Stalemate at Bower Fold

Stalybridge Celtic 0 Ashton United 0 BetVictor Northern Premier League 1.01.20

Michael Clegg achieved his first point in charge of Ashton United as the local derby turned out to be an uninspiring affair on New Year’s Day. Luca Havern was restored to the centre of Ashton’s defence with John Pritchard starting at left back and the action got off to a quiet start with both sides struggling to make inroads.

The home side created the best early chance as good work took Darius Obei to the by line and his pullback found Ustabasi just unable to stretch enough to keep his effort on target. A miss clearance by O’Halloran then gave Liam Tomsett a clear sight of goal but his effort was straight at Savin. Osei then outmuscled Hunt on to a long ball but put a weak effort straight at Hartley and the keeper produced a decent save following a scramble from a corner.

On the resumption a long throw-in was flicked on before Hartley grabbed it just ahead of Ross Dent and Hunt then did well to deny Scott Bakkor as he ran onto a pass from Craig Hobson, the resulting corner needing Pritchard to head away as a series of corners tested the visitors’ defence. Ben Hardcastle’s overlapping run then saw his effort hit the outside of the frame of the goal and a wide ball found Bakkor in space from where he fired well over.

Josh Wilson was denied close in with Havern’s follow-up blocked and after Osei had a curling effort held sub Kenghi narrowly missed the right hand post from 25 yards. Almost on full time a challenge in midfield saw the ball break to Osei in the area but he lost his head and comfortable cleared the bar and the final action saw Kenghi hit the out side of the post albeit with the offside flag raised.

Team: Hartley, Lufudu, Pritchard, Rowney, Hunt, Havern, Hardcastle, Brewster (Sheridan 76), Tames (Wilson 65), Tomsett (Knight 65), Mahon. SNU: Rigby, Smith.

David Robinson