Big Day Out
Robins hold new Champions. Report by David Robinson. Photo Jez Sayle
Ashton came from behind to snatch a draw with the newly crowned League Champions at a blustery Hurst Cross, and both sides also missed a penalty. Spartans were first on to the attack as Adam Wrightson made a strong run into the area and was denied at his near post by Luke Pilling and Daniel Maguire’s flick then saw Robert Dale bursting into the area but unable to get any power behind his effort. Dale and Maguire combined again shortly afterwards before Richard Smith recovered to make the block.
They should have moved ahead on 17 minutes as Shaun Reid won a soft looking spot kick for a foul by Simon Woodford but Pilling pulled off a tremendous one-handed save from Maguire’s effort (pictured) and, after Dale had tricked his way into the area and just missed the angle, the opening goal arrived as Dale’s deep free kick was headed back by Reid to give Nathan Buddle an easy conversion.
Matty Chadwick then saw his swinging free kick held at the back post before Laidler’s through ball found Maguire helping Smith’s short back header over the top and the visitors threatened again just before the break as Maguire beat the offside trap only to see Dale volley his cross past the near post.
On the resumption Woodford just failed to make sufficient contact with Ryan Crowther’s corner but the Robins found the equaliser just past the hour as Crowther’s through ball saw Matty Chadwick’s pass fall off Lee Knight for Crowther to fire home the equaliser. The Robins could have moved ahead as Crowther’s cross was agonisingly missed by both Chadwick & Knight before Josh Stachini’s return ball forced Woolston into a tip over.
As both sides pressed for the winner Chadwick won another dubious penalty after being pushed over by Andrew Cartwright but his low effort afforded Woolston an easy save and the champions could still have snatched the points as Dale’s free kick saw Richard Pell’s knockback headed narrowly wide by Luke Armstrong.
Team: Pilling, Smalley (Lowe), Maiese, Smith, Woodford (Coo), Lees, Duke (Roberts), Stachini, Chadwick, Knight, Crowther. SNU: Banim.