Robins lose out to Spartan strength
Report by David Robinson
Ashton suffered their first defeat of the season against a slick outfit from the North East who ran out deserved winners and duly avenged their 3-0 defeat last season. It was no time at all before the chances started and Sam Wilson was the first to hit the target as a long cross reached him at the far post but he failed to get enough power behind his effort. Still in the opening minutes and Danny Maguire picked up an inside pass for Spartans and cut insdie Stephen Mason before seeing his effort hit the left hand post with Phillips just getting a touch.
It wasn’t long before the visitors moved ahead as a square pass picked out Richardson in space on the edge of the area and his effort deflected off Sam Wilson and into the corner of the net. An exchange of passes at the other end then took Sutherland into the area but he was just foiled by keeper McHugh, but just past the half hour a superb pass by Richardson picked out Wade’s run into the area and he finished confidently to double the advantage.
Ashton made 3 quick substitutions after the break but there was more danger threatening as Dale progressed into the area and set up Maguire who skipped past Phillips but was just crowded out by Mason before sub Chris Baguley’s free kick was met at the back post by Wilson, Sutherland stabbing a deflected effort over the top and then another Baguley free kick found Joe Connor ghosting in before putting his own effort too high.
Sam Wilson’s header was then saved and the rebound saw Connor tee up Aaron Burns whose effort was blocked and then Cavell Coo’s floated cross found Martin Pilkington unable to keep his header down. With Ashton dominating the possession Blyth were restricted to playing on the break but nearly made it pay as Reid picked up a square ball and tested Phillips whose poor clearance then gave Richardson the chance to fire wide.
Dale Johnson’s run into the area then led to Baguley firing wide before a corner appeared to be cleared off the line twice by the visiting defence which rather summed up Ashton’s night and the final effort saw Baguley’s free kick fall to Johnson whose shot crashed back off the crossbar.
Team: Phillips, Coo, Wilson, Mason, Priestly, Connor, Jacobs (Burns), Gee (Baguley), Bove (Johnson), Pilkington, Sutherland. SNU: Melia, Morning