Stalemate in South Yorkshire
Report by David Robinson. Picture Jez Sayle
Two of the play-off contenders played out a disappointing goalless encounter on a pitch whose surface was difficult from the kick off. With Ashton making their first ever visit to Shaw Lane’s shared Sheerien Park ground Lanre Olapede was drafted into the midfield in place of the injured John Roberts.
The hosts almost let the Robins in at the start as a mix up in the defence saw Josh Granite’s through ball almost capitalised upon and Nic Evangelinos then volleyed Granite’s header over the top as the visitors made the early running. On the quarter hour Byrne’s fee kick saw Jake Skelton’s goal bound volley blocked before Clayton headed Byrne’s cross comfortably wide. Ten minutes before the interval Evangelinos cut inside before sending a drifting effort just wide and four minutes later the Ducks came the closest as Clayton’s volley from Reeves’ flick saw Carnell’s low save do just enough and the keeper then tipped over Byrne’s 30 yard free kick.
On the restart both sides continued to cancel each other out and Olapede crossed straight into Wilczynski’s arms before a dangerous left wing cross was headed to safety by Aaron Chalmers and Olapede was on hand to deny Walker. Granite’s clearing header then dropped to Byrne who steered his shot wide from 20 yards and Byrne’s latest cross was too strong for everyone before the ball broke to the winger who placed his effort too high.
The final action saw Kieran Lugsden provide another wayward effort as both sides settled for a point, the first time Ashton have not scored since October, but one which may prove to be vital to the Robins in the final reckoning.
Team: Carnell, Smalley, Pritchard, Granite, Chalmers, Platt, Lees, Smith, Evangelinos, Olapede, Hinchliffe. SNU: Banim, Woodford, Roberts, Chadwick, Ollerenshaw.