ABBEY HULTON RES 5
ASHBOURNE’S unbeaten run came to an end whenthey were knocked out of the League Cup after a thrilling game at home to Abbey Hulton which saw nine goals and some controversial refereeing, writes STEVE SELLERS.
The home team fell behind against the run of play when a ball into the striker enabled him to produce a good turn for a shot into the far corner.
Ashbourne continued to have more of the ball, with wingers Sam Howard and Steve Sellers both getting room to play.
For all their possession, however, the hosts were reduced to mostly long-range efforts as Abbey stood firm.
The game really sparked into life in the second half, with Ashbourne equalising when Paul Spencer guided the ball into the net from six yards.
The home side made changes with Sean Milward and Charles Mann replacing Spencer and Williams.
Five minutes later, Ashbourne found themselves in front when a free kick from the right came into the box and Bacon timed his run to perfection to hit a volley into the corner of the net.
The home side had a golden opportunity to put the game beyond doubt when Mann found himself behind the defence, but he dragged his shot wide from the edge of the area.
Just as it looked as though Ashbourne would hold on, a controversial decision was made when the referee gave Abbey a penalty, which they converted, when initially the linesman ruled the foul to be outside the area.
In the dying minutes of normal time, Ashbourne should have got the winner after great play by substitute Sean Milward.
His teasing ball across the six-yard area evaded both keeper and defender but Mann somehow missed his shot.
Abbey struck first in extra time when Ashbourne opened up too easily.
The score stayed the same until half time, but after the restart Abbey put the game just beyond Ashbourne’s reach with two more goals to go into a 5-2 lead — the fifth coming from what looked to be an offside position.
Ashbourne showed great heart and came back firstly through a good strike by Jones from outside the box and then a penalty was awarded when Milward was through on goal and was brought down by the goalkeeper.
The stopper was shown a red card being shown and Bacon stepped up to convert the penalty.
However, it was too little too late and the visitors held on to progress to the next round.
Ashbourne are at home again when they entertain Vodafone Stoke. Players are asked to meet at 1.15pm for a 2.30pm kick-off.
HAVING drawn their first two games of the season, Ashbourne reserves hit the victory trail with a 4-0 defeat of hosts Real Medina.
Rich Coates scored a hattrick and veteran striker Ian Godfrey scored with a second half rocket.
Coates opened the scoring when his 30-yard shot was misjudged by the keeper.
The striker doubled the lad with a 20-yard shot before the break.
The lead was extended when Coates swept home John Ford’s pass from a tight angle.