Valentine's Day Heartbreaker
Robins show no love to Grantham Town in comfortable win. Report by David Robinson.
Ashton continued their fine recent form with an ultimately comfortable victory over their visitors from Lincolnshire. Both sides have clearly improved since their 0-0 draw in September but you could have been forgiven for thinking otherwise as the first half hour was extremely heavy going. Then on 34 minutes the hosts got the break they were looking for as Dale Johnson was fouled on the right hand side of the area but they failed to take advantage with Gary Gee presenting Jake Turner with an easy save from his poorly hit penalty.
Kevin Leadbetter tried to make amends but blazed over after collecting Martin Pilkington’s knock down and at the other end a free kick for handball against Gorton saw Meadows shooting well over which summed up the action to date. A superb exchange of passes between Kayde Coppin and Johnson then saw the latter’s shot deflected over from around the penalty spot for a corner which Sam Wilson headed past the far post.
The Robins did move ahead on the stroke of the interval as Kevin Leadbetter’s corner was touched home from close range by Sam Wilson for his third goal of the season.
Ashton were still on the attack after the resumption and Ashley Young fired well over after good work by Leadbetter before a quick break saw Johnson release Kayde Coppin who cut inside on to his right foot but fired off target. A minute later a fine move saw them double their advantage as Wilson picked out Johnson’s run and his cross to the near post was headed home by Martin Pilkington. The same two forwards then combined only for Pilkington to be denied at close range by the Gingerbreads’ keeper.
Johnson then demonstrated some fine control before firing over and he then played in debutant Michael Oates who was just denied at the near post. Little was seen of the visitors in attack which was a surprise given they started the day as the division’s second highest scorers and Liam Read’s 20 yard shot on the turn barely troubled Phillips in the home goal. Ashton could have made the margin of victory even greater as a fine touch by Oates put Hill clean through on goal but his effort clipped the outside of the post.
Team: Phillips, Wilson, Pearson, Gorton, Higgins, Young, Leadbetter, Gee (Rick), Johnson, Pilkington (Oates) & Coppin (Hill).
SNU: Haslam & O’Connor.