Rebels Edge Close Encounter!
Report by David Robinson.
Ashton’s promotion push took a knock as they were beaten at home by one of the form sides in the division who became the first side to prevent the Robins scoring since the beginning of November. Despite missing the indisposed Jack Higgins, Ashton made the brighter start and with just 4 minutes elapsed a poor clearance by keeper Carnell gave Martin Pilkington a great chance which he scuffed wide off the heavy surface.
6 minutes later Woolfenden collected a rebound and tested Modlinsky from the edge of the area before Kay gave the Ashton keeper an easier save. Ashley Young was next into the action as he exchanged passes with Pilkington and saw his low effort saved before Chris Baguley picked up a loose ball and put an audacious 40 yard attempt just wide.
The breakthrough arrived on the half hour and somewhat against the run of play as a throw in bounced through to Woolfenden who provided a confident right foot finish and shortly afterwards Greg Pearson made a vital block to deny the goalscorer after Greaves had reached the byline.
Ashton missed a glorious chance to level on the stroke of half time as Young’s pass saw Lee Rick beat the offside trap and only denied by a fingertip save from Carnell. The hosts also went close immediately after the restart as Pilkington’s square pass picked out Young who switched play to Kayde Coppin whose effort just cleared the crossbar from a tight angle.
The game now settled into a placid period of play as both teams understandably tired playing their second game on a sticky surface within 48 hours. Substitute Martin Hill then threatened and saw his effort blocked following a good run but with 4 minutes left the points were safe for FC as winger Lindfield picked up a loose ball 25 yards out and fired the decisive strike into the far corner. The visitors could have extended their advantage again which would have been rough justice on Ashton as Daniels exchanged passes with fellow sub Walwyn before firing straight at Modlinsky.
Team: Modlinksy, Haslam (Vincent), Pearson, Gorton, Wilson, Young, Rick (Hill), Baguley, Johnson, Pilkington & Coppin (Steadman).