Robins fly into the Play Offs. Report by David Robinson. Pic Jez Sayle
Barring a big turnaround in goal difference Ashton booked their place in this season’s play offs coming from behind to beat in-form Matlock at Causeway Lane. Persistent rain had left a slick surface and the Robins restored John Pritchard to the left side of the attack as the action opened with a dangerous cross from Harry Limb needing Josh Granite to head clear.
The hosts fired themselves ahead on 17 minutes as a square pass was played in from the left wing by Wood finding Ted Cribley in space to pick his spot from just outside the D. Within 5 minutes Liam Tomsett won a foul 25 yards out and Pritchard showed why every team should fear a free kick from that distance as he curled home another sublime effort.
A good move by the Gladiators then sent Kieran Wallace into the area with Jake Phillips shot eventually being blocked and Pritchard’s cross saw Jack Dyche’s knockdown sliced badly wide by Tomsett. Doyle-Charles’s through pass then saw Jackson surprisingly given onside as he beat Ollerenshaw to the ball only to knock it out of play. With the interval approaching Tomsett turned on a loose ball in the area and brought a fantastic reaction save out of Walton and Dom Smalley’s cross was flicked on by Pritchard for Dyche to just miss the near post.
Tomsett’s pass then gave Daniel Mooney a sight of goal with him missing the near post before Cribley’s swinging cross cleared the far post and Dom Smalley was able to block just in time as Phillips tee’d up Harry Wood. Tomsett was then just denied at the last by Adam Yates as he tried to collect Dyche’s header and with 14 minutes left Mooney cut inside and saw his goal bound effort just cleared in time by Wiley for a corner. This only delayed the inevitable as Sheridan’s return ball into the area found Dyche bulleting a header home.
Ashton then had to clear a corner from near their goal line before a long ball saw Deane Smalley take his time but slide his effort just wide of goal. With the clock ticking down Wallace’s free kick was fisted away by Ollerenshaw with Wiley’s deflected effort being cleared off the line by Dom Smalley and a near post corner incredibly rolling right along the goal line.
Team: Ollerenshaw, Dom Smalley, Baines, Granite, Chalmers, Sheridan, Platt, Tomsett (Evangelinos 71), Dyche, Mooney (Roberts 79), Pritchard (Deane Smalley 64). SNU: Makhosini, Chadwick.