10 Man Ashton Share the Spoils
Match report by David Robinson, Pics courtesy of Jez Sayle
The game between the two Robins finished with honours even at the New Manor Ground as Ashton secured their third 2-2 draw in succession. Town almost took the lead as Ricketts header from a corner was cleared off the line by Matty Kosylo but it was the visitors who struck first after 12 minutes as Johnson’s cross from the left was touched on by Alex Frost and volleyed home from close range by leading scoring Aaron Burns.
Ashton have been the subject of several controversial decisions this season and with half an hour played the latest of these saw Lynch dismissed apparently for denying a goal scoring opportunity when O’Connell’s effort struck him on the arm - a certain sense of justice was restored as Phillips made a good save from Maguire’s penalty.
Matty Kosylo moved to fullback for the rest of the half as Ashton protected their lead until the interval aided by a last ditch interception from Danny Caldecott and a fine block by Frost from Watts effort. The visitors reorganised at half time as Harrop and Moore replaced Kosylo and Burns but it only took 2 minutes for the defence to be breached as Wholey’s cross was controlled by Reid before he fired the equaliser into the far corner.
Ashton’s final change saw Hogan replace the injured Robinson but it was Ilkeston who began to take control using the extra man to their advantage and the ball broke to Reid 30 yards out who had a clear run on goal and was only denied by Phillips who deflected his effort just past the near post.
With 15 minutes left Hogan made a great run from the right wing and went down under challenge, the ball breaking to Tom Baker who prodded home despite the presence of three home defenders to put Ashton ahead again completely against the run of play. However the ten men were unable to hold onto their advantage as within 5 minutes a high ball was headed down by Ricketts to Reid who capped a fine performance by volleying home the equaliser.
Reid went close to completing his hat-trick as he turned inside before firing straight at Phillips and as the game opened up completely Matty Barlow missed a great chance as he placed a header from a long clearance too close to Martin. Town then almost had the last word as Wholey was teed up on the edge of the area and hit the post with Phillips beaten all ends up but Ashton held on for a deserved point given the circumstances.
Team; Phillips - Frost, Robinson, Lynch, Caldecott - Kosylo, Baker, Burke, Johnson - Barlow, Burns
Subs Harrop (Kosylo), Moore (Burns), Hogan (Robinson), Sherriff, Amadi