Ashton Blown Away by Rampant Avenue
Report by Steve Lee.
Ashton United slumped to a fourth straight defeat as play off contenders Bradford Park Avenue oulined their promotion credentials with a win as easy as the scoreline suggests.
Ashton were outfought for ninety minutes and even wasted a chance of a consolation goal in the final minute as the usually reliable Aaron Burns saw his spot kick saved to complete a miserable day.
Burns had the first shot in anger at goal in the first couple of minutes, the lone striker producing a run at the Bradford defence, only for his shot to go well over the bar.
Avenue wasted a glorious chance to score with their first attack as Alex Davidson peeled away at the far post to meet a cross from the right, but his glancing header with just Terry Smith to beat went into the side netting.
The Robins were'nt oft the hook for long though, as the home side netted with their next attack as they waltzed through the Robins like a knife through butter and Nathan Hotte finished confidently past Smith.
Smith came to Ashton's rescue as he tipped over a free kick by Nicky Matthews over the bar and then after a corner, he thwarted Adam Clayton with a fine save to keep the Robins in the game.
Ashton failed to defend the next corner properly as James Knowles rose unmarked to plant a fierce header into the net to double the Avenue advantage.
Three minutes later and with the game still to reach the half hour stage Bradford were given the opportunity to make it three as Dave Roberts brought down Marshall in the area, the striker dusted himself down and comfortably dispatched the spot kick past the beleaguered Smith.
The Robins keeper was into the action again as the half drew to a close as a run from Matthews ended with a shot from Rob O'Brien that was saved by Smith.
Danny Johnson replaced Roberts and Danny Lambert at half time with Josh Rose and Chris Amadi, and these introductions did give Ashton a more solid look.
An early effort saw Danny Caldecott's deep cross fall to Burns, who shot over and then a free kick wasn't cleared by the home defence, but Matty Kosylo shot over the bar from long range.
Avenue ought to have added a bizarre goal when James Riley put Matthews through on goal, he went past the onrushing Smith only to see his shot roll against the post and Davidson was unable to put the rebound in thanks to some last ditch defending.
Amadi wasted a good chance when he was put through, but John Lamb produced a brave stop with his legs to prevent the Robins from getting back into the game.
Ashton's miserable day continued with the concession of a sloppy fourth goal when Smith raced out of his area, only for Davidson to head the ball over the keeper and continue his run to fire into an unguarded net.
Nicky Boshell then hit the underside of the bar after his 25-yard free kick took a deflection off the wall, Ashton managing to clear their lines on this occasion.
Ashton, to their credit kept going until the final whistle and when Clayton fouled Kosylo in the area, Burns was presented with the chance to ruin Lamb's clean sheet, but the keeper guessed the right way and palmed the penalty away to complete a miserable day in the West Yorkshire sun.
ASHTON: T Smith, Frost, Caldecott, Beattie, Roberts (Rose 46), Robinson, Kosylo, Bennett (B Smith 85), Burns, Lambert (Amadi 46), Peers. subs not used Harrop, Giannotta