Ashton Make Life Hard For Expectant Fans
Robins of Ilkeston Take Away the Points for Hurst Cross. Report by David Robinson
Ashton’s play off hopes took a knock as the visiting Robins scored a deserved victory at Hurst Cross. With Greg Pearson absent the defence had an unusual look with Aaron Chalmers continuing to deputise at right back and the returning Chris Lynch covering at left back. It could have all started so differently as the home side won an immediate penalty for a handball by Duffy as Lee Rick’s free kick bounced up but Garry Gee chose an inopportune moment to miss his first spot kick of the season as Etheridge pulled off a fine save with his left foot. Only 6 minutes had elapsed when Ilkeston took the lead as Reid’s free kick from the right was headed home almost unchallenged by Joe Maguire and they doubled their advantage on 19 minutes with another header, this time Rob Duffy heading home Gordon’s long cross at the far post. In between Aaron Chalmers inside ball found Ashley Young’s shot swerving wide of the left hand post with the visitors well in control.
The home defence were carved open again as Reid’s cross saw Kane Richards bring a point blank save out of Phillips with Gordon firing the rebound wide and Laurie Wilson could also have extended the lead as he saw Phillips hold his overhead effort. Most of the home’s side attacks were foundering on Ilkeston’s solid defence but after the interval Ashton struck back as a corner was headed down by substitute Matty Chadwick allowing fellow sub Chris Baguley to fire home from just outside the area. The home side were now dominating the possession and a knockdown from Dale Johnson saw Pilkington’s effort on the turn held by Etheridge before Matty Chadwick had a long ball taking off his toe before seeing his resulting shot blocked.
With the home side pressing for the equaliser Che Adams picked up a loose ball and made a fine run through midfield and provided a left foot finish despite Phillips’ best effort to make the block. Ashley Young’s chip forward found Dale Johnson unable to beat the keeper and Grantham could have made matters even worse as Williams put him clear to bring a stinging save out of Phillips. Ashton’s final attempt saw Rick’s shot from Chadwick’s pull back deflect wide off Dale Johnson.
Team: Phillips, Chalmers, Lynch (Chippendale), Gorton, Higgins, Young, Rick, Gee (Chadwick), Johnson, Pilkington, Coppin (Baguley). SNU: Haslam, Ellison.