Reds open their tally on the road.
An uplifting performance saw Reds return to winning ways with a third successive victory on Hurst Cross soil.
It was the first away win of the season, the first clean sheet on the road, the perfect response to the dismal performance against Matlock, with an excellent debut from young Jack Egan thrown in for good measure. Overall, a very satisfactory ninety minutes work.
From 1 to 11, the players made valuable contributions but, the fact that Ashton failed to score in a home game for the first time, suggests Reds’ back five were on top of their game. They were but so too was the midfield quintet and lone front-runner, Scott Allison, who certainly isn’t low mileage.
Teenager Egan, a Manchester lad, had joined on a loan deal from Carlisle United where he is making good progress under Darren Edmondson and Gavin Skelton. How apt that he should make his senior league debut, just a few miles from home in front of his proud parents.
Adrenaline fuelled perhaps, Eagan (inset) slotted in perfectly and a tenacious display was rewarded with a generous ovation when he left the field.
In-form Ashton mounted the first attack of note with Dominic Smalley’s effort just drifting wide of the target after a clever one, two with Matthew Chadwick had created the opening.
Back came blue-shirted Reds with Sam Joel’s shot beating Ashley Frith and about to hit the net until Aaron Chalmers’ spectacular goal line clearance prevented a certain goal.
Joel and Egan then combined to set-up a chance for Jordan Holt but he got his feet in a tangle and the opportunity was lost. Dav Symington and Joel both had shots from distance but neither troubled United ‘keeper, Frith.
Ashton also saw one of their efforts cleared off the line then a Nicky Platt shot from outside the box was routinely gathered by Aaran Taylor.
Allison saw a good effort flicked over the bar by the agile Frith after Holt had provided the assist then Josh Calvert headed wide from the subsequent corner.
The visitors continued to press for the opener with Joel’s lob landing on the roof of the net and an Allison header easily caught by Frith.
When the goal finally came in the sixty-sixth minute, it was via the good old ‘route one’ method. Taylor drove the ball downfield, Ashton’s two central defenders lost their bearings and Allison took full advantage to slot home his sixth goal of the campaign from the edge of the box.
The Robins did apply the expected pressure late in the game but even with five minutes of extras, they couldn’t force an equaliser.
Taylor’s dash off his line caused one anxious moment but the outstanding Wordsworth got back to avert the danger and the goalkeeper made amends when he kept out a well struck shot from Ashton top scorer, Chadwick.
The return match at Borough Park is scheduled for the final day of the season and it will be interesting to see if the fixture has any significance riding on it, come the end of April.
Ashton United Frith, Olapade, Smalley, Granite, Chalmers, Platt (Smith, 81), Lees, Roberts (Durnin, 68), Johnson, Pilkington, Chadwick. Substitutes – Woodford, Banim, Povey (not used).
Workington Taylor, Simpson, Symington, Wordsworth, Calvert, Earl, Joel, Holt, Allison, Egan (Mellen, 87), Tinnion. Substitutes – Douglas, Rowntree, Carter, Holliday (not used).
Referee Ian Johnston, Wakefield
Bookings: Granite (Ashton United), Earl, Eagan (Workington)