Report by David Robinson
Ashton United were rewarded for the efforts of a band of supporters, Directors and Management in getting the pitch playable as an entertaining contest followed which saw honours finish even. The visitors almost made the perfect start within the first 5 minutes as a great cross from the left wing by Allen saw Blinkhorn put his header against the post with Phillips beaten and Lloyd-McGoldrick tee up Cooke to fire the rebound over the bar.
Ashton’s first effort saw a dropping ball fired well over the top by Matty Chadwick who started on the left wing but on the quarter hour a fine free kick from Lee Rick took a deflection off a defender bringing a fine left handed save from Hinchliffe. The resulting corner saw Chadwick open the scoring as his corner was sliced into his own net at the near post by Allen. Shortly afterwards another corner saw Rick’s delivery headed over by O’Neill before a fine return pass into the area by Ashley Young saw Jack Higgins just fail to connect.
Midway through the half Cooke got free despite looking suspiciously offside and set up Allen whose effort was cleared off the line by Lynch, before Allen himself sprinted clear but knocked the ball too close to Phillips. However within 5 minutes the Coasters were level as the dangerous Allen picked up a pass and cut inside 2 defenders before leaving Phillips with no chance. Before half time the visitors threatened again as a long free kick by Russell reached Blinkhorn who sidefooted wide of the target and Cooke’s effort was just blocked by Jay Gorton.
The action calmed down somewhat after the interval although the conditions certainly didn’t with a strong wind blowing, and following a double substitution Chadwick switched wings and cut inside the full back but dragged his effort wide of the near post. At the other end Booth picked out Allen who stepped his way across the edge of the area before firing too high. A long cross by Chadwick was headed down by Johnson only for Chalmers to shoot straight into Hinchliffe’s arms.
Chances were now at a premium as both sides seemed content with a point before Kosylo’s chipped pass was volleyed across the penalty area by Pilkington and a quick break saw Coppin cut inside. His effort was blocked to leave a final score which sees both sides maintain their push for a play-off place.
Team: Phillips, Lynch, Pearson, Gorton, Higgins, Young, Rick (Kosylo), Chalmers, O’Neill (Pilkington), Johnson, Chadwick (Coppin) SNU: Halford, Haslam