Ashton Nic it in the snow
Monday 19th March 2018 @ 10:26 by Mark Phillip
Football Sports

Evo-Stik Premier Division

Stourbridge 2-3 Ashton United

A grandstand finish saw Ashton bring all three points back from a day of severe weather in the West Midlands. With the conditions varying between sunshine and driving snow Curtis Jones was making his full debut at centre back and Jack Dyche returned to start his fourth spell at the club and it was the Robins who threatened almost from the kick off as Dom Smalley’s cross saw Aaron Hayden’s defensive header needing to be tipped away by Matt Gould.

With Ashton showing some neat passing on a tricky surface Mark Lees’ layoff saw Sam Sheridan’s driven effort just fail to get a touch of Nic Evangelinos in the area before a fine pass from Hayden picked out Luke Benbow who found the angle too tight. Benbow’s flick then saw Anderson go down under challenge from Jones with no foul the verdict and a good pullback by Don Smalley saw Dyche’s effort blocked.

The visitors then won a couple of corners, the second of which saw Evangelinos head over from close range but then a quick break saw Mooney’s pass pick out Evangelinos whose shot brought a good save from Gould with the rebound falling back to the same player to open the scoring.

8 minutes into the second period the Glassboys were level as the ball was spread wide to Gallagher on the right wing and his cross was guided into the far side of the goal by Anderson.

Benbow’s shot from Gallagher’s cross then just spun wide of goal and Luke Shearer’s delivery saw Benbow’s effort hit Anderson before he poked the rebound wide when scoring looked easier. With the game opening up Liam Tomsett was then just denied at the last by Gould from Dyche’s lobbed pass but the visitors regained the lead as a great combination between John Pritchard and sub Makhosini saw the latter’s cross converted by Evangelinos.

Almost immediately a penalty was awarded against Ashton seemingly for a foul by Dom Smalley on Shearer with Leon Broadhurst firing home emphatically. Tomsett then set up Deane Smalley but the excellent Gould was able to smother and a scramble in the area finished with Deane Smalley volleying wide. With the game finishing in a snowstorm Makhosini set up Evangelinos with Gould denying him his hat trick with another fine stop and Cooke then narrowly cleared the crossbar with an effort from 20 yards for the hosts.

Entering added time and Evangelinos’ shot deflected on to the roof of the net and the resulting corner from Pritchard saw Granite head the winning goal. As a footnote credit should go to both teams for providing such entertainment in the most testing of conditions.

By David Robinson

Picture: Jez Sayle