LEEK TOWN YOUTH 1
ASHBOURNE FC 2
ASHBOURNE FC picked up their second win in succession on Saturday when they won 2-1 away at Leek Town Youth, with goals from Steve Williams and Charles Mann enough to ensure they came away with all three points, writes STEVE SELLERS.
Ashbourne made their usual slow start to the game and, after Leek had already hit the post, found themselves a goal down inside 15 minutes when a ball from midfield slipped in between the defence found the Leek front man and he took a touch before finishing into the corner from 12 yards out.
Ashbourne tried to get the ball down, with new signing Mark Jones and Paul Spencer making themselves available in midfield, but this was made difficult by the home side pressing and also the hard surface meaning the ball was bouncing around.
Leek played with three players in central midfield so this gave Ashbourne more space out wide and full backs Rich Wright and Steve Sellers were always available and tried to start attacks, with Sellers linking up well with Sean Milward, and Wright and Williams doing the same down the left.
Ashbourne equalised after 35 minutes, despite not being at their best, when a ball over the top found the run of Williams, and with the keeper bearing down on him he produced a lovely lob which nestled in the back of the net from the edge of the box to level the scores.
However, sloppiness continued to plague the visitors’ performance and it nearly cost them just before the break when an attempted backpass by Martyn Taylor cannoned off fellow centreback Liam Gibson.
The ball fall in the path of the home striker, but quick goalkeeping by Alex Harris in goal ensured that the danger was averted.
The second half was similar to the first with not a lot of football being played and a scrappy affair developing, with clear-cut chances at a premium.
With the game not going anywhere Ashbourne decide to make changes, with Dec Bacon replacing Spencer and Sam Howard coming on for Baran, who worked hard on the right on midfield.
With 25 minutes remaining Ashbourne scored what proved to be the winner when a free-kick from the left fell to Mann at the back post, and although his effort seemed to have been saved by the goalkeeper, the linesman ruled that when saving the shot he had crossed the goalline with the ball so the goal was awarded.
After this Ashbourne were on the back foot and Leek pushed forward in search of an equaliser, with Harris coming out to deny the home side on a couple of occasions.
The visitors began to tire with Stuart Godfrey replacing Mann but Ashbourne struggled to get hold of the ball and Leek kept attacking.
Hpwever, they failed to create many clear-cut chances and Ashbourne held on for a hard fought victory.
On Saturday Ashbourne play their first home game of the season as they entertain Sandbach United, players to meet at 1.15pm for kick off at 2.30pm.