Robins prevail in game of 10 v 10. Report by David Robinson.
10 man Ashton scored a hard fought victory over visitors Whitby who also had a player dismissed in the second period. Gary Gee saw red for the hosts after 10 minutes for retaliation following a strong challenge on Ashley Young by Steven Snaith – Ashton readjusting by moving Martin Pilkington into midfield.
The Robins had already moved ahead by this point as Jack Higgins met Chris Baguley’s deep corner with a goalbound header which took a slight deflection of Dale Johnson on its’ way into the net. On the quarter hour Pilkington set up Baguley who took too long inside the penalty area as Ashton dominated the opening exchanges.
Pilkington was then fouled on the edge of the area and Baguley sent the free kick spinning wide of goal and the Seasiders’ best effort of the first half came on the stroke of the interval as a rebound dropped out of the area to Ibrahim Hassan who fired narrowly wide. In between times Johnson picked out flying winger Coppin who cut inside but scuffed his shot through to Bland and Baguley’s aim was also awry from 20 yards after Coppin had picked him out.
The second half had not been underway for long before Jay Gorton clashed with Snaith with both players being booked – in Snaith’s case for the second time. Approaching the hour mark Baguley’s left foot effort from 20 yards was spilt by Bland who just managed to gather Johnson’s follow up and Ashton went close again courtesy of Lee Rick whose missile from just outside the area from Johnson’s lay off forced Bland to tip over.
The visiting full backs then combined as Shepard’s sliced effort was headed straight at Phillips by Mark Robinson before Kayde Coppin put Baguley into the clear but his left foot shot was straight at the keeper. Hopson made a decent run into the area for Whitby but fired over from a narrow angle and Town’s last chance of an equaliser saw the same player put a 20 yard free kick well over the top after he had been fouled.
Team: Phillips, Wilson, Pearson (Haslam), Gorton, Higgins, Young, Baguley, Gee, Johnson (Bennett), Pilkington (Rick) & Coppin.
SNU: Hill & Halford.