Robins take points in windy Northwest Derby. Report by David Robinson
Ashton won the North West derby by the odd goal in three after an entertaining encounter at a blustery Hurst Cross. The hosts had both John Roberts and Johnny Gorman debuting in midfield and welcomed back Matty Chadwick whilst facing former players Ciaran Kilheeney and Scott Metcalfe in the Yellows’ eleven.
The Robins made the brighter start as Chadwick’s fine pullback from the by line found Ryan Crowther volleying over before a short corner routine by the visitors led to Ashton eventually clearing the danger. The game changed just past the midway point of the first half as a quickly taken free kick by Chadwick released Crowther into the area with James McCarten conceding the first penalty which Ashton have been awarded in 26 league games in bringing him down with Mr Bennett showing a red card, Chadwick himself converting confidently from the spot.
The visitors again went close as a corner saw Shaw’s close range effort cleared off the line before a fine move saw Domenico Maiese reach the byline with Chadwick’s right foot effort eventually being fired too high by Crowther. The Robins continued to press after the break and John Roberts shot disappointingly wide after Chadwick had set him up but 5 minutes later the hosts won the possession in midfield and Richard Smith’s deep cross was headed home by Ryan Crowther to extend the advantage. A third goal looked on the cards as Gorman reached the by line but Chadwick could only put his cross straight at McMillan in the visitor’s goal.
The Yellows came close to pulling one back with a quarter of an hour left as their best player Scott Harries gathered a free kick and cut back inside before striking the left hand post and they did reduce the deficit with 9 minutes left as a mix up in the home defence between Jonathan McIlwaine and Daniel Shaw allowed sub Dylan Vassallo to squeeze home his effort from a narrow angle. Crowther then saw his cross result in Smith’s low effort being saved before a long clearance led to Crowther himselffiring wide after seeing his first attempt blocked as Ashton held on to the points.
Team: McIlwaine, Smalley, Maiese, Connor, Shaw, Lees, Smith, Roberts (Baguley), Crowther, Gorman (Knight), Chadwick (Mason). SNU: Lowe, Lofthouse