Report by David Robinson. Image Jez Sayle
Ashton won the battle of the 2 Tameside teams with 4 second half goals proving too good for the Tigers in front of a bank holiday crowd of 448. With Gary Gee making a welcome return in midfield, the hosts gave a first start to goalkeeper Kieran Harrison and it was he who started by dropping Stephen Mason’s long delivery under pressure with a free kick being awarded.
On 11 minutes Khamsuk was set free down the left wing with his cross striking Jay Gorton’s arm, penalty appeals being waived away by the referee, and then Ayrton Bevins followed a ball into the area and poked his effort past Phillips leaving Mason with an easy clearance. Martin Pilkington was then set free by Mason but Harrison stood up well to block the forward’s effort and the closest the hosts came before the interval was when a long free kick saw Burke’s head on almost converted close in by Bevins, the ball just being scrambled away.
The resumption saw Cavell Coo replacing Brownhill with Mason moving to left back and a good move then saw Pilkington just denied by Harrison with the offside flag raised but sub Matty Chadwick then set up Pilkington who was just blocked out, the ball being returned courtesy of Dean’s overhead and Burke then effecting a terrific block also from Pilkington, however there was to be no escape as immediately Chris Baguley’s right wing delivery was guided home by Dean.
The influential Chadwick was clearly making a difference since joining the fray and it needed a last ditch tackle from Reeves to deny him but Ashton still came close to doubling their advantage midway through the half as Pilkington’s lay off was struck against the post by ex-Tiger Mark Lees. Two minutes later Baguley’s pass sent Pilkington clear and he held off Burke before laying a pass off for Baguley to convert.
With the result no longer in doubt the Robins began to enjoy themselves and Baguley spread the ball wide for Chadwick who moved on to his right foot before firing home into the far corner and Pilkington then turned provider as he reached the by line and saw his cross go in off Chadwick despite Burke’s best efforts. The hosts were denied a consolation as Holmes held the ball up and brought Parkes into the play only for his shot to miss the far post.
Team: Phillips, Mason, Brownhill (Coo). Gorton, Connor, Lees, Baguley, Gee, Dean, Pilkington (Haining), Lindfield (Chadwick). SNU: Frost, Halford.