Ashton fall flat at Sam Smith’s Park
Report by David Robinson
Ashton’s recent disappointing FA Cup record continued as they fell to lower league opposition at the second hurdle. Captain Mark Lees was switched to left back and Ashley Frith returned in goal for the injured Carnell as the game commenced amidst a downpour.
Lees’ pass immediately sent Matty Chadwick through before he was stopped by the offside flag and the captain then saw a 30 yard skimming effort saved by Grainger. After 12 minutes a fine move by the visitors saw Liam Tomsett play in Nicky Platt and his cross saw Chadwick’s header tipped over before a free kick led to Tomsett sending an effort fizzing wide. As the Robins dominated the opening quarter of the game Danny Pilkington then saw his shot on the turn just miss the far post and Tomsett’s pass saw Jack Dyche force a save at the near post with Tomsett then sending a curling effort just off target.
As the hosts joined in the action Novak’s inside pass found McEvoy in enough space to fire just over and Brayson was then released into the area with Josh Granite needing to block well. After McCarthy had then seen penalty claims against Aaron Chalmers waved away Benfield took the lead as Nisbet’s pass found McEvoy onside and he rounded Frith before finishing from a tight angle.
Richard Smith came off the bench for the second half and immediately his pass sent Pilkington down the right wing from where his cross was headed away but a long ball then saw Granite misjudge the bounce allowing Brayson to step in only to see his shot come back off the crossbar. Shortly afterwards Brayson made no mistake as another long pass saw him cut inside Granite before finishing well on his left foot. Brayson then fired over the top as Ashton’s defence lost its shape with McCarthy’s cross just failing to reach the centre forward and McCarthy himself then stepped past Chalmers and needed to be denied by Frith at the near post.
With 15 minutes left Ashton missed a great chance to pull one back as Smith out jumped Grainger with the ball falling for Pilkington to put it over the bar from close in. Nisbet was then dismissed for catching Platt with Chadwick’s wayward free kick summing up Ashton’s day but they did reduce the deficit as Oscar Durnin’s near post delivery appeared to be touched home by Alex Johnson but the last chance saw Chadwick’s pass lead to Johnson’s cross going right across the area.
Team: Frith, Olapede (Smith 46), Lees, Granite, Chalmers, Roberts (Durnin 54), Platt, Tomsett, Chadwick, Dyche (Johnson), Pilkington.