Last Season's Finalists Safely Through
Report by David Robinson.
Ashton United set out to emulate last season's exploits when they reached the final of the Manchester Cup starting with a hard-fought win over local rivals Trafford in this first round tie.
The home team were first out of the blocks when a break by Aaron Burns let to him playing in Kosylo who cut inside but could only find the side netting. This led to the first of 2 corners, the second of which was headed home from close range by captain Melling. Ashton went close to extending their lead when Madeley then pulled a shot from the edge of the area just wide of the left hand post.
As the half went on the visitors were giving as good as they got particularly through lively winger Murray whose cross was headed over by the unmarked Carden. The danger signs were there but went unheeded as Murray's next cross was fired home on the volley by Collier for a fine equaliser. Shortly afterwards full back Smart fired the ball straight across Ashton's six yard box with no one able to convert.
After the interval Oates had a shot on the turn saved by keeper Smith and Burns' effort for United was saved at his near post by Robertson. Ben Smith's shot then fell straight to Madeley but Robertson produced a great close range save and from a free kick Smith's cross was headed wide by Amadi from a promising position.
Trafford then made a substitution bringing on striker Marshall and it was his unfortunate intervention when he fouled home substitute Wright to concede a penalty with little danger threatening. Just as the home fans were getting ready to celebrate regaining the lead Burns' spot kick produced a fine save high to his left from the visiting keeper. Lambert made a great turn in the area for the Robins before firing straight across goal and a shot from distance by Gallanders drifted wide for Trafford as both sides searched for the winner.
With penalties looming a fine run down the left wing by Amadi set up a unmissable chance for Burns and Amadi still had the energy for another twisting run into the box before dragging his effort wide.
Team; T. Smith, Swirad, Rose, Lambert, Melling, Roberts, Kosylo,(Harrop) Smith, Burns, Amadi, Madeley,(Wright) SNU Bathurst, Rimmer, Bennett