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Buxton
Ashton United
Sat 10 Mar 15:00 - The Evo-Stik League Northern Premier - Premier Division Full time Attendance 244

Ashton Out of Sorts as Bucks Take Points

Report by Steve Lee.

Ashton United slipped to a second defeat in succession as relegation threatened Buxton did their survival hopes the power of good with a deserved victory at the Silverlands.

The home side dominated from the start and had an early chance as Steve Istead picked up a loose ball on the edge of the area, but hid shot went wide of the target.

It didn't take long for Buxton to open the scoring, just four minutes had elapsed when Bradley Barraclough was found in space and as Ashton failed to close down space, the striker found the back of the net with a sweetly struck shot.

Ashton enjoyed their best spell of the game for the five minutes after the concession of the early goal. The Robins ought to have at least tested Scott Hartley when Chris Amadi broke down the left, his cross fell at the feet of Kyle Harrop, who with the goal at his mercy completely missed the ball.

Buxton fought valiantly to keep Ashton at bay, Istead and Marc Roberts both putting in brave tackles when Ashton threatened.

A clever reverse pass from Warren Beattie presented a chance for Danny Lambert, but Istead reacted quickly to block his goalbound shot and then when Lambert finally produced a snap shot after Kevin Sanasy had won the ball, Hartley made a fine save.

Buxton soon regained the momentum and Terry Smith was almost made to pay for a poor punch, but Michael Towey shot wide.

Towey then headed wide following a corner and the Bucks ended the half by creating another opportunity as a poor clearance from Beattie fell to Steve Ridley, whose shot went over the bar.

Ashton ought to have felt confident as they kicked off the second half with a strong wind at the backs and playing down the sizeable slope, but were unable to make the most of the conditions, either overhitting their passes or having long balls repelled by the home defence.

Ashton were indebted to Smith for keeping them in the game early in the second half as Kieran Lugsden broke free of the offside trap, but Smith narrowed the angle and saved with his feet.

Istead fired over following a free kick and then a brilliant long range shot from Ridley appeared to be heading for the bottom corner before Smith showed amazing reflexes to tip his shot away with his right hand.
Buxton continued their relentless search for a second goal and yet again it was Smith that rescued the Robins, this time after Barraclough had muscled Alex Frost off the ball to go through on goal, the keeper making another important stop.

Smith was finally beaten again following a corner as Lugsden struck from close range with less than twenty minutes remaining to give the home side some breathing space.

Ashton were given a lifeline shortly afterwards as Frost raced for the ball only to be upended by Hartley right in front of the referee who had no option but to award a penalty that Aaron Burns comfortably dispatched to make it a nervy end for the Bucks.

The nearest Ashton came to an equaliser was when Burns sent in a free kick that Hartley gathered at the second attempt, after that Buxton comfortably held on clinch three vital points.

ASHTON: T Smith, Frost, Caldecott (B Smith 81), Beattie, Melling, Robinson, Harrop (Bennett 65), Lambert, Burns, Sanasy (Kosylo 46), Amadi. (subs) Rose, Murphy

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League table

# 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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