Another Win On The Road!
The Robins comeback from a goal down in the fog. Report by David Robinson.
Ashton registered their sixth win from the last seven league games with a clear cut victory at Frickley’s JJ Leisure Stadium. Sam Wilson was making his debut at right back and was joined up front by the returning Dale Johnson, one of the heros of last season’s run to the play-off final.
It was Johnson himself who almost made the perfect start, turning on Gary Gee’s through ball and only being denied by a low save from Simpson and immediately Martin Pilkington also tested the home keeper from Lee Rick’s pass. With the visitors having made such a positive start it came as something of a surprise when the hosts took the lead on the quarter hour as Danny South headed home unchallenged from Luke Jeffs’ corner. A sharp exchange of passes then took Leonard into the area for Athletic before his shot was deflected over the bar. Ashton almost equalised halfway through the half as Kayde Coppin’s cross to the far post was headed back by Pilkington with Lee Rick just failing to make sufficient contact.
The Robins continued to create chances, winning a series of corners and deservedly drew level as Young's pass/clearance released Johnson whose cross was touched home by Pilkington and the same player could have registered again as he ran straight through the middle of the home defence before overrunning the ball and just being denied by Simpson.
Approaching the hour and Wilson’s ball saw Pilkington progress into the area before his square pass picked out Coppin’s run, the winger just being denied by another fine save from Simpson. With the visibility fading fast it was the visitors who moved ahead as Ashley Young’s long corner was headed home by captain Jack Higgins and the hosts immediately made their task even harder as Reece Thompson was dismissed following a clash with Higgins. Wilson then had to be replaced after suffering a facial injury in a challenge with Riley but substitute Chris Baguley was about to step into the action in a decisive manner.
Firstly he controlled Coppin’s left wing cross before firing wide of the far post and then put a more difficult chance over the top but after Johnson had brought a point blank save out of Simpson following a tremendous turn a quick break saw Johnson pick out Coppin and his pullback was hammered home by Baguley to seal the victory.
Team: Phillips, Wilson (Haslam), Pearson, Williams, Higgins, Young, Rick (Harries), Gee, Pilkington (Baguley), Johnson & Coppin.
SNU: Bennett & Mukendi.