Robins Record Fine Away Win
Report by Steve Lee.
Ashton United moved up to third place in the table with a comfortable victory over strugglers Stocksbridge Park Steels as they continued their impressive away form with a fifth win on the road this season.
Steels did begin the game quite brightly and some early possession saw Chris Bettney produce a cross that Nathan Joynes headed over the bar, Joynes also tried his luck from long range, but his effort went well over the bar.
Tom Baker had the first effort for the visitors, the midfielder produced a piece of opportunism with a snapshot that went wide.
Paul Phillips was tested for the first time on fifteen minutes with the busy Joynes firing in a shot from the edge of the area that was easily saved by the Ashton keeper.
Baker was at the hub of most of the Robins moves and he created a chance for striker Scott Hogan as his slide rule pass gave Hogan a chance, but Xavier Parisi produced a save with his legs and then Alex Frost had the first of two chances when he got on the end of a free kick by Danny Caldecott, only to head wide at the far post.
Frost had a better chance soon after, the Steels could only partially clear a Matty Burke corner, the ball fell kindly for Frost who was played onside by Nicky Darker, only to have his shot blocked by Danny South.
Stocksbridge were far from happy when the Robins used their pace against the Steels defence and just before the break Astley Mulholland raced down the left wing and his cross was sliced into his own goal by Brett Bowden-Lovell.
Ashton began the second half by creating a couple of openings, Baker teeing up Aaron Burns, who had his shot blocked by some brave defending from Richard Haigh then Burke's corner fell to Burns via Frost, but the on-form striker saw his shot at the keeper.
The Robins continued to dominate and Baker raced from the halfway line to the edge of the area where his shot went wide.
Phillips was called into action when substitute Adam Todd produced a turn and shot that the keeper tipped around the post before Ashton deservedly doubled their advantage.
Once more the speed of Mulholland was key, he raced down the right before passing to Burns, who produced a sublime pass to Hogan, who
raced through and then comfortably rounded the exposed Parisi to fire into an empty net to celebrate his first Ashton goal against his
Burke was next to try his luck after another set piece wasn't properly cleared, but his effort went straight to the grateful arms of
The closest Burns came to making it seven successive games that he had scored in was when he got on the end of a Mulholland centre, but his header was deflected over the bar by a defender.
Stocksbridge had their best chance of the game when Andy Ring cut inside from the left, but his fierce strike was brilliantly palmed away by Phillips.
Ashton wrapped the points up late on with another fine goal a substitutes Matty Kosylo and Matty Barlow combined. Kosylo raced down
the right before his cross across the face of goal was turned in with a first time shot from Barlow to continue his fine record of scoring when coming off the bench.
Ashton: Phillips, Frost, Caldecott,Burke, Robinson, Lynch, Mulholland (Barlow 71), Baker, Burns (Beattie 83), Hogan, Johnson (Kosylo
60).subs not used Harrop,Peers