Ashton Coast After Early Setback. Report by Dave Robinson
This eagerly anticipated local derby got off to a rip-roaring start with 4 goals inside the first 20 minutes. The visitors took a shock lead on 3 mins as Chris Lynch woefully underhit a backpass allowing Silvero to round Phillips and open the scoring. The Robins went on to dominate the rest of the half and were level inside 5 minutes as a left wing cross was headed back by Hardiker to find Chris Denham providing a fine dipping right foot finish.
The influential Denham then set Martin Pilkington running free but he seemed to have delayed too long before a sublime turn on the byline allowed him to pick out Joe O’Neill (pictured) to give Ashton the lead and Denham was again involved as his layback was struck home superbly by Lee Rick off the left hand post. With Rick’s confidence growing he then tried a cheeky chip from midfield which Latham had to claw away and then his free kick was headed narrowly off target by Hartigan.
Denham was then given a clear run on goal and just failed to pick out Pilkington and Pilkington himself then cut inside but hit a weak effort towards the near post. On the stroke of half time a corner fell to Silvero who volleyed over as the visitors reached the sanctuary of the interval. Perhaps unsurprisingly the second half was less dramatic but after 10 minutes a long throw saw Pilkington’s acrobatic overhead kick deflected against the post before Ashton extended their lead as Denham was pushed in the back by Dietye in the area and Gee put the fourth goal away.
Shortly afterwards Rick picked out Denham who had a convincing shout for another penalty with the referee unmoved and then a cross was knocked back to Rick by Denham and a blockbusting effort felled Grant in the visitors’ defence. Matty O’Neill’s knock down saw brother Joe fire over the top as Ashton were able to play out time and secure the victory which moves them to the top of the Evostik Premier Division.
Team: Phillips, Richardson, Pearson, Hardiker, Lynch (c), Gee, Denham (M O’Neill), Rick, Pilkington (Coppin), J O’Neill, Logan (Tandy) SNU: Freakes, Halford.