Ashton Second Half Dominance Sees Off Coalville
A relentless Robins second half performance was enough to overcome a one goal deficit and defeat Coalville.
After an evenly contested first half, which the Ravens edged score line-wise, Ashton United showed their quality in a one-sided second period as the Robins continue their push for promotion.
Tommy Brookbanks opted to not make any changes to the side that edged a five goal thriller at Halesowen on Tuesday, with Danny Jenno and Matthew Coton remaining amongst the substitutes.
The home side began the game as the brighter and created the first opportunity of the contest in the second minute. Blair Anderson skinned his man on the left, before drilling a cross into Nathan Watson in the centre, who directed the ball into the hands of David Carnell.
The visitors then responded with a chance of their own in the ninth minute, showing they still hold a considerable attacking threat despite the absence of top scorer Matthew Chadwick. Jack Dyche headed inches wide of the post following a cross from Liam Tomsett.
Some good play from the host three minutes later opened up the Ashton defence, with Anderson receiving the ball on the left before unleashing a tame effort that failed to trouble the Robins’ stopper.
A further two minutes passed before Coalville broke the deadlock. Anderson’s lofted pass found Daniel Creaney, who flicked the ball down to Watson for him to finish smartly at the near post.
The Ravens appeared to be at their frightening best for a brief spell as the team broke forward with real pace and purpose, recapturing the form that saw them undergo that lengthy unbeaten run.
After a rather flat spell in the match, just before half time Watson had a golden chance to double his and his side’s advantage, lashing a shot wide after the ball fell to him just inside the area following a corner.
In a lively start to the second period, Coalville stopper Jamie Hannis went from zero to hero and then back to zero in the space of six minutes. In the 52nd minute Hannis conceded a penalty after bringing down Jack Dyche in the box, but the Ravens stopper redeemed himself, saving Aaron Charmers weak spot-kick.
However, five minutes later Ashton levelled the score in bizarre circumstances. An attempted Hannis clearance cannoned off Lee Torr, falling to Alex Johnson, who made no mistake in tapping into an unguarded net.
Watson almost found a swift reply for Coalville, as four minutes later he acrobatically blasted over from inside the box after controlling Kyle Bryant’s skimming cross.
The Ravens were then extremely fortunate not to find themselves a goal down after 63 minutes. An almighty scramble in the Coalville box saw numerous shots blocked, one effort deflected onto the post and another shot tipped onto the bar by Hannis.
Watson then almost punished the visitor’s inefficiency in front of goal, directing the ball straight at Carnell with a stooping header.
The away side then took a hold of proceedings, producing a wealth of chances that could have seen them secure a much more comprehensive victory.
Chances went begging for Mark Lees and Aaron Chambers, who both headed wide from set-pieces within the space of seven minutes.
The Robins then snatched what was a deserved late winner on 80 minutes as Mason Fawns powered the ball high into the net after Hannis parried Will Beesley’s driven cross out to the edge of the area.
Steve Towers came closest to netting a an equaliser for the hosts in the closing stages, dragging a left footed shot wide from 20 yards out.
The visitors could have added a third as the game entered stoppage time, with Alex Johnson’s attempted shot from 12 yards cracking off the post before the follow up Nic Evangelinos shot was disallowed for offside.
The Ravens will be looking for a much better result on Saturday when they visit Alvechurch in the FA Trophy.