First half strikes see Ashton home
Report by David Robinson. Photo Jez Sayle
2 first half goals were enough for Ashton to take the points against the bottom side following an early pitch inspection at Hurst Cross. With several injuries Mike Norton made his debut up front for the hosts, with the returning Saul Henderson on the bench, and it was the Robins making early inroads as Checkaine Steele just intercepted Nic Evangelinos’ pass to John Pritchard inside the area, and after 8 minutes Pritchard put his free kick straight into the wall after a foul on Evangelinos.
Just one minute later and a fine move saw Richard Smith (pictured) and Evangelinos combine to provide a cross from which Norton’s effort was saved close in by Nick Draper with Smith on hand to fire home the rebound. A corner for the visitors then led to O’Callaghan volleying over the top before a foul on Liam Tomsett saw Pritchard’s low free kick saved and Mark Lees’ shot inside the area fell off Smith allowing Draper to make the save.
Approaching the interval Evangelinos picked up a loose ball 20 yards out and fired home the second possibly with the aid of a deflection and as the Royals attempted to pull one back Norton had to provide a clearing header from a corner.
On the resumption Ashton continued to press with Norton helping Dom Smalley’s right wing cross wide before his flick saw Tomsett bring the best out of Draper with a left handed save and Evangelinos acrobatically volleyed Smalley’s latest cross just too high.
The Royals’ best move then saw David Carnell needing to make a low save from Tyler Little’s effort before Steele squeezed a shot wide on the turn. Probert was then almost forced into conceding an own goal from Aaron Chalmers’ cross and Harvey Howell’s pass led to Gurjit Singh dragging his attempt wide of the far post.
Team: Carnell, Smalley, Pritchard, Olapede, Chalmers, Roberts, Smith, Lees, Norton (Henderson 67), Evangelinos, Tomsett (Kaba 85) .SNU: Woodford, Banim