Robins Self Distruct
Report Steve Lee
Ashton’s play off hopes suffered a self inflicted blow at a blustery Hurst Cross as Witton Albion came away with all three points with the unfortunate Craig Robinson netting two own goals.
The Robins looking to keep up their recent good form following back-to-back wins were under early pressure and contrived to present a hungry Albion with an early chance as a wayward pass fell to Steven Foster, but his effort went wide.
A rare Ashton chance in a first half that saw them attacking a strong wind saw Scott Hogan and Matty Barlow combine, with the latter’s cushioned header into the path of Aaron Burns, but his shot went over the bar.
Anthony Gardner tried his luck for the Northwich side that Paul Phillips saved, but soon after the visitors grabbed the vital opening goal.
Stuart Plant sliced a clearance under pressure, but Witton were able to turn defence into attack in a matter of moments and Robinson deflected Joshua Hancock’s shot into the net.
Foster attempted a near post shot that went into the side netting as Witton continued to press.
Ashton were guilty of being offside far too often, but had a chance when Plant saved from Hogan and again from Burns from the rebound.
The key point of the game came when Hogan appeared to be fouled in the area, penalty claims were waved away and in a matter of seconds, Witton cut through the Ashton defence like a knife through butter and Hancock added the visitors second.
Phillips, who had a splendid game for Ashton produced a fine save to divert a Hancock shot away, but he was helpless seconds from the half time whistle as Robinson turned a corner past his own keeper for his unwanted second of the game.
Witton had a great chance to make it four early in the second half following a penalty award, but Phillips dived to his right to deny Gardner.
Phillips continued to keep the score respectable with a good save off Michael Powell.
Stephen Johnson then curled a shot wide after cutting inside, but netted the goal of the game after 54 minutes as he received Burns lay off before giving Plant no chance from 25-yards.
Ashton came more into the game after the goal and Chris Lynch shot over following a corner by Thomas Moore.
Plant made a fine save to deny Burns when he was put through by substitute Chris Amadi, but the Robins were unable to get the goal that might have made for a exciting end to the game.
In the end Phillips kept the score down with two more fine saves as the Robins suffered a huge blow in their hopes of reaching the play offs.
ASHTON Phillps, Frost, Harrop (Amadi 46), Moore, Robinson, Lynch, Hogan, Beattie (Connors 67), Burns, Barlow (Sherriff 76), Johnson. Subs not used Lambert, Burke