Opening Day Joy
Report by David Robinson
Ashton opened their season with a hard fought victory over a combative side from Lincolnshire in the first game under the joint managership of Steve Halford and Paul Phillips. After Carlos Logan had exchanged passes from a right wing corner and fired just wide of the near post Towey put in a dangerous cross for the visitors which just evaded everyone. Matty Burke was well off target with a speculative effort on the volley from just outside the area.
Coppin then made a great run to the byline and saw his cross glanced across the goal by Joe O’Neill before the opening goal arrived on the half hour as Carlos Logan collected a long clearance and was clearly fouled in the area by Ridley allowing Gary Gee to confidently convert from the spot.
For Grantham McGhee’s clever free kick found Towey just failing to make sufficient contact and centre forward McGhee then saw his 30 yard volley pushed over by Phillips.
The visitors’ physical approach started to pay dividends after the break as the ball was laid back to Nwadike whose effort was too high and McGhee’s effort from 25 yards out brought a low save from Phillips. Shortly afterwards a free kick from McGhee found sub Gary King placing a fine back header past Phillips for the equaliser. The visitors were now upping the tempo and a fine effort by Smith from the edge of the area was clawed away by the Ashton keeper.
Play switched to the other end as Logan cut in from the left and saw his effort drift across the 6 yard area with Joe O’Neill just unable to apply the finishing touch but with 10 minutes to go and somewhat against the run of play Logan again reached the byline and put in a fine cross which O’Neill headed home for the winning goal to set Ashton’s season off to a fine start.
Team: Phillips, Richardson, Pearson, Gorton, Lynch (c), Gee, Rick (M O’Neill), Burke (Freakes), J O’Neill, Coppin (Pilkington), Logan. SNU: Deegan, Beattie.