Magpies swoop on Hurst Cross
Report by David Robinson. Pictures Jez Sayle
League leaders Chorley were unextended to continue their impressive start to the season as they strolled to victory in this Lancashire Derby. With Josh Ollerenshaw restored in goal Ashton gave full debuts to Jak Hickman & Luke Ashworth and Curtis Jones was recalled into defence but it was the visitors who were first out of the blocks as a pullback saw Lewis Almond’s wayward shot reach the by line from where the cross was blocked with Josh O’Keefe on hand to head home Adam Blakeman’s delivery from the resulting corner with 11 minutes on the clock.
3 minutes later Andy Teague’s pass saw Marcus Carver pull his effort past the far post before Blakeman’s throw in saw Almond’s shot on the turn tipped over by Ollerenshaw. Blakeman’s latest corner then saw Courtney Meppen-Walter’s header tipped over as the Magpies dominated with a succession of corner kicks. Jak Hickman’s cross then just evaded Craig Hobson for the Robins but immediately Blakeman picked up a loose ball and fired home the second from the edge of the area.
O’Keefe then saw yellow for bringing down Liam Tomsett whose corner was fired into the side netting by Aaron Chalmers but six minutes before the break Carver guided home the third with a precise header from O’Keefe’s cross and after the hosts had made a couple of half time substitutions the visitors moved further ahead as Almond placed his effort in at the near post in the opening minute of the second half.
Sub Bradley Jackson forced a save low by the post and Almond was just denied trying to walk the ball in from Carver’s flick. Ollerenshaw then got lucky as his attempted clearance rebounded back to him off Carver and Nic Evangelinos made space before seeing his shot deflected for a corner which Matt Regan headed off target. The leaders were comfortable for the rest of the game and finished their tally as Ollerenshaw could only palm Carver’s lobbed effort to Elliot Newby who was left with an open net. The closest the hosts came to registering saw Hickman’s shot deflected wide following a quick break and Hobson’s effort blocked by Matt Urwin from Dom McHale’s pass.
Ashton Utd: Ollerenshaw, Hickman, Regan, Jones (McHale 46), Chalmers, Ashworth, Platt, Lees; Hobson, McAtee (Jackson 46), Tomsett (Evangelinos, 63). SNU: Hill, Sephton.