ASHTON UNITED 5, MATLOCK TOWN 0
Ashton United registered their sixth successive home league win as a 5-0 victory against Matlock Town maintained third place in the Northern Premier League, premier.
Joe Robbins was drafted into midfield and was the only change from the defeat at Kidderminster Harriers in the Emirates FA Cup.
The Gladiators made the brighter start as Robbins blocked Joseph West’s ball into the area at the cost of an early corner. Another corner led to a second blocked effort this time from Alex Duhameau and the centre forward then forced a low save from Luke Simpson after collecting a long ball.
As the visitors continued to press, a long clearance needed Benny Couto to deny the league’s top scorer Jonathan Margetts.
Marcus Cusani’s pass then released James Hardy to round Saul Deeney before he was crowded out from a tight angle.
The Robins could have moved ahead after 25 minutes as a free kick was returned by Cusani and Jason Gilchrist’s clever overhead saw Dan Cowan put his header over the top from a great position.
Just before the half hour Cowan’s brave interception out of defence picked out the run of Cusani who cut inside before hitting an unstoppable effort into the top corner.
Five minutes after the restart and after Harry Wood’s shot from a clearing header was held under the bar before a quick break out of defence saw Gilchrist tee up Alex Byrne who cut inside before calmly sliding home against his former club.
The visitors could have pulled a goal back as Joshua Barnes shot was saved after Duhameau had knocked back Nathaniel Crofts’ cross.
But it was the home side who moved further ahead as Byrne’s long free kick was headed back across goal by Sean Newton leaving centre back partner Cowan an easy headed finish.
With one minute left fans’ favourite George Milner made a tremendous run from midfield and slid home his first goal for the club and in added time the persistence of Luke Burke saw him pull the ball back from the by line for James Hardy to swivel and hit home giving Robins’ fans much anticipation ahead of Saturday’s visit of league leaders Radcliffe.
Ashton United: Simpson, Cowan, Newton, Couto, Burke, Robbins (Milner 67), Byrne, Rose, Gilchrist (Potts 72), Cusani (Lonsdale 77), Hardy. Subs (unused): Baird, Bianga.
Report: David Robinson.