Ashton on the Spot
Robins again denied by penalty. Report by David Robinson
Ashton were denied the victory by an equalising penalty for the second time in four days. Dominic Smalley and Simon Woodford both returned to the starting line up as the hosts took on last season’s first division runners-up and the Robins were first to threaten as Liam Tomsett’s free kick led to Mark Lees’ header just being scrambled away but in the follow-up Josh Stachini was stretchered off with a serious looking injury as the home side’s unfortunate run of injuries continued.
Walshaw then collected Atkinson’s lofted pass for the Celts but just failed to find a colleague and Danny Ellis then headed Marshall’s corner wide of the target. Nathan Cartman then collected a dropping ball in the area before dragging his effort wide of the far post before Walshaw’s flick on saw Priestley only able to hit the side netting.
At half time Ashton made their final two changes handing a debut to Oscar Durnin and immediately started to show more purpose as Tomsett helped Cavell Coo’s shot wide. Just past the hour it needed a point blank save from McKibbin to deny Jack Dyche’s near post effort from Matty Chadwick’s cross but 6 minutes later the breakthrough arrived courtesy of Pritchard’s corner which fell to Max Cartwright to convert at the second attempt.
Chadwick then forced McKibbin to push his effort away but with 13 minutes left Harris’s overlapping run took him into the area where Durnin was adjudged to have fouled him with Walshaw sending Carnell the wrong way from the spot. With the game now much more open Dyche’s header was helped over by Durnin and Clayton glanced a fine chance wide from Cartman’s return ball into the area, Walker made a vital block just in time as Tomsett turned onto Lees’ pass and Isaac Baldwin sent a screamer too high from 25 yards out. There was almost time for a dramatic conclusion as another Pritchard corner was helped against the crossbar from Chalmers’ header with Durnin repeating the trick before the ball was cleared.
Team: Carnell, Smalley (Coo), Pritchard, Woodford (Durnin), Cartwright, Chalmers, Tomsett, Lees, Chadwick, Dyche, Stachini (Platt). SNU: Roberts, Olapade