A thrilling evening at Hurst Cross saw Ashton move into the play off positions with a hard fought victory over long time league leaders Chorley. With captain Chris Lynch suspended Aaron Chalmers stepped in at right back and Jay Gorton took over the armband for the evening.
Chorley had hat trick man from the first encounter Darren Stephenson starting on the left side but it was the other winger Dorney who made the first impact as he got free down the right wing before his cross reached Cotterell whose shot was blocked. Ashton moved onto the attack as a long ball saw Dale Johnson outmuscle Teague in the visitors’ defence before his pull back was played safely back to keeper Ashton. 2 minutes later the Robins gave the home fans the start they wanted as Lee Rick’s corner reached the far post where Jay Gorton headed home. United could have scored again 5 minutes later as Chalmers long cross saw Garry Gee beat Ashton to the ball, with his header dropping just wide.
Ten minutes from the interval the Magpies created their best chance to date as Cartwright’s cross found Whitham with a free header which was held by Phillips. On the stroke of half time a long clearance saw Phillips upend Dorney outside the area resulting in a yellow card and Cartwright’s free kick to the far post, which was headed against the inside of the opposite post by Teague, was scrambled away.
Ashton could have made the perfect start after the resumption as Kayde Coppin reached the by line and saw his cross deflected to Lee Rick whose toepoked effort rolled just wide. Matters were levelled up on 54 minutes as a cross was flicked on by Dean reaching Teague at the back post who had plenty of time to steady himself before firing home. The visitors began to look like the more likely winners as Whitham’s volleyed cross was just too high for Dean, before Johnson was fouled at the other end and Rick’s deflected free kick was pushed over by Ashton.
With ten minutes to go the game was decided as Garry Gee, putting in a combative performance in midfield, won the ball and played in Johnson who finished emphatically from just inside the area. There was still time for Rick to set Matty Chadwick free down the right wing – his cross saw Johnson steady before firing wide and Chorley’s last attempt saw Whitham blaze wide following a corner.
Team: Phillips, Chalmers (Haslam), Pearson Gorton, Higgins, Young, Rick, Gee, Johnson, Pilkington (Chadwick), Coppin (Kosylo). SNU: Chippendale, Halford.