30.9.2017

Evo-Stik Northern Premier League

Ashton United

Tomsett (90)

Hednesford Town

Lawrie (12), Oji (76)

(0) 1

.

(1) 2

Attendance

MoTM

Current Form

Next Match

154

Ben Bailey

W L L W L L W L L W

Matlock Town (H) 3.10.17

The Pitmen offered the perfect response to the criticism directed at them this week, turning in one of their best performances of the season to beat Ashton United this afternoon and claim a crucial three points

 

Back-to-back defeats had left Rob Smith and Larry Chambers with something of a selection headache as they looked to arrest an alarming slide in form. They made the bold move to play three centre-halves, bringing in Sam Oji in place of Callum Bullock, who had returned to parent club Chorley this week. With the squad stretched to it's limit, Smith could only name four substitutes for the match, including veteran goalkeeper Jose Veiga

 

Ashton - normally quick starters in the league and amongst the top six in the first few weeks of the season - had made an uncharacteristically ponderous start to the campaign, sitting in mid-table at the start of play. They suffered a blow just before kick-off with the news that regular keeper Ashley Frith had pulled up with injury, forcing the host to hand young reserve keeper Max Povey a full debut

 

A nervy opening two minutes from the Pitmen saw them give the ball away in alarmingly dangerous positions on two occasions, allowing Danny Pilkington to hit the outside of the post with his shot, followed by a great save from James Wren in the third minute to turn the same player's cross-cum-shot away from goal

 

The Pitmen responded well, with Povey called into action for the first time to smother a James Lawrie shot after Edji Mbunga had intercepted a poor clearance from Josh Granite and played the midfielder in

 

Another misplaced pass from the Ashton defence contributed heavily to the opening goal of an overcast afternoon at Hurst Cross, as a poor clearance from Aaron Chalmers was seized upon by Danny Glover, who played a slide-rule pass in behind the Ashton defence and into the path of Lawrie, who finished well with a driven shot across Povey and into the far corner of the net

 

Lawrie should have made it a quickfire double for himself and the Pitmen on eighteen minutes, firing in a low drive that Povey did well to turn away. Mbunga seized upon the rebound but failed to turn the ball home as Povey recovered well

 

Striker partners Glover and Mbunga were giving the Ashton back line the runaround the opening quarter of the game, with both players somehow failing to add to the scoreline on twenty-three minutes as a combination of last-ditch defending and poor finishing kept the score at 1-0

 

The chances kept coming for the men in grey, with Glover again at the heart of the attacking intent. A quick break on thirty-one minutes caught the Ashton defence out, with Glover seeing his shot deflected wide of goal

 

Skipper Tom Thorley attempted to get in on the act on thirty-four minutes, but his long-range shot ended up in amongst the hardy Hednesford supporters gathered behind the goal

 

Glover should have done better when presented with a great chance on thirty-seven minutes, but weakly headed Tyler Weir's cross wide of goal

 

Former Curzon Ashton man Liam Tomsett wasted Ashton's best chance of a poor first half on forty-three minutes, side-footing his shot narrowly wide of goal after getting on the end of a cross from Mark Lees

 

The impressive Mbunga should have put the Pitmen out of sight with the first attack of the second half, as he raced clear of a static Ashton defence but dithered as he approached goal and allowed Povey enough time to make a save

 

Mbunga's Gloucester colleague Reece King was next to test Ashton's resolve on fifty-one minutes, with the midfielder hitting a long-range shot that flew just wide of goal

 

Mbunga's game was brought to an end on sixty-eight minutes, as he was replaced with the more defensively-minded Joe Fitzpatrick, leaving Glover up front on his own with Lawrie drifting in from the left

 

With sixteen minutes remaining, Lawrie should have wrapped up all three points for the Pitmen, but somehow headed wide of goal with a flick header from an Alex Melbourne cross

 

The away side finally got the second goal that their efforts deserved two minutes later, as a Thorley corner kick dropped in the six-yard box, with Oji reacting quickest to turn the ball home from close range

 

Chalmers' game was brought to a painful end with a couple of minutes remaining, as he did brilliantly to halt Thorley's charge towards goal, but damaged himself in the process after sliding in

 

As Chalmers was being carried off the pitch, Ashton gave themselves a lifeline with a late, late goal through Tomsett; Chadwick's deep corner was not cleared by the Hednesford defence, which had been superbly marshalled by Ben Bailey, allowing Tomsett to turn the loose ball home at the far post

 

it was too little, too late though for the hosts, with the Pitmen left to celebrate a well-deserved three points and only their second away win of the new season. The games continue to come thick and fast for Smith and Chambers as they continue to find out about their squad, starting on Tuesday night with the visit of Matlock Town

 

Ashton United: Povey, Olapede (Banim 85), Smalley, Granite, Chalmers (Woodford 90), Platt, Lees, Tomsett, Johnson, Pilkington (Durnin 70), Chadwick   Unused subs: Roberts

 

Hednesford Town: Wren, Melbourne, Weir, Bailey, Mutton, Oji, King, Thorley ©, Glover , Mbunga (Fitzpatrick 68), Lawrie   Unused subs: Lyttle, Platt, Veiga

Images and content on this website, unless accredited, are copyright © Pitmenweb.com
1998-2019