League Cup Surrender
Report by Steve Lee.
League Cup holders Ashton United surrendered their grip on the trophy they battled so hard to win in April as Lancaster City inflicted an emphatic victory over Danny Johnson’s men.
City, one division lower in the EvoStik league, were more than a match for the off colour Robins, faster and more purposeful in attack and a defence that was fully committed.
Ashton did create some early chances, Aaron Burns twice having efforts that were comfortably saved by Martin Fearon, the first after an impressive run and cross from home debutant Mark Peers and secondly after Liam Dawson had won a challenge on the edge of the area.
Lancaster’s confidence grew as the half wore on, Joe Bunney having an effort saved by Terry Smith after being set up by Craig Carney, and then an impressive turn and shot by Dave Swarbrick was equally well kept out by Smith.
City edged in front after 28 minutes with Swarbrick once more producing a clever turn, this time giving Smith no chance.
Peers came close to an immediate reply but his shot clipped the bar before going over.
Lancaster wasted a good chance to increase their lead when Swarbick’s lob went wide of an open goal and then a poor clearance following a cross by Swarbrick fell to Bunney, but his effort went wide.
The visitors took just two minutes of the second half for their superiority to yield that vital second goal with dangerman Swarbrick on hand to net from close range.
Danny Gregson headed against the bar from a free kick, but the big centre half didn’t have to wait long to add to Ashton’s misery when he side-footed home at the near post from a cross by Zach Clark.
The introduction of Sam Madeley provided the Robins with some much needed determination to their attack and it was Madeley that reduced the arrears nine minutes from time, Fearon firstly denied Burns, but Madeley netted from the rebound.
A grandstand finish might have been on the cards soon after when Bathurst found Madeley in space on the right, but his shot went across the face of goal.
Lancaster had the final say though, in the final minute Max Rothwell turned in Swarbrick’s cross to complete the scoring, the Dolly Blues fully deserving of this comprehensive victory.
Ashton: T Smith, Harrop, J Rose (Madeley 67), B Smith, Roberts, Rimmer (Bathurst 61), Peers, Bennett (Kosylo 61), Burns, Lambert, Dawson. Subs not used Swirad, Wright