Robins Shave Drab Encounter
Bumpy Pitch, Windy Day, Frustrating Afternoon, Three Points!
Ashton came away with the spoils from a dour encounter at the Tech 5 Stadium with Sam Madeley (pictured) grabbing the winner with just over 10 minutes to go as a goalless draw looked inevitable.
To be fair to both teams the surface didn't help with the pitch in a poor condition, particularly so early in the season. Manager Danny Johnson made several changes from the Northwich game and paired the partnership of Chris Amadi and Peter Wright up front for the first time.
Walsh pulled an effort wide from 20 yards for Frickley before Amadi won the ball by the touchline and Dawson's resulting effort was blocked. A mistake by Frost then left Ashmore with a clear sight of goal but Terry Smith was up to the challenge and blocked his effort.
On the quarter-hour Amadi was hauled down on the edge of the area by ex-Robin Lincoln Adams but the referee bizarrely awarded a free kick to the home side.
Another former Ashton player Leon Henry then fired over from the edge of the area, and a fine cross by Wright was just too high for strike partner Amadi, and Wright himself then had a free kick touched just wide as half time arrived goalless.
After the resumption a poor clearance by Terry Smith led to Walsh going over in the box but the penalty appeals were turned down. Ian Bennett then won the ball well but fired straight at Frickley keeper Billard.
Both teams made substitutions with Ashton replacing their strike force with Bathurst & Burns after Madeley had replaced Dawson, who appeared to be carrying a shoulder injury picked up in the first period.
However the game still appeared to be heading for a stalemate until the decisive moment arrived when Bathurst took a long ball down well and fed Madeley on the right wing. The winger's first attempt at a cross was blocked but he then sent a left foot shot unerringly into the far corner of the goal giving Billard no chance.
Despite having the majority of possession Athletic were unable to create any clear cut chances with sub Longstaff firing their best effort straight at Smith and Ashton now look forward to the visit of Chester on Wednesday.
Team; T. Smith, Frost, J. Rose, Murphy, Melling, Rimmer, Cahill, Bennett, Amadi (Burns), Wright (Bathurst), Dawson (Madeley). SNU B. Smith, Lambert
Match Report by David Robinson