashton continued their habit of drawing tough ties in the major cup competitions and they don't come much tougher than Chester away at the Exacta stadium in front of a crowd of 1624.
Ashton also continued their unfortunate habit of conceding early goals allowing ex-player Iain Howard to give the home side the lead after just 2 minutes. The ball was played in from the left side and a dummy by Brown left Howard in the clear for a decisive finish from the edge of the area.
5 minutes later a fine cross from the right by Booth was headed just wide by ex-Marine striker Rainford. Mark Peers was making his debut for the visitors numbering Chester among his ex-clubs but it was the home side who continued to dominate as Rainford easily beat the offside trap and pulled the ball back for McNeill who miscued when it looked easier to score.
It was midway through the half before the visitors registered their first effort on goal as Burns fired well over and then screwed well wide of goal when a quickly taken free kick found him well placed. With half time approaching Rainford moved forward and fired a good effort which looked destined for the corner of the goal before it took a vital deflection off Melling. Shortly afterwards Rainford was put clean through and tried to round Smith who pulled off a good save.
Ashton started the 2nd period with more intent and a good run by debutant Peers took him between 2 defenders before his effort was deflected through to the keeper. The home side were soon back on the attack however and a long ball by Booth was missed by Harrop allowing Howard to volley over the top. The home side then played a long free kick from halfway which found substitute Wilde totally unmarked allowing him to head home with ease.
As Ashton tried to find a way back into the game Bennett made progress through midfield and played a good ball through to Burns whose effort produced a good save from keeper Danby. However their efforts were severely hampered shortly afterwards when Harrop was dismissed for what appeared to be a studs up challenge. Substitute Simm immediately set up Brown for Chester who missed a sitter when only the slightest touch would have sufficed.
With 15 minutes to go Ashton found a lifeline as Kosylo's ball into the box saw Burns pulled back by Howard for a penalty and Mr Meeson make his latest controversial decision to show Howard a yellow card when he appeared to be the last man - Wright confidently converting the spot kick. As Ashton tried to rescue a replay Kosylo's short backpass saw Terry Smith rescue the visitors, and a long free kick into the area saw Madeley fire just too high.
Team; T. Smith, Harrop, Dawson, Lambert, Melling, Roberts, O' Neill (Kosylo), Bennett, Burns, Wright (Bathurst), Peers (Madeley). SNU B. Smith, J. Rose