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Youth up for another cup

Last season’s league champions Ashton Athletic arrived at St Bride’s Field struggling to match the standard last year’s team had set.

A defeat last week in the Lancashire FA County Cup at Penwortham symptomatic of the problems faced. They were however keen to put a run together in this competition, the Neil Thomason Memorial Cup.

Both teams had received byes to this stage; round 2, FC United benefiting from uneven numbers of teams in the competition and Ashton by virtue of a Bury Amateurs’ default. Eagle eyed youth watchers may remember an extra time thriller between FC United and Bury last year.

The first six minutes were nervous exchanges on a soft pitch as both teams adapted to the conditions. Ashton were clearly the first to do so, opening the scoring as a long ball was played hopefully down the right wing.

There was plenty of time to clear the danger but having failed to do so Grant Whitfield took charge and cut into the penalty area to slot past the keeper.

This stirred the Reds into life and started to take control of the game, although the first shot on target didn’t come until the 18th minute when a Gage Eme free kick from the corner of the box was comfortably held by Lee Novak in the Ashton goal.

Novak was called into action shortly afterwards when Josh Parkinson broke from left back. Whether his effort was a cross or a shot is not clear, but without an agile save the ball was arrowing into the top corner by the far post.

In the 24th minute the keeper’s handling was less secure when after a Sam Freakes corner was cleared by the Ashton defence, the same player looped the ball back into the penalty area. Novak came and got a touch but only towards Jamie Mack who headed the equaliser. Ashton sought to respond immediately but shot wide.

The remainder of the first half drifted by with little goalmouth action apart from when Tim Marshall intercepted the ball in midfield and hit a superb cross field ball to Sam out on the left wing. His snap shot looked goal bound but narrowly missed the target.

FC United dominated the second half with Ashton Athletic only having one chance, hitting the bar late on.

Shortly after the second half started FC took the lead as Jamie Mack won the ball out on the right shrugging off the attentions of several defenders before crossing for Gary Nolan to open his account, fooling Novak with a miss hit shot.

Several half chances came and went before Jamie burst through a static Ashton defence near the half way line and set off for the goal. Sam, ever keen to lend his assistance ran with him and tapped home the cross as the defenders recovered to catch up with Jamie, sadly in his enthusiasm, Sam failed to stay onside and the goal was disallowed.

The scoring was completed in the 86th minute when substitute Toby Iloba stretched to toe-poke a pass from Sam into the net.


FC United of Manchester

1. Grant Shenton (Cautioned 73 minutes)
2. Ryan Lyons
3. Josh Parkinson
4. Tim Marshall
5. Nick Swirad
6. John Buckley
7. Mark Reeves
8. Gage Eme
9. Gary Nolan (Goal 47 minutes)
10. Jamie Mack (Goal 24 minutes)
11. Sam Freakes
Substitutes
12. Barry Davies
14. Ashley Reece
15. Shaun Williams
16. Kyle McDonagh (For 10, 88 Minutes)
17. Toby Iloba (For 9, 84 minutes) (Goal 86 minutes)


Ashton Athletic

1. Lee Novak
2. Tommy Awosanya
3. Matt Ward
4. Callum Williams
5. Chris Banasko
6. Ben Beresford
7. Grant Whitfield (Goal 7 minutes)
8. Elliot Slingsby
9. Roshga Hama Saeed Mousa
10. Mark Dumbell
11. Phil Williams

Substitutes
12. Curtis Neylon
14. Dean Robinson


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First Posted ~ 17:23 Tue 27 Jan 2009
News ID ~ 2041
Last Updated ~ 17:14 Fri 11 Oct 2013