Battling Robins Earn Last Minute Reprieve. Report by David Robinson
An entertaining encounter between 2 of the form sides in the division ended with honours even at Hurst Cross. Ashton were first out of the blocks as Martin Pilkington chased down a through ball from Cavell Coo leading to in-form Matty Chadwick looping the opening goal over Misieljicz after just 4 minutes. A long ball then set Maguire running free at the other end and he rounded the onrushing Phillips before being crowded out, and Watson then cut inside but saw his cross headed over by Dale. However, Spartans did draw level midway through the half as Dale reached the byline and his cross was poked home by Wade before centre forward Maguire was just denied in the area by a last ditch tackle from Higgins.
A great through ball then saw Dale Johnson just denied at the edge of the area by the visiting keeper and then Matty Chadwick put Johnson clear and as he was brought down in the penalty area the ref waved play on.
Johnson continued to catch the eye for the Robins and won the ball in the area before being denied from close range – the rebound falling to Chadwick whose effort was blocked, but Ashton were back in front 10 minutes after the break as Johnson’s diving header rebounded off Misieljicz and on to the post before Martin Pilkington completed the job. The lead only lasted 5 minutes as Lewis Horner picked up a loose ball on the edge of the area and ran through to equalise despite confident appeals for handball. Shortly afterwards Garry Gee was dismissed for an apparent stamp after a routine foul. Left winger Dale was seeing a lot of the ball for Blyth and gave both Lynch and Coo a torrid time at right back as Spartans began to look the more likely winners, and he also had 2 penalty shouts against Coo – the first being waved away by Mr Yates and the second adjudged to be just outside the area.
With Ashton now a man light the visitors moved ahead on 82 minutes when Maguire’s run and cross from the byline was volleyed home by substitute Wearmouth. Maguire then lobbed an effort wide of the target and was also foiled by a last ditch tackle from Pearson. With time running out Ashton won a free kick on the edge of the area and Chadwick had the last word as Greg Pearson’s free kick fell off the wall for the winger to knock home the equaliser.
Team: Phillips, Lynch (Pearson), Coo (O’Neill), Gorton, Higgins, Young, Chadwick, Gee, Pilkington (Rick), Johnson, Coppin. SNU: Evangelinos, Baguley