ASHBOURNE FC 4
ASHBOURNE FC returned to winning ways after consecutive defeats with a comfortable victory away to Foley on Saturday, which puts them back in the top five of the Staffordshire County Senior League Division One.
The visitors started slowly as they struggled to get to grips with Foleys 3-5-2 formation, and the home side were getting a lot of joy in midfield with the extra man.
After 10 minutes, Liam Gibson failed to clear a ball across the box, and John Ford tried to make up for the mistake but unfortunately brought down the Foley striker.
However, the resulting penalty saw Jones tip the ball onto the bar, and the ball stayed out — much to Ashbourne’s relief.
Ashbourne were forced into an early change when Nick Birds was forced off with the reoccurrence of an ankle injury picked up the previous week — he was replaced by Kevin Milward on the right of midfield.
Ashbourne took the lead after 30 minutes when a ball into the box was bouncing around, and when a Foley defender tried to clear, he only succeeded in putting it in his own net.
The goal seemed to settle the visitors and they doubled their lead when Sean Milward received the ball on the edge of the area and he turned inside on his weaker left foot before curling a delightful effort into the top corner.
In the second half, conditions made it hard for Ashbourne’s defenders, while a lowering sun made it very difficult to see any balls in the air.
Once again the visitors were slow out of the blocks with Jones having to make a couple of decent saves to maintain the advantage.
Rich Wright came on to replace Bacon, and soon afterwards any doubts that Ashbourne had about winning the game were forgotten as they extended their lead.
Sam Howard got the ball on the right and delivered a fantastic ball into the box, and Paul Spencer timed his run perfectly to guide the ball past the goalkeeper from six yards out.
Five minutes later it was 4-0 with a very similar goal, this time it was Kevin Milward who produced the cross and Spencer again was on hand at the back post to side foot the ball home for his second of the game.
Ashbourne still had to be on their guard as Foley continued to come forward but they stood firm.
Martyn Taylor came on to replace Ford for the last 10 minutes and Ashbourne looked to cruise home.
However, Foley did net a consolation goal when good play down the left saw space open up and a shot came in from the edge of the area that flew past Jones and into the top corner.
Overall this was a job well done for Ashbourne, in far from ideal conditions, and they will now be looking to go on another unbeaten run and push up the league.
On Saturday they are away to Ripley in the Derbyshire Cup, players to meet at 11.30am for a 1.15pm kick-off.