Another One Off But Ten Men Prevail
Match report by David Robinson
Ashton got the better of Kendal in a dour encounter at Hurst Cross to bag the 3 points which could turn out to be vital in the long run. The heavy pitch wasn't helping conditions and it was the visitors who started the better in terms of possession, and the home side had a narrow escape when a ball into the area saw ex-forward Wright fouled by Caldecott and the referee point to the spot only to reverse his decision when he saw the assistant's offside flag.
Marlin Piana made some progress down the right wing but his cross was just too strong for Burns to make a connection and then Kendal full back Walmsley advanced and hit a 25 yard effort straight at Smith. Shortly afterwards Donnelly's cross was dropped under pressure by Smith and volleyed wide by Dunn.
With the rain continuing to fall and the pitch getting heavier play continued to be patchy after the break but the game took a decisive turn as Matty O'Neill was sent off for what looked like an over the ball challenge - this is Ashton's 3rd red card in consecutive matches which is going to lead to a concerning batch of suspensions.
Ashton then had a goal disallowed as Caldecott's free kick was headed home in a goalmouth scramble and then both sides made a double substitution to try and change the direction of the match. It was the home side's change which proved more decisive as sometime super-sub Chris Amadi once again made the telling contribution with his first touch, making progress down the left before cutting inside and seeing his effort deflected home to leave Dootson helpless in the visitor's goal.
Most of the remaining 15 minutes saw Kendall lay siege to the home goal without creating any clear cut chances. Terry Smith fluffed a clearance off the tricky surface but Connerton was unable to capitalise as he saw his effort drift wide and Walmsley's free kick was just too high with most of their efforts being repelled by a towering performance from Craig Robinson.
A vital win for the home side which moves them 3 places up the table and an unusually poor performance from the visitors which could see them continue to struggle.
Team; T. Smith, Frost, Roberts, Murphy, Melling, Robinson, O'Neill, Bennett, Burns (Harrop), Piana (Amadi), Caldecott. SNU Madeley, Sanasy, B.Smith