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First Team - Match centre

Ashton United
Grantham Town
Sat 23 Jan 15:00 - The Evo-Stik League Northern Premier - Premier Division Full time Attendance 144

Ashton grind down Gingerbreads

Report by David Robinson

Goals at the start and the end of the 90 minutes were enough for Ashton to grind out a vital victory over Grantham. Just 2 minutes had elapsed when Chris Baguley, making his 100th start for the hosts, fired home a trademark free kick from 20 yards after Adam Morning’s run had been blocked. Town hit back as Alex Simmons' pass inside Alex Frost found Michael Emmott firing past the near post and just before the half hour Danny Meadows sent a 30 yard free kick dangerously close to Ashton’s goal. Another good run by Morning then saw him pick out Eddie Toner who was well off target from 20 yards and Gary Gee’s persistence then won a corner which saw Jay Gorton’s header clawed away by Dearle in the visitor’s goal. Just before the interval Gorton’s clearance saw Rhys Lewis bring a great reaction save out of Paul Phillips with a snapshot.

Into the second period and Emmott put in a fine deep cross which was glanced wide by Ben Saunders and the winger then tricked his way past Frost before forcing Phillips to tip his effort over and Joe Connor made a vital last ditch interception to prevent the visitors breaking through.

Connor was then booked for a challenge from behind and the resulting free kick was pumped high into the area before dropping behind and another hanging free kick by Emmott saw Lewis head wide.

With 4 minutes left on the clock substitute Martin Pilkington typified his never say die attitude as he charged down a bad back pass and beat the tackle of keeper Dearle to leave himself with an open goal and give the scoreline something of a flattering look. The Gingerbreads’ luck on the day was typified by Ben Harris’s ball into the area which was helped against the post by Ben Saunders and Lee Shaw then made a good run into the area but saw his cross go straight through to Phillips.

Team: Phillips, Frost, Mason, Gorton, Connor, Lees, Baguley (Pilkington), Gee, Toner, Johnson (Haining), Morning (McKenna). SNU: Melia, Wharton.

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# Team Pl Pts
1. Darlington 1883 46 104
2. Blyth Spartans 46 99
3. Salford City 46 90
4. Ashton United 46 87
5. Workington 46 86
6. Stourbridge 46 84
7. Frickley Athletic 46 77

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