And we're off
Robins open their account with a win. Report by David Robinson
The Robins made an impressive start to their 2016/17 campaign with a decisive victory in the familiar surroundings of Frickley’s SW Jackson Utilities Stadium. After a quick start from the hosts Ashton worked their way into the game and having fashioned the equaliser just before the half hour, the result was then rarely in doubt.
A dangerous cross from Nathan Curtis had already required Stephen Mason to clear for the visitors when Curtis put a ball across the area which was then helped on by Noel Purkiss to the back post where Tyler Williams had little more than a tap in for the opener. The dangerous Williams then reached the by line and saw his cross back heeled just off target by Purkiss as Frickley dominated the opening exchanges. As Ashton finally joined in the action Danny Wilkins made space on the edge of the area and forced Malkowski into a good low save with Lee Gaskell looking sure to net the rebound before the keeper reacted very quickly to pull off a point blank stop.
Just before the half hour Jack Dorney won a free kick 20 yards out and debutant Gaskell curled home a superb effort and 5 minutes later an inside pass found Wilkins in space and he fired home an unstoppable effort to give the Robins the lead. With the front two combining well for Ashton, Malkowski was forced to pull out another low save before Gaskell sidefooted a clear opportunity straight at him.
Just 4 minutes of the second period had elapsed when Ashton extended their lead as a reverse pass from Dorney sent Wilkins clear and his square ball gave an unmissable chance for Gaskell to register his second, and on the hour he had an attempt for his hat trick as he caught Dorney’s pass on the volley but didn’t really test Malkowski. A low effort from Curtis then represented the closest that the Blues had come for some time but Wilkins could have made the score line even more emphatic following a mistake by Gooda but saw his effort palmed away.
Team: Phillips, Mason, Mather, Frost, Connor, Lees, Dorney (Coo), Gee, Wilkins, Gaskell (Baguley), Morning (Crowther). SNU: Smith, Nevins