Robins Secure Play Off Place!
Report by David Robinson.
Ashton finally secured their place in the end of season play offs but not before they had made heavy weather of it against their visitors from Cheshire. They got off to the worse possible start with just 2 minutes elapsed as the ball reached Daniel Andrews on the right wing and he cut inside Greg Pearson before unleashing an unstoppable shot past Paul Phillips.
The Robins almost levelled on the quarter hour as Kayde Coppin’s chip into the area saw Martin Pilkington beat the defender superbly but his left foot effort rolled against the post. A high ball then dropped to Ashley Young leading to Dale Johnson’s effort on the turn bringing a diving save to his right from Porter in the visiting goal but Titchiner could have then made things even worse as he bore down on goal only being denied by a superbly timed intervention from Phillips.
Phillips again had the last word denying Hancock after a mistake by Jack Higgins and Ashton’s last chance before the break saw a rebound fall to Johnson in the area but Porter was out quickly to block. Ben Deegan and Chris Baguley were both brought into the fray at half time and made an instant impact as Baguley won a free kick 25 yards out and curled it just past the right hand post and on 55 minutes a long throw-in saw a penalty awarded for handball against Witton defender Zac Corbett, which he was also booked for. Baguley took responsibility but saw his low shot saved, Gary Gee heading the rebound against the bar before the ball fell back to Baguley who fired home the equaliser.
The hosts now had their tails up and a long ball dropped to Martin Pilkington whose shot was deflected wide and agonisingly just out of Deegan’s reach before Young’s return ball into the box saw Johnson reach the by line and stand up a fine cross which gave Deegan an unmissable header. Johnson then again reached the by line and saw his cross go narrowly wide and Gee then also got into a great position and saw Baguley arrive only to scuff his effort wide, and the same player then put a rising effort off target after more good work by Johnson.
Ashton could have extended the margin of victory as a great crossfield ball by Deegan picked out Max Harrop who was denied by Porter with Baguley hitting the follow up off target. Ashton now take their place in the play offs and their opponents will be decided following the final league match against Rushall Olympic.
Team: Phillips, Mason, Pearson, Wilson, Higgins, Young, Briggs (Baguley), Gee, Johnson, Pilkington (Harrop) & Coppin (Deegan).
SNU: Rick & Hill.