Steadman Winner Breaks Nailers' Hearts
Report by David Robinson.
Ashton made heavy weather of it but eventually got the better of bottom team Belper in a 7 goal thriller at Hurst Cross. The visitors took a surprise lead just before the quarter hour when a cross into the area was squared by Michael Towey for Bruno Holden to volley the opener but within a minute Lee Rick had levelled for Ashton firing home after Dale Johnson’s clever flick from Kayde Coppin’s cross had come back off the post.
A fine through ball from Martin Hill then saw Johnson only denied by Green coming quickly off his line and the Nailers could have regained the lead as Stevenson reached the by-line and saw his cross reach Burbeary whose effort was cleared off the line. Ashton moved ahead as Rick set up Chris Baguley for a fine 25 yard finish and 3 minutes later Sam Wilson stabbed home his first goal for the club as Martin Hill returned a corner into the box. With the interval approaching Stevenson picked up a loose ball and cut inside before bringing a fine save out of Ashton keeper Modlinsky.
Belper now had a mountain to climb and put several dangerous crosses into the Ashton area and with the home side not heeding the warning they found a lifeline on the hour as a scramble in the home area saw the ball forced home by Burbeary before a crossfield pass from the same player required Modlinsky to be sharply off his line to deny Holden, but ten minutes later they were level as an attempted clearance from a corner appeared to be deflected in off home defender Wilson.
With the hosts desperate for the points to maintain their play off challenge Johnson’s flick saw Josh Steadman’s effort blocked by Adams but with just 8 minutes left on the clock it fell to sub Steadman to touch the ball home as Lee Rick’s attempted shot reached him and there was still opportunity for Johnson to demonstrate his fine control before time almost stood still as his sublime chip rolled against the post.
Team: Modlinsky, Wilson, Pearson, Gorton, Higgins, Young, Rick, Baguley (Haslam), Johnson, Coppin (Steadman) & Hill (Vincent).