In Adversity We Triumph
Robins Rise To The Challenge. Report by David Robinson
Ashton ground out victory at Hurst Cross despite being reduced to 10 men in the first half as Aaron Burns suffered his second sending off this season. The red card was produced after 18 minutes and looked a dubious decision by Mr Hanley as there appeared to be minimal contact with keeper Sebastian Malkowski as Burns challenged for a loose ball.
Ironically Burns could have already won a penalty for the Robins after 5 minutes as Adam Morning’s left wing cross saw Cyrus appear to clip Burns in the area with the referee unresponsive. Soon afterwards Joe Connor had to be replaced suffering with cramp and the debutant off the bench, Jeff King soon sent a raking 25 yard effort just over the cross bar.
Jeffs’ corner was then headed goalwards by Cyrus from 6 yards out but blocked just in front of the goal line and on the half hour the hosts moved ahead as a long ball saw Morning catch Cyrus napping in the Frickley defence before poking the ball past Malkowski. Johnson then got round the back for Athletic but saw his pull back to Thomas blocked by stand in full back Gary Gee.
Ten minutes into the second period and a fine break saw Morning’s cross just cut out by Parkinson before it could reach Chris Baguley whilst at the other end Thomas’ cross just eluded former Ashton striker Jacob Hazel as the visitors tried to strike back. Midway through the half a fine run by King set up Baguley for a disappointing left foot effort before Baguley’s high ball was chested down by Dale Johnson for sub Matty Chadwick to hammer wide.
With Phillips alert in the home goal he was forced into another good save to claw away a header from Parkinson’s cross and then the other full back Jeffs saw his cross headed wide by Wood. Right on 90 minutes a combination between Chadwick and King saw Martin Pilkington just beaten to the cross by Malkowski but as injury time ran down Pilkington chipped the ball over 2 defenders from near the corner flag to put Chadwick clear to drive home the second goal from a tight angle.
Team: Phillips, Mason, Coo, Gorton, Connor (King), Haining, Baguley, Gee, Burns, Johnson (Pilkington), Morning (Chadwick). SNU: Sutherland, Melia.