ASHTON UNITED 2, ATHERTON COLLIERIES 2
Ashton United surrendered a two-goal lead as visitors Atherton Collieries mounted a brave fightback to earn a replay in their Emirates FA Cup, second qualifying round tie at Hurst Cross.
Colls had been two goals down midway through the first half after the Robins made a perfect start.
The scoring started as early as the sixth minute as a fine pass from Alex Byrne sent Louis Potts down the right touchline and picked out Mitchell Rose for an emphatic first-time finish registering his first goal for the club.
Centre forward Louis Mansell then sent a curling effort past the post for Colls after Rose’s pass has been intercepted and Alex Byrne’s pass picked out Marcus Cusani in space from where his attempted lob was easily caught.
Cusani’s cross then found Potts totally unmarked and with more time than his scuffed effort recognised but midway through the half good work on the edge of the area by Nathan Lowe saw Potts’ short pass reach James Caton who finished close in.
Eight minutes before the break Sean Newton picked up a booking for stopping the run of Mansell through the middle and full back Ben Rydel curled home a fine 20-yard finish to halve the deficit.
The game could have swung either way in the second period and Caton saw his left foot effort fisted away following a quick break before Cusani’s dangerous cross was just too far ahead of Keilen Adams and Lowe’s shot deflected wide off Jordan Fagbola.
With 15 minutes left, Cole Lonsdale conceded a corner which saw Dylan Moonan volley home the equaliser after some head tennis.
Moonan could have won the tie for Colls when his chip landed on the roof of the net while at the other end Luke Burke strode forward for the Robins only to see his 30-yard effort deflect out for a corner before a long throw in from Byrne saw Newton’s flick on lead to Adams whose header brought a fingertip save out from Jack Buckley and ensure the need for a replay on Tuesday.
Ashton United: Simpson, Cowan, Newton, Lonsdale, Burke, Rose, Byrne, Caton (Bianga 66), Potts (Adams 62), Lowe, Cusani. Subs (unused): Gilchrist, Abbott, Robbins, Seol.
Report: David Robinson.