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First Team - Match centre

Ashton United
Hednesford Town
Sat 10 Sep 15:00 - The Evo-Stik League Northern Premier - Premier Division Full time Attendance 145

Defensive Errors Cost Robins Dear

Report by Steve Lee.

Ashton United slipped to a second successive home defeat as Hednesford Town took advantage of the Robins defensive errors to keep up their fine start to the campaign.

Ashton had the first chance of the game when Peter Wright's long range effort was palmed away by Dan Crane, but the concession of another early goal put the Hurst Cross side on the back foot.

Town's Jamey Osborne was allowed far too much space on the right and his cross was met by a glancing header at the far post from the unmarked Nick Wellecombe that beat Terry Smith after just nine minutes.

Ashton were close to gifting Hednesford a second goal when a sloppy back pass was intercepted by Danny Quinn, who rounded Smith, but Alex Frost produced a goal saving tackle at the expense of a corner.

Ged Murphy fired over from long range after a cross by Aaron Burns was only half cleared as the Robins pressed for an equaliser.

The Robins then shot themselves in the foot with another sloppy back pass that was punished after nineteen minutes, Danny Lambert's pass to Smith being intercepted and from the resultant cross, Wellecombe tapped home unmarked at the far post.

Burns tried to get Ashton back in the game with an opportunist effort from the edge of the area that was held by Crane.

On the half hour mark, Burns turned provider with a pass to Wright, who made the most of some space on the right to fire home his first goal for the club.

Ashton ought to have levelled a couple of minutes later when Burns corner was missed by everyone except for Frost, who ghosted in at the back post, but his rushed shot missed the target from close range.

Lambert and Wright both had later efforts that saw Crane save comfortably from the midfielder and Wright shoot wide.

Chris Clements dragged an effort wide early in the second half for the Pitmen, but goalmouth action was at a premium for the remainder of the game.

Ashton struggled to find a way through a Town defence where Pedro Monteiro and his equally exotically named centre back partner Cheyenne Dunkley comfortably dealt with anything Ashton threw at them.

The best chance of the half fell to Burns, who got on the end of a cross from newly introduced substitute Matty O'Neill, but his header looped over the bar.

Town wasted a good chance after a free flowing move down the left flank when Clements shot over and then Smith saved following a first time effort from Jay Denny.

Chris Amadi raised hopes of an Ashton equaliser when he received a pass from Murphy, but after gaining control of the ball inside the area, was forced wide and his effort was easily saved by Crane.

Late on, Wellecome had the chance to seal his hat-trick when he took the ball from the half way line as Ashton pushed up, only to be denied by Smith.

Despite a generous amount of stoppage time, Ashton couldn't create any clear cut chances, leaving Hednesford to take the points back to the Black Country.

Ashton: T Smith, Harrop, Dawson (Bathurst 84), Murphy, Frost, Rimmer, Amadi, Bennett (B Smith 73), Burns, Wright, Lambert (O'Neill 69), subs not used J Rose, Cahill

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# Team Pl Pts
10. Nantwich Town 42 57
11. Kendal Town 42 53
12. Ashton United 42 53
13. Buxton 42 53
14. Matlock Town 42 50
15. Worksop Town 42 49
16. Stafford Rangers 42 48

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