Robins Throw Away Points
Report by David Robinson
Ashton suffered a disastrous reverse at home as the visitors recovered from a two goal deficit to repeat their victory of last season. With leading scorer Martin Pilkington absent with a broken toe the home team gave a debut to Courtney Meppen-Walter in midfield and after a quiet opening the first goal arrived on 22 minutes as Stephen Mason’s long free kick fell to Jay Gorton in the area and he rifled his effort into the far corner. Just beforehand Ashton were forced into a change with Mark Lees replacing Alex Frost who appeared to have sustained ankle ligament damage.
Chris Baguley should have done better than to fire wide after Dale Johnson had held the ball up well and Baguley was again the guilty man on 29 minutes helping Adam Morning’s cross past the near post. The Pics’ best chance in the first half saw Kieran Morris’s free header from Alex Reid’s corner placed straight into Phillips’ arms.
After a delay to the start of the second half due to a linesman’s illness, Kris Taylor’s pass picked out the run of Zak Martin with Phillips needing to be quickly off his line to block the forward’s effort before Morning fired the Robins further ahead on 53 minutes after combining well with Johnson. Just before the hour the Pics pulled a goal back as Phillips allowed a corner to slip through his grasp and Alex Reid forced the ball over the line.
Substitute Jamie Spencer then levelled matters up with a confident finish after Kris Taylor had played him through the middle and with the game now in the balance and a quarter of an hour left Spencer was again the decisive figure helping home another ball into the area by Taylor. As the Robins tried to strike back Mason’s cross into Johnson saw the ball helped on to Morning who was denied by a low save from Price but Olympic could have registered again as Duggan headed Taylor’s corner narrowly wide.
A quick free kick from Baguley then forced a corner which came to nothing but to complete Ashton’s misery Johnson was dismissed on the full time whistle for an apparent clash in the penalty area.
Team: Phillips, Frost (Lees), Mason, Gorton, Connor, Gee, Toner (Wharton), Meppen-Walter (Haining), Johnson, Baguley, Morning. SNU: Chadwick, McKenna.