ATHERTON COLLIERIES 2, ASHTON UNITED 0

THERE was no happy return to Atherton Collieries for Michael Clegg as Ashton United’s recent wobble continued.

The Robins have picked up only one point from their last three games in Northern Premier League, premier division to slip to 10th having been second a couple of weeks ago.

Colls ran out deserved winners with a goal in each half at the Skuna Stadium.

Ashton handed a first full start to Mike Phenix leading the line in the absence of Callum Saunders who was named on the bench and the hosts started with ex-Robin Aaron Smith up front alongside former Stalybridge striker Scott Bakkor.

The visitors started playing down the slope, but it was the home side first to threaten as Smith’s corner was headed over by Danny Lafferty.

Just before the half hour, Bakkor raced onto a long ball but put his shot over the bar under pressure from Sam Sheridan and then Sam Baird then needed to clear in front of Greg Hartley.

The breakthrough came eight minutes before the break when Bakkor’s pass slid Smith in for a low finish after an uncharacteristically misplaced pass from Matty Regan.

Joe Robbins provided Ashton’s first effort hitting a bouncing effort wide following a long ball.

Smith’s high ball was then superbly brought down by Bakkor before he was crowded out.

After the restart, Gareth Peet’s overlapping cross won a corner which required the near post delivery to be fisted away by Hartley and Robbins’ shot was then blocked by Lafferty for a corner.

With six minutes left, Max Harrop sent Robbins into the area where he cut onto his right foot and brought a low save out from Nick Defreitas-Hansen, the former Swansea City player and USA Under 16 and Denmark U19 international.

A through ball then saw Saunders surprisingly given onside before he was denied by Joel Amado’s block.

In added time Oli Brown was brought down by Ben Hardcastle in the area with Lafferty emphatically converting into the top corner.

Bakkor could have made things worse regaining the ball from Sam Baird, but he was unable to add a third goal.

Ashton United: Hartley, Battersby (Baillie 58), Lonsdale, Sheridan (Hough 74), Regan, Baird, Robbins, Brewster, Phenix (Saunders 66), Hardcastle, Harrop. Subs (not used): Coates, Warren. 

Report: David Robinson

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