Ashton take the biscuit from broken Gingerbreads
Struggling Grantham Offer Little Challenge. Report by Steve Lee and photo courtesy of Jez Sayle
Ashton United made it seven wins on the road after safely negotiating the challenge of a struggling Grantham Town, their first win since mid-November.
The home side had two early efforts that failed to trouble Paul Phillips, Jamie McGhee skied a shot in the first minute and Ben Saunders weak effort was comfortably held by the Robins stopper.
Ashton were ahead with their first attack as Grantham defenders were left in Matty Kosylo’s wake as he jinked inside with a mazy run that ended with him producing a shot just inside the area that gave James Martin no chance.
Sam Saunders attempted a volley for the Gingerbreads that went wide as the home side were restricted to shots from long range.
Ashton caused problems whenever they ran at Town, Scott Hogan having a run that ended with a pass that Aaron Burns quickly turned on, but his effort lack power and Martin made a comfortable stop.
Tom Baker then enjoyed a foray at the Grantham defence, his long range shot being saved by Martin, and a clever pass from Thomas Moore gave Burns a half chance, but Martin once more was equal to the effort.
Kosylo was a thorn in the Grantham side; they were struggling to cope with the tricky winger, who cut inside from the right before Martin went down to his left to palm the ball away.
Grantham‘s long ball tactics were comfortably dealt with by the Ashton defence and the Robins were able to end the half as they started, with a goal. Hogan took the ball midway inside the Town half and just sidled past several challenges before planting a shot out of Martin’s reach to double the Robins lead.
Hogan was also denied with a last ditch challenge when on the verge of shooting as Ashton threatened further punishment on their hosts.
Kosylo continued to give Damien Magee a torrid time as he used his speed to good advantage, producing a cross that Baker curled wide and then a cross that Matty Barlow fired first time, but his shot went over the bar.
Town’s only chance of getting back into the game was to utilise their height at set pieces and Phil Watt rose to meet a free kick by Alistair Asher, but headed over the bar.
Grantham had strong claims for a penalty turned down midway in the second half, the referee adjudging McGhee to have lost his balance in the Robins area.
Moore wasted a good opportunity with a free kick that he blasted over the bar and substitute Chris Denham met a cross by Barlow only to head over.
Phillips showed great handling under pressure of high balls lobbed into the box, other than that, Grantham rarely threatened, although McGhee flashed a free kick over the bar and the same player then shot wide from a corner.
Ashton continued to thwart the home attacks and almost added the third as the game entered its closing stages with Baker having a shot palmed away by Martin, but in the end Ashton had to settle for their two first half goals to put pressure on the play off chasers.
ASHTON UNITED: Phillips, Frost, Harrop, Baker, Robinson, Lynch, Kosylo (Caldecott 83), Moore, Burns (Denham 60), Barlow, Hogan (Burke 90).
Subs not used B Smith, T Smith