Job Done - Just!
Under strength Robins lose the game but reach their Tuesday home play-off goal. Report by David Robinson.
Ashton United secured a home tie in the playoffs against local rivals Curzon despite losing their last home league match to Rushall who reversed the scoreline from the corresponding fixture. Fielding a much changed line up the hosts again failed to register in a dull first period for the 8th successive game. The best chance fell to Martin Hill when Price’s poor clearance from the visiting goal fell straight to him but his touch was too heavy allowing the keeper to regather. Olympic’s best opportunity saw a left wing cross present Williams with a free header which he couldn’t get enough power behind to trouble Phillips.
It took only 6 minutes following the restart for Ashton to open the scoring as Max Harrop picked up a pass on the right wing and skipped past his marker before firing in a near post effort which Price could only palm into his own net. Ben Deegan was then penalised as a corner arrived in the area just before Greg Pearson volleyed the loose ball home. Hill came close to doubling the advantage but could only volley over the top from Leadbetter’s cross following a twisting run.
With 20 minutes to go the Pics fashioned an equaliser as a good move down the right wing saw centre back Michael Townsend reach the by line and put over a fine cross which allowed Aaron Williams to head home. Olympic could have then moved ahead as Carl Palmer found space in the midfield and hit a fine effort against the underside of the bar but with the home defence still not alert a long ball through the middle saw substitute Alex Reid split the Ashton defence before putting his left foot shot agonisingly just wide of the post.
With the visitors now in the ascendancy Reid was again denied by Phillips coming out to narrow the angle after he had picked up Williams’ header but they were not to be denied and on the final whistle Kris Taylor turned the ball back inside for Jake Heath to fire home the winner with the help of a deflection. All eyes now move on to Tuesday and an eagerly anticipated local derby at home to Curzon Ashton.
Team: Phillips, O’Connor (Young), Sherratt (Johnson), Mason, Pearson, Harrop, Briggs, Rick, Deegan (Leadbetter), Coppin & Hill.
SNU: Baguley & Halford.