Round one and honours even. Report by David Robinson
Ashton’s first home fixture of the season saw the spoils shared at Hurst Cross with the visitors from Cheshire well worth a draw. Cavell Coo replaced Stephen Mason from the line up for the Frickley match but it was the Dabbers making early inroads as right winger Steve Jones tricked his way past Adam Mather, needing Gary Gee to concede a corner. Mather then put a clearing header straight to Matt Bell who volleyed off target and Theo Stair’s cross was turned past the near post by Sean Cooke as Ashton’s defence faced an early examination.
Touray’s cross found Cooke unmarked but only able to put a weak effort on goal and Jack Dorney’s cross was then cleared to Mark Lees who fired wide of the target. Ten minutes before the break Coo was caught napping by Stair with his cross just evading Godwin Abadaki at the near post and as the Robins tried to hit back Mark Lees’ pass saw Lee Gaskell put a curling effort past the far post.
Just 2 minutes of the second period had elapsed as Adam Morning was fouled 25 yards out and Gaskell curled home a fine free kick for his third goal in his first two appearances. As Ashton upped the tempo Morning’s cross saw Danny Wilkins just squeezed out but the visitors weren’t far away at the other end as Stair’s cross was just cleared in time by Adam Mather, the resulting corner being headed straight at Phillips by Matt Bailey.
With the hour mark approaching a ball out to the right wing found Jones cutting inside before providing an emphatic left foot finish and matters could have got even worse for Ashton as Coo allowed Cooke to cut inside before curling an effort wide. With Nantwich now in the ascendancy Cooke’s deep cross was volleyed over by Jones and Jay Gorton got away with an underhit backpass as Phillips was able to deny Cooke. The final word almost went to the visitors as Cooke’s free kick landed on the roof of the net with Phillips beaten.
Ashton United: Phillips, Mason, Mather, Gorton, Connor, Lees, Dorney (Mason), Gee, Wilkins (Crowther), Gaskell, Morning (Baguley). SNU: Frost, Nevins.