Robins Scrap Their Way To 2nd Qualifying Round of FA Cup. Report by David Robinson
Ashton moved into the 2nd Qualifying Round with a slightly fortunate victory over an enterprising Witton outfit. Gary Gee charged down an Albion clearance for Joe O’Neill to fire just too high from 20 yards and then a deep corner saw Harrison head the ball back across goal for Powell to see his header held by Phillips. The breakthrough arrived on 20 minutes as an amazing scramble in the area culminated in top scorer Martin Pilkington (pictured) firing home at the 3rd attempt.
The visitors should have been level as a free kick from Andrews found Powell completely unmarked but he glanced his header wide and a poor backpass by Gee saw Wilson round Phillips before Gorton cleared his effort off the line.
Within 10 minutes of the restart Witton did level matters up as a free kick was returned into the area by Platt allowing Powell to finish on the turn which was no more than Albion deserved at this point. Powell’s ball forward then found Sheehan in the clear but he turned in a weak effort and Hancock then swapped passes with Platt before firing well wide. Ashton seem to have developed the habit of getting results when not at their best and the decisive goal arrived as irrepressible top scorer Pilkington turned past Glover to be brought down for a clear penalty converted by Gee.
Sub Abadaki then set Ben Richardson free down the right wing and his cross by headed over by Joe O’Neill who could have made the game safe and fellow sub Hughes then charged down Phillips’ clearance before forcing a fine fingertip save out of the Ashton keeper.
Ashton were able to hold on to their lead despite Witton at times laying siege to the home goal and O’Neill and sub Abadaki missing great chances to settle the issue for the Robins on the break and the visitors’ final chance saw Hancock’s free kick held by Phillips.
Team: Phillips, Richardson, Pearson, Gorton, Lynch (c), Gee, Denham (Coppin), Rick, Pilkington (Abadaki), J O’Neill, Logan (Young). SNU: Burke, Freakes, Williams, Halford.