Time To Start A New Run
Robins Fall just short in close encounter with resurgent Coasters
Ashton’s great run of wins came to an end on the Lancashire coast with a deserved win for the home side who duly avenged their FA Cup defeat. Just as at their last meeting one goal was enough to decide the outcome although events may have turned out differently but for several controversial refereeing decisions.
The first of these occurred in the first ten minutes as Mr Croft deemed a yellow card sufficient punishment for a high challenge by Booth on captain Chris Lynch. Dale Johnson made a good turn in the area but saw his cross blocked by Cooke and the resulting corner was headed wide by Gorton before home full back Hankin progressed to the byline and saw his cross produce an incredible double save by Phillips from Bradley Barnes. Lloyd’s shot from the edge of the area was then deflected for a corner before a long ball ran straight through to the same player who was also denied by Phillips.
Left winger Allen then stole in behind Higgins before firing right across the face of goal and it was only a stern rearguard action by the visitors which was keeping them in the game at the half hour mark. However, this was all to be undone 5 minutes before the break as Phillips’ pass put Higgins under pressure leading to his clearance being blocked – the ball breaking to Lloyd who rounded the keeper before firing home.
Half time saw Joe O’Neill replace Pilkington but it was the home side back on the attack as a cross field move saw the ball reach Booth who saw his shot deflected out for a goal kick before Lloyd exchanged passes but knocked the ball too close to Phillips, and then the same player saw an over hit cross drift too long. Centre forward Blinkhorn then turned past Gorton but saw his effort pushed away for a corner before Cooke sent his shot swinging across goal on the turn.
Ashton’s best chance of snatching an equaliser came as Dale Johnson fed substitute Steadman who was just denied by keeper Hinchliffe who was quick enough to also block O’Neill’s effort from the rebound. Cooke almost doubled the Coasters’ advantage as he cut inside Lynch but fired straight at Phillips.
Team: Phillips, Lynch, Coo, Gorton, Higgins, Young, Rick (Halford), Gee (Steadman), Pilkington (O’Neill), Johnson, Chadwick. SNU: Pearson, Coppin.