Defensive Errors Cost Ashton
Report by Steve Lee.
Ilkeston made a mockery of their lowly position as three goals in the first half were more than enough to get the better of an out of sorts Ashton United on Wednesday night.
The Robins needed a win to go within three points of leaders North Ferriby United, whilst Ilkeston were joint bottom of the table, but the form book went out of the window as the visitors cashed in on defensive frailties.
Ashton conceded in less than half a minute in their last home game, and lightning struck twice as Danny Caldecott’s cross field ball was intercepted and a neat three man move ended as Aaron Hooton gave Paul Phillips no chance with just seventeen seconds on the clock.
A couple of minutes later Matt Richards found himself in space on the left but his shot hit the side netting.
Joe Maguire met a Richards free kick but headed over and the same player shot wide as Ilkeston played like the side going for promotion.
Ashton were unable to break a resolute defence down and could have gone further behind when Hooton rose to meet a Jack Eades cross, but his header went wide.
Matty Burke tested the keeper for the first time as his free kick was comfortably held, but Ashton’s attacks were few and far between.
Another poor clearance from defence saw Greg Tempest presented with a good chance, but with Phillips to beat, shot straight at the keeper.
Ilkeston doubled their lead when Kyle Harrop was penalised for a foul and from the resulting free kick, Hooton saw his overhead kick go into the net off the post.
The Robins finally had a couple of chances, Aaron Burns first setting up Scott Hogan, who had his shot easily saved and then Burns put Stephen Johnson through with just Chris Martin to beat, but blazed over the bar.
Worse was to follow for Ashton in added on time as Richards received a throw in on the left and held off the challenge of Harrop before firing past Phillips.
Ashton needed an early goal in the second half to give them hope, Hogan headed over from a Johnson cross and Martin was only really extended once, when Chris Lynch got on the end of a Burke corner, but the keeper tipped the ball over the net.
Johnson dragged a shot wide before Hogan produced a barnstorming run down the right only to be denied by a brave block.
Ilkeston continued to close down space effectively and defend in numbers, the Robins having a rare off night meant Burns was feeding on scraps, his only effort came late on, but he dragged his shot wide after being set up by Thomas Moore
ASHTON: Phillips, Harrop (Beattie 59), Caldecott, Burke, Robinson, Lynch, Hogan, Baker (Kosylo 69), Burns, Barlow (Moore 59), Johnson. Subs not used Peers, Mulholland