Game Changing Decisions Even Out
Report by David Robinson
Ashton won the battle of the two Robins despite a couple of controversial refereeing decisions in the second half. The first period was a closely fought affair and Ashton went in with the advantage as on the stroke of half time Matty Chadwick cut inside before exchanging passes with debutant Dale Johnson and finding the bottom corner with a left foot effort.
From the start home forward Hooton turned well on the edge of the area before firing well wide before Coppin overran Pilkington’s touch for a goal kick. Coo then won the ball well in midfield before Pilkington saw his resulting effort blocked. Pilkington then linked well with Coppin who reached the byline but saw his cross miscued by Chadwick before Hooton combined with ex-league player Gary Ricketts, who had his shot blocked – the rebound falling to Adams who made a great run into the area and saw his shot clip the top of the crossbar.
Johnson should then have given Ashton the lead as Pilkington’s fine ball put him through one on one with Allinson but he chose to go around the keeper and was forced too wide of goal. The Ashton Robins then further protected their goal as Simmons’ shot from the edge of the area was turned away by Phillips before the Ashton custodian produced an even better save from a great hit by Wilson. The game resumed with a poor clearing header by Coo leading to Ricketts being fouled but Wilson fired the free kick over the top.
Hooton then shot straight at Phillips on the turn before Chadwick cut inside again before bringing a good save out of Allinson with Ashley Young heading the resulting corner wide. 20 minutes into the second period the hosts were level as Maguire went down under challenge from Gorton but with the referee waving play on the linesman indicated a foul and Wilson confidently converted from the spot.
With the game now in the balance Ashton’s followers could have been forgiven for fearing the worse as several recent games have seen a lead overturned and it almost happened again as the ball broke to Maguire in the penalty area and he saw his effort deflected onto the top of the crossbar. A quick break by Ashton then saw saw Coppin lift his effort just too high before the other linesman gave Ashton an unlikely looking corner which was emphatically headed home by stand-in captain Jay Gorton. There was still time for sub Rick to hit the base of the post from outside the area before Ashton held on to the points and perhaps the feeling that their luck may have changed.
Team: Phillips, Coo, Pearson, Gorton, Higgins, Young, Chadwick (Rick), Gee, Johnson, (Halford), Pilkington, (O’Neill) Coppin. SNU: Baguley, Steadman