Robins shut out feisty Sports. Report by David Robinson.
Ashton opened their league campaign with a stalemate in an entertaining encounter against their visitors from Derbyshire. Both sides struck the woodwork in the second period via substitutes, Jacob Hazel curling a left foot effort on to Ashton’s crossbar with Phillips beaten before with just 4 minutes left Joel Melia stepped inside a defender and curled a fantastic effort against the inside of the post.
The Robins had started the brighter as Chris Baguley’s pass picked out Martin Pilkington who cut inside but put a disappointing effort straight at Ross Atkins, but the visitors could have moved ahead just before the half hour as Wiley’s free header from Dawes’ corner had Phillips stretching to make the save. Straight afterwards Dawes inside pass released Bennett into the area – only a last ditch tackle from Billy Priestley saving the day as the visitors raised their game and a quickly taken free kick then saw Oshoboke test Phillips who spilled the ball at the cost of a corner.
The hosts were back on the attack straight after the interval with Pilkington just failing to clear Atkins with a headed effort from Kyle Jacobs’ long ball and at the other end Oshoboke’s pass put Dawes in for a fierce effort which was beaten away. A long cross field pass then picked out Dales on the left wing and he went past Jacobs but saw his cross cut out by Sam Wilson.
Sub Adam Morning then released Pilkington into the area but last season’s leading marksman sliced his effort wide of the near post and Gary Gee could have snatched the points for Ashton with 10 minutes left but fired over from inside the penalty area after Dale Johnson had teed him up from Morning’s cross. With both sides pressing for the winner Griffiths Junior squeezed a deflected effort just past the post with Phillips stretching and for the hosts a long free kick was headed on by Morning for Steven Mason to head on to the roof of the net as honours finished even which was just about right.
Team: Phillips, Jacobs, Mason, Wilson, Priestley, Gee, Baguley (Morning), Connor, Johnson, Pilkington (Melia), Sutherland (Bove). SNU: Coo, Rick.