Ashton United 3-6 Frickley Athletic
In difficult conditions the Blues came away from Ashton United with an emphatic 6-3 victory, with Kevin Sanasy notching a hat-trick.
Manager Pete Rinkcavage brought Sanasy back into the starting line-up to partner Ashley Longstaff up front whilst Ashley Burbeary moved out to the right wing and Simon Sturdy recovered from illness to return to the centre of the defence.
On a wet and windy day the Blues had the first attempt at goal after 6 minutes when Burbeary found Longstaff on the edge of the box and he fired in a low 20 yard shot which flew just wide. Six minutes later the Blues had a stroke of luck as they took the lead. Burbeary’s free kick from the right was sliced over his own keeper’s head and into the top corner by Ben Smith whilst under pressure from Matty Bloor.
However, Ashton equalised on 18 minutes when Steve Hall broke clear down the left and cross for the unmarked Ryan Crowther to volley in at the far post from 12 yards.
Ashton’s Aaron Burns then fired wide from 30 yards after 20 minutes but the Blues re-took the lead on 37 minutes when Sanasy latched on to a long ball from James Kay to steer the ball past the advancing Terry Smith from just inside the box. A minute later Mark Whitehouse saw his 18 yard shot deflected into the hands of Smith.
Ben Simpson pushed away a 25 yard shot from Burns before Sanasy beat the off-side trap to sprint clear and shoot past Smith from the edge of the box.
With the wind behind them Ashton made a good start to the second half, reducing the arrears on 52 minutes when Whitehouse misplaced his clearance across his own box with the ball falling kindly for Crowther to curl the ball just beyond Simpson’s reach from 18 yards.
The Blues responded with Burbeary putting a 22 yard shot just wide of the left hand post on 54 minutes whilst Longstaff sent Whitehouse away down the left before cutting into the box and hitting a fierce shot from a tight angle which Smith collected at the second attempt. Longstaff then turned and shot straight at Smith from the edge of the box.
The Blues has their second stroke of luck in the game on 61 minutes when they extended their lead. A good move down the right saw Whitehouse release Fisher who sent over a great cross across the face of goal with the ball striking the far post and hitting Ian Bennett before rolling over the line.
The home side pushed forwards and it came as no surprise when on 70 minutes Simpson parried a header from Bennett only for Burns to follow up and tab the ball into an empty net.
Burns then shot wide from 18 yards, Ashton substitute Jonathan Bathurst headed against the right hand post and Ashton had claims for a penalty correctly waved away before Burbeary effectively sealed the win on 80 minutes.
Longstaff did well on the left before feeding the overlapping Burbeary who cut in and lifted a brilliant shot over Smith and into the far corner from the tightest of angles.
Ashton then had captain Craig Robinson sent off for his second yellow card offence after 82 minutes and the Blues wrapped the game up in the third minute of stoppage time. Burbeary sent substitute Andy Lee away down the left and he fed Sanasy inside the box who beat Smith from 15 yards.
The win lifted the Blues out of the bottom four and sets up a mouth-watering clash at North Ferriby United on Tuesday evening.
Ashton United : Terry Smith, Alex Frost, Danny Caldecott (Liam Dawson 81), Jimmy Kelly (Jonathan Bathurst 64), Stephen Rose, Craig Robinson, Ryan Crowther, Steve Hall (Matty O’Neill 45), Aaron Burns, Ian Bennett, Ben Smith. Unused subs. Ged Murphy, Josh Rose.
Frickley Athletic : Ben Simpson, Charles Fisher, James Kay, Danny Walsh, Simon Sturdy, Dean Jones, Ashley Burbeary, Matty Bloor, Ashley Longstaff (Andy Lee 85), Kevin Sanasy, Mark Whitehouse (Danny Simpson 76). Unused subs. James Colliver, Ryan Watson, Jon Hood
Referee : Mr. P. Mahon
Attendance : 123