MATLOCK TOWN 1, ASHTON UNITED 1
Centre forward Keilen Adams rescued a point for Ashton United with a second half equaliser at Matlock’s Causeway Lane ground.
The Robins had a new face in goal in the shape of Tom Scott, signed on loan from FC Halifax Town, and handed a debut to loanee Lewis Thompson, borrowed from Spennymoor Town, on the left side of midfield.
They helped United earn a draw which keeps the Robins six points clear of the relegation places in Northern Premier League, premier.
On a dry playing surface, the hosts almost made the perfect start as Dan Bradley’s high ball into the area was miscontrolled by Alex Byrne before Harry Bunn was impeded on the edge of the area with Cole Lonsdale overhitting the free kick.
After seven minutes, Connor Dimaio made room for a cross which was headed against the post by John Johnston with the whistle blown for a push and Karl Demidh’s shot was then blocked by Sean Newton after a good passing move.
A left wing cross then saw Jack McKay’s header flick off Ioan Evans before it was cleared off the line by Jamie Sharman, but McKay was soon the cuprit as Ashton gifted away the opening goal with the wing back choosing to play a ball which would have run out of play only to slice his clearance to Demidh who headed home.
The Robins almost struck back as Adams saw his overhead kick go in off the post only for the referee to disallow the effort for a high kick against Sharman.
The second period started with a long throw in falling for Adams to volley over the top and Dimaio’s pass into the area found Harry Wakefield hitting the side netting – the same two players combining shortly afterwards only for Wakefield to be denied by Sam Baird’s last ditch tackle.
Just before the hour, a right-wing throw in saw substitute Nathan Lowe’s header emphatically converted on his right foot by Adams and with the game up for grabs substitute Jordan Slew played a one-two but fired well off target.
Slew was then denied close in by another Baird tackle and assistant manager Sean Newton exchanged passes with Lowe before firing a left foot swerver which cannoned away off the post.
Dimaio then unfortunately went down with a serious looking injury leaving the Gladiators down to 10 men which soon became nine as Robbie McNicholas saw red for halting Craig Hobson as the last man with Newton curling a disappointing free kick comfortably wide.
Ashton United: Scott, Milner, Newton, Lonsdale, Baird, Bunn, Gilchrist (Hobson 66), Whitham, Adams, McKay (Lowe 58), Thompson. Subs (not used): Baillie, Hough, Regan.
Report: David Robinson