Robins Prevail in Tough Cup Encounter. Report by David Robinson
Ashton duly booked their place in the 3rd Qualifying Round of the FA Trophy after a hard fought encounter against their visitors from Warwickshire. It was the travelling team who made the better start as a long ball saw Edwin Ahenkorah beat the offside trap but his cross was cut out before it could reach Simeon Tulloch and a poor clearance by the home defence led to Sheldon’s low effort being saved.
With 25 minutes on the clock Ashton almost moved ahead as a fine through ball from Adam Morning saw Martin Pilkington just denied as he tried to round Andy Kemp but just past the half hour Jeff King fired the hosts ahead with a fine finish after turning in the area from Adam Morning’s inside pass. Joel Melia’s right wing cross then saw Morning bring a decent save out of Kemp with a first time volley but Town were level shortly afterwards as Rob Thompson-Brown’s blocked effort fell to Ahenkorah who finished well from a narrow angle. The scoring was completed 3 minutes later as a great ball from King picked out Joel Melia whose cross forced Anthony Charles into conceding an own goal and still before the break a fine cross by Cavell Coo was just too high for Martin Pilkington.
Stratford were back in the hunt for the equaliser immediately after the resumption and a good interchange between Tulloch and Ahenkorah took the winger into the box where he shot straight at Phillips. Shortly afterwards McGrath played Ahenkorah into the area from where he fired narrowly wide of the target.
The Robins could have extended their lead as Morning brought a fingertip save out of Kemp from Pilkington’s pass and the centre forward went even closer as another incisive pass from King saw Pilkington lift his effort just past the far post. The home defence had a scare with 10 minutes left as a low effort by Dior Angus was saved by Paul Phillips with the rebound falling to Ahenkorah whose header was cleared off the line. The Robins could have made the scoreline more comfortable as Matty Chadwick made a great run from his own half and set up Melia who sliced wide and the same player then went closer with his next effort from Morning’s pass but was denied by Kemp’s foot.
Team: Phillips, Coo, Mason, Gorton, Goulding, Lees, King (Haining), Gee, Pilkington (Chadwick), Melia, Morning. SNU: Steadman, Banim, Vincent, Connor.