Stafford Rangers 0 Ashton United 1 Northern Premier League 19.09.2020
Robins round-up Rangers
Ashton got their season up and running with a narrow victory over their former manager Jody Banim at Marston Road. The decisive moment arrived after 13 minutes as John Pritchard curled home a superb free kick after Josh Wilson had been fouled 25 yards out. The action opened in dramatic fashion as visiting keeper Greg Hartley needed 5 minutes worth of treatment after having to be quickly out to block Thomas Thorley’s attempt from Kenton’s cross.
The Robins were playing with the breeze in the first period and Joe Cuff hit a first time volley from Keane’s pass which saw Hartley untroubled before Keane himself blocked Ben Hardcastle’s attempt after the ball had been given away in midfield and just before the break Harvey’s swerving effort was held by Hartley despite a slight deflection off Raynes.
After the turnaround the hosts had the advantage of the elements and started to dominate the possession without creating any clear cut chances but 10 minutes into the half they had their best opportunity to date as Coyle’s return pass saw Kenton’s cross drop to Cuff who hit it well off target. After a Lufudu cross had been fumbled out for a corner Millenic Alli picked up the loose ball and cut back on to his left foot before firing wide. Entering the closing stages the hosts were reduced to ten men as Daniel Burns was dismissed for elbowing sub Lewis Walters as he tried to chase a long ball, Walters himself picking up a yellow for subsequently throwing the ball away.
In added time Rangers came close twice more as a long ball sent sub Sleigh racing into the area with Hartley needing to get his angles right to make the block and with almost the final kick it was Sleigh who missed a cross close in after Reece Jones had reached the by line.
Team: Hartley, Lufudu, Pritchard, Rowney, Raynes, Baird, Brewster, Cottrell, Wilson (Sheridan 82), Hardcastle, Alli (Walters 70) SNU: Bentham, Bembo-Leta, Lynch.