Ashton End Poor Run With Battling Point
Report by Steve Lee.
As results go, Ashton United arguably produced their result of the season to gain a point at high riding Chorley to end their recent poor run.
A battling performance was epitomised in the fourth minute of stoppage time as substitute Matty Kosylo (pictured) was found in space and he fired home to deny Chorley maximum points.
The early stages followed what is becoming a regular pattern as Ashton took a while to get going and found themselves chasing the game after conceding an early goal.The warning signs were there as Wayne Maden was allowed a free header following a corner, but was unable to direct it on target.
Ashton's failure to clear their lines after eight minutes was punished by the predatory Steve Foster, who gave Terry Smith no chance from close range after a cross from the left from Tom Ince.
The Robins almost pressed the self destruct button as Smith sliced a clearance under pressure, but with an open goal to aim for, Dale Whitham shot wide from 30 yards out.
Ince produced several crosses at pace that gave Ashton problems, Adam Roscoe heading over and then a last ditch tackle from Ben Smith prevented Whitham getting in a shot from close range.
Full back Ali Brown tried a long range shot which went wide and then when reverting to defensive duties, he produced a fine saving tackle just as Peter Wright looked to get a shot away.
Recent signing Matt Walwyn headed over and Andy Russell headed over as the Magpies tried in vein in increase their advantage.
Ashton made the Magpies pay for not taking their chances as Matty O'Neill from a central position waltzed past a couple of challenges before finding the overlapping Smith whose cross was guided home by Wright against one of his former clubs.
The second half took a while to get into life, Jonathon Bathurst did take advantage of an error by Maden to race through, but his effort was blocked by a covering defender.
Chorley took a while to get going but regained the lead as Ashton were guilty of not putting in a challenge on debutant Walwyn, whose run from just inside the Ashton half ended with a shot past Smith into the far corner of the net.
As the game wore on, the Robins gained the initiative and created some good openings, Wright passed to Smith, whose curling effort went wide and then when Matty Kosylo passed to the overlapping Ian Bennett, the midfielder struck a shot that was heading for the top corner, but Russell Saunders somehow clawed the ball away.
Dave Roberts headed over before both sides had penalty appeals turned down in the closing stages.
Chorley could have sealed the points in the first minute of stoppage time as Walwyn produced another exciting run down the right, his cross found the unmarked Matt Jansen, but the one time Premier League player shot wide when well placed.
As the game entered the fourth minute of added on time, former Chorley player Chris Amadi held the ball up to pass to the supporting Bennett, he held off a challenge before playing a perfect ball into the path of Kosylo, who gave Saunders no chance with a sweetly struck shot.
Ashton could have been forgiven for settling for the point, but after regaining possession from the kick off they had one last attack that saw Bennett fire a long range effort over the bar.
ASHTON UNITED: T Smith, Swirad (Kosylo 61), J Rose, Lambert, Melling, Roberts, O'Neill, Bennett, Bathurst (Burns 61), Wright, B Smith (Amadi 73). subs not used Madeley, Rimmer