Robins Flying High
Last-gasp goal sees Robins into 2nd place. Report by David Robinson. Pic Jez Sayle
A last-gasp goal from Liam Tomsett was enough to see Ashton home in Cumbria and secure a home tie in the playoffs. Against the team that had won the last 5 encounters the visitors fielded an unchanged line up from the victory at Matlock and found the pitch to be dry and bobbly at Borough Park as Josh Granite headed Sam Sheridan’s free kick over after 3 minutes.
Daniel Mooney’s pass then released Dom Smalley and his cross found Jack Dyche arriving just too late to make contact at the near post. Smalley’s next cross saw Dyche denied by full back Symington but the hosts then moved ahead on 25 minutes as Scott Allison held on to the ball just outside the area before exchanging passes with Max Brown which allowed him to slot home the opener.
Just as they had on Tuesday Ashton hit back immediately as John Pritchard’s downward header converted Liam Tomsett’s right wing cross and a quick break then saw Pritchard’s lofted pass half-volleyed by Nicky Platt with Taylor palming the ball away. Sheridan was then fouled 25 yards after a neat turn and Pritchard one again provided a fine free kick only being denied by a combination of Taylor and the post. Granite then put a clear header wide from Sheridan’s corner and panic in the home defence led to Mooney shooting straight at Taylor.
Within 2 minutes of coming on as a half time substitute Deane Smalley scooped Platt’s pass over from a great position and then just failed to get a flick on Sheridan’s free kick after Pritchard had been fouled. At the other end Rowntree’s deep cross needed Lewis Baines to block Brown’s effort before Sheridan’s free kick was squared by Pritchard for Deane Smalley to miss close in. A through ball then saw Deane Smalley get goal side of Netherington who pulled him back with the referee bizarrely missing a clear red card offence.
As Deane Smalley headed Evangelinos’ corner against the bar the Robins could have been forgiven for thinking the Gods were against them but with a minute remaining their talisman Tomsett helped Sheridan’s free kick over the line to cue wild celebrations in the away end and all eyes now turn to Hurst Cross and the visit of Farsley Celtic for the semi-final.
Team: Ollerenshaw, Dom Smalley, Baines, Granite (Chadwick 78), Chalmers, Sheridan, Platt, Tomsett, Dyche (Evangelinos 69), Mooney (Deane Smalley 46), Pritchard. SNU: Roberts, Makhosini.