Peers Brace Secures Points for Ashton
Report by David Robinson.
Ashton United returned to league action for the first time in 3 weeks and wasted no time in getting the better of their out of form hosts. After Algar had found space on the edge of the area for the home side and seen his shot saved by Smith it took the visitors just 6 minutes to move ahead as an interception by Beattie took the ball to Peers who made a fine run to the edge of the area and with a noticeable lack of any challenge from the Town defence provided a great right foot finish.
This was Peers first goal for Ashton and within 3 minutes he had doubled his tally as Burns was tripped just outside the area and Peers extracted full justice placing the ball expertly into the top corner. An all action opening to the game continued as Holmes beat Dave Roberts down the left side and crossed for Nightingale who flashed a header just wide. On the quarter hour the ball broke to Matty O’Neill who sliced his effort wide from 20 yards and Algar was similarly off target for Matlock firing well over.
Midway through the half a weak headed clearance by Yates saw Burns effort deflected wide for a corner from which Melling saw his shot blocked, and then the home team’s danger man Algar put in their best effort to date as his left foot shot curled narrowly wide with Smith scrambling. Burns then had the chance to put the visitors further ahead as he outmuscled Harcourt to a loose ball and shot narrowly wide across the face of goal. After half an hour Peers set free the impressive Kosylo on the left and he cut inside before firing a right foot effort narrowly wide.
Ashton had another chance to extend their advantage 10 minutes before the break as the ball broke in the area to Burns whose shot produced a fine save from Kennedy. The home side ended the half with 3 defenders on yellow cards after a rather indisciplined performance which was quite leniently refereed by Mr Bingham.
The second period started with Town showing more purpose and Yates glanced a header wide from a corner before Harcourt had the ball in the net from 6 yards only for the assistant’s flag for offside to deny him. A quick break by Ashton saw Kosylo cut inside a defender before shooting straight at the keeper and Burns then turned in the area before firing straight across goal – shortly afterwards a bad back pass saw Burns drag his shot wide of the near post when Kosylo was surely better placed.
Midway through the half the home side looked like they had grabbed a lifeline as a diving header by Nightingale was pushed away by Smith only for the ball to be returned into the area and struck Melling on the hand for a penalty to be awarded. However Holmes penalty was too close allowing Smith to cap an impressive performance by making the save. As Town continued to search for a way back into the game a great run by King saw him set up Holmes for a finish which was again ruled out by an offside decision.
With 5 minutes left substitute Harrop won the ball in midfield and it broke forward to Bennett who dragged his effort wide but Ashton maintained their advantage to the end to complete a league double over Matlock.
Team; T. Smith, Frost, Roberts, Beattie, Robinson, Melling, O' Neill, Bennett (Lambert), Burns, Kosylo (Amadi), Peers (Harrop). SNU Piana, Sanasy