Athletic Late Show Stuns United
Ashton Athletic 2 Skelmersdale United 1
By Simon Driscoll
Skelmersdale United's FA Cup run started and finished at the Preliminary round stage with a 2-1 loss at Ashton Athletic.
United played just over half the match with ten men after captain Mike Roddy was dismissed three minutes before half-time, Jason Carey put the Blues ahead on 48 minutes before strikes from substitutes Adam Howard (83) and Chris Bandell (85) sent the hosts into the next round.
Dave Powell named the same starting eleven that narrowly lost at Kendal Town in midweek with Ashton fielding ex-United duo Josh Nicholson and Harry Blackburn.
Ashton had the first chance of the afternoon as Charlie Munro's corner was headed wide in the third minute before Harry Blackburn headed Munro's ranged cross past the post on 13 minutes.
United's first chance came on 24 minutes as a mazy run from Charlie Ennis saw him finding Kevin Edgar who forced a low save from Martin Pearson before Terry Smith denied Josh Nicholson from point blank range on the half hour.
At the other end, a clever counter-attack from Tom Molyneux saw him pick out Edgar who drew a strong stop from Pearson before United were reduced to ten men in the 42nd minutes.
A straight red for captain Mike Roddy after what looked like an accidental kick on an Ashton player when attempting to claim the ball and resume the game. Ashton looked to use their numerical advantage as the half drew to a close with Marcus Cusani hitting a host over the bar.
United flew out of the blocks in the second half taking the lead within three minutes of the restart, an attacking run from Edgar saw him square the ball for Jason Carey who flicked past Pearson for 1-0. Ashton came close to levelling on the hour mark as Cusani swept an effort across goal and at the other end, Ennis drew a save from Pearson with a shot from distance.
Ashton continued to threaten United's lead with Munro sweeping a shot across goal from the far side ahead of Ennis doing the same at the other end minutes later. As the game entered the final ten minutes, George Hassall fired past the post for Ashton who turned the game around in the space of two minutes.
A sweeping cross from Nicholson found substitute Adam Howard at the far post who fired across goal and with the help of the post beat Smith for 1-1.
Howard turned provider a minute later as his lofted cross met the head of fellow substitute Chris Bandell who headed past Smith to complete the comeback at 2-1.
United's ten men pushed for an equaliser with Carey drawing a save from Pearson late on but Ashton held on to secure the win and a place in the next round.
Ashton Athletic - Pearson, Guffogg (McLoughlin 68), Dixon (Howard 55), Cringe (c), Holden, Wilson, Nicholson, Munro, Blackburn (Bandell 70), Hassall, Cusani. Subs not used - Bell, Raines,Foulds, Webster.
Skelmersdale United - Smith, Woods, Fleming, Molyneux, Brownsword, Roddy (c), Carey (Hawley 73), Griffiths (Dunne 67), Edgar, Ennis, Moore (Mooney 43). Subs not used - White, Yeldrem, Duke, Courtney.
Referee- A Murphy