Ashton Bow Out of FA Cup in Disappointing Fashion
Report by Steve Lee.
Ashton United can have no complaints at bowing out to lower league opponents as Spennymoor Town cruised through in the FA Cup at a sub baked Hurst Cross.
The Northern League champions took a stranglehold on the game from the early stages with Ashton hardly getting a look in , Adam Johnston having an early effort that went wide and he then turned provider to send Anthony Peacock away, but his shot went wide.
A free kick by Keith Graydon was deflected into the grateful clutches of Terry Smith as the Moors speed and mobilty were more than a match for lacklustre Ashton.
The breakthrough finally arrived as Johnston and Peacock combined again, the latter producing a confident finish to send the large away support wild with delight.
Smith saved low down following a free kick by Graydon and the same player shot wide before Ian Bennett produced a fine clearance off the line as Spennymoor looked likely to increase their lead almost at will.
Ashton's attacks were rare and their first effort came when George Melling headed a free kick by Liam Dawson into the path of Aaron Burns, but his shot was straight at Craig Turns.
Johnston took advantage of poor marking to race through, only to fire wide when through on goal.
The Robins cause was further hampered when Kyle Harrop, already on a yellow card for a needless booking, brought down Johnston for an obvious booking that meant he was dismissed five minutes from the break.
Spennymoor opened up the second half as lively as the first and were awarded a penalty as Alex Frost was adjudged to have handled a cross from the right, even though it appeared more ball to hand.
Smith did well to get a hand to Johnston's penalty, but it wasn't enough to prevent the Durham side from increasing their lead.Stephen Capper shot wide and a volley from the lively Peacock also went wide as Moors refused to sit on their two-goal cushion.
Peter Wright saw his shot tipped wide from a Chris Amadi cross and Liam Dawson shot into the side netting after being set up by Matty O'Neill.
Substitute Matty Kosylo had another encoraging performance when he came on, a strong run ending with a shot just over the bar.
Ashton were enjoying their best spell when Wright's shot looked to be heading into the bottom corner, only for some last ditch defending by Michael Laws to save the day.
From so close to going just a goal behind, Ashton soon were waving goodbye to any hope of a stay of execution in the cup when Smith fluffed a clearance under no pressure, substitute Chris Lawther raced through on goal and fired home.
Ashton were denied a consolation when Turns tipped a Wright header over the bar, but by then the tie was long gone as Spennymoor made a mockery of the two division difference between the teams in a manner they couldn't have dreamed of.
ASHTON UNITED: T Smith, Harrop, Dawson (Kosylo 65), Roberts, Melling (Bathurst 87), Frost, O'Neill, Bennett, Burns (Lambert 46), Wright, Amadi. (subs not used) Madeley, Rimmer, J Rose, B Smith
Attempts on target: ASH 4-9 SPE
Attempts off target: ASH 4-8 SPE
Corners: ASH 8-3 SPE
Offside: ASH 5-8 SPE
Free kicks conceded: ASH 12-8 SPE
Red Cards: ASH 1-0 SPE
Yellow Cards: ASH 4-0 SPE