LANCASTER CITY 2, ASHTON UNITED 1
Ashton United were denied their fourth successive draw in Northern Premier League, premier as a second-half defensive mix-up handed a winning goal to Lancaster City at the Giant Axe.
The Robins, with three points from a possible 12, have slipped to seventh place but remain only outside the play-offs on goal difference.
Lancaster, meanwhile, ended a run of four games without a goal as they are 11th and five points adrift of the top five.
James Caton was handed a start in midfield with Sam Baird drafted into the defence as the game got off to a slow start on a surface made tricky by persistent recent rain.
Lancaster had a penalty shout turned away as Baird challenged Jacob Holland-Wilkinson and full back Sam Bailey fired in a bouncing effort which needed Tom Scott to palm it away.
After 25 minutes, Sean Newton’s pass from the back saw keeper Andre Mendes repel Alex Byrne’s cross with Caton firing the rebound over and Byrne himself then got insufficient contact on Nathan Lowe’s first time cross.
Newton then rescued his defence after a loose pass by Dan Cowan and at the other end Newton’s curling cross was just too high for Keilen Adams’ far post header.
With the interval approaching, Charlie Bailey won a corner from Baird and the dropping ball was volleyed home by Holland-Wilkinson to finally end the home side’s goal drought.
Ashton opened the second period by winning a corner off home captain Andrew Teague and when Byrne’s deep delivery reached Newton he levelled matters up with a stooping header.
A raking effort from Sam Bailey then needed Scott to palm it out and the full back played a one-two with Teague on the edge of the box before just missing the left-hand post.
On the hour, Teague’s header brought a good save from Scott after Charlie Bailey’s deflected shot had won a corner but with 20 minutes remaining a pass into Ashton’s area saw Cowan turn the ball back towards Scott who was already advancing and unable to prevent the ball crossing the line for the winning goal.
Ashton United: Scott, Cowan (Jebbison 84), Newton, Couto (Cusani 77), Burke, Baird, Byrne, Rose, Adams, Lowe, Caton (Milner 63). Subs (unused): Catt, De Silva.
Report: David Robinson.