Ashton progress to next round of the cup. Report by David Robinson
Ashton duly took their place in the 2nd Qualifying Round of the FA Cup despite making things hard for themselves following Chris Baguley’s first half dismissal at the King George V Stadium. The game was still in it’s opening minute when MacWilliams’ left wing cross for Town was knocked back for Luke Bythway to fire wide from a promising position but the visitors also went close as Johnson’s knock down saw Morning play in Matty Chadwick who shot over from the 6 yard line.
The open start to proceedings continued as another left wing cross reached Bulmer whose volley was just kept out by Phillips with the defence first to the loose ball and the inevitable breakthrough goal arrived as Morning’s return ball from a corner dropped perfectly for Chadwick to provide a right foot finish. The Robins were only able to hold on to their lead for 3 minutes as a long ball from the back dropped perfectly for Danny Earl to volley home but on 20 minutes their lead was restored as a Morning free kick rebounded to Chadwick whose effort was deflected on to the post with Connor’s return ball hitting a defender on the hand for a clear penalty, Baguley once again doing the honours.
The Priorymen could have levelled again as a quick break saw Snaith cut inside Mason but just denied by Phillips at his near post before the influential Chadwick had to be substituted with a hamstring injury. Baguley then came close again following a 1-2 with Johnson which saw him just denied by Carling but this was to be his last action of the match as a foolish retaliatory kick off the ball on Wood saw him correctly red carded.
The second half unsurprisingly became something of a game of attack vs defence with Ashton’s back four putting in overtime to keep the home side out no more so than Jay Gorton who blocked several crosses and with Ashton using Pilkington’s pace on the break they almost extended their lead as he cut inside 2 defenders but sliced his effort wide. With 70 minutes gone Ashton did get the third goal in rather strange circumstances as Coo made a run into the area and the ball appeared to rebound off Pilkington and over the line despite appeals for offside. With the visitors looking comfortable and just 3 minutes left a poor clearing header by Connor allowed Bythway to fire home off the post but Ashton were able to hold out to earn a visit to Abbey Hey in the next round.
Team: Phillips, Mason, Coo, Gorton, Connor, Haining (Melia), Chadwick, (Sutherland), Gee, Johnson (Pilkington), Baguley, Morning . SNU: Burns, Halford.