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> 10.11.2008

  Ashton United (0) 1   Hednesford Town (0) 0    

Ashton United Howard 61 (pen)

> Attendance   187 Current Form  WWWWL
 > MotM Stuart Brock

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Well, it had to end sometime.... The Pitmen's winning streak ended at a cold and damp Ashton this evening as a tired-looking Hednesford side relinquished their long winning run to an Ashton side that are looking to push on in their quest for a play-off place. Manager Dean Edwards brought in Sean Platt after Sam Hall's knock on Saturday against Worksop, although the youngster did make the bench. Chad Sheppard, who was also an injury doubt, made up the numbers amongst the replacements

The Pitmen started as they have done in many of the recent games - with a high tempo, looking to grab an early advantage. However, neither of the in-form strikers were able to make a telling contribution in the opening exchanges

Ross Dyer's best chance was from a looping header after eight minutes, but he could not get enough purchase on it to test Ashton keeper Terry Smith

Ashton grew in confidence after weathering the early pressure from the league leaders. Robbie Talbot, who scored in the Keys Park encounter a few weeks ago, was first to test the Pitmen's resolves with a long-range effort that was only a couple of yards wide of goal

Ashton's top scorer Iain Howard was next to try his luck, hitting a swerving shot from out wide that failed to trouble keeper Stuart Brock

The Pitmen responded with a Tyrone Barnett shot that was always going over after he was presented with a shooting chance by Platt on the edge of the penalty area

the closest the away side came to scoring in the first half was through playmaker Elliott Durrell on twenty seven minutes. His skill saw him pick up on a loose ball, before attempting to lift the ball over Smith, who was a number of yards out of his goal. However, Durrell's clever shot was turned over by a desperate stretch from Smith as he attempted to make up the yardage

The host's best chance of the half fell to Ian Kearney, who headed a high cross from Ian Bennett onto the top of Brock's crossbar on thirty seven minutes, although the experienced custodian appeared to have the effort covered

The Pitmen picked up the tempo ahead of the break, with Tom Marshall striding forward and hitting a thunderbolt of a shot from only a few yards inside the Ashton half. His rising shot was held by Smith as it headed for the roof of the net

Skipper Ross Draper was covering his usual mileage with a tidy display, and he had a good chance just before the break to add to his recent goal glut, but volleyed over the bar from a good position

The same player tested Smith right at the start of the second half, making a darting run to the edge of the area to collect Barnett's lay-off and fire in a shot that Smith turned away for a corner

The Pitmen were probing and pushing, but with Barnett and Dyer looking a shadow of their recent selves, most likely due to their efforts in the past couple of weeks, there was little in the way of an attacking outlet for the away side

Marshall created a great opening for the Pitmen ten minutes after the restart, making a barnstorming run down the left touchline by beating two Ashton players. He sent over an inviting cross, that was just out of reach for the onrushing Dyer and Sean Platt at the back post

Ashton sub Gareth Richards almost grabbed an opener with his first touch of the ball, but Brock came to the Pitmen's rescue with a magnificent instinctive save with his legs

A minute later, and the game's big decision arrived. Howard managed to get away from the Hednesford defence, and as he shaped to shoot, was brought down by the backtracking Decio Gomes. The referee had no doubt in awarding a penalty, which Howard took and fired into the left hand corner of Brock's net

Almost immediately, Edwards made a double substitution, bringing on David Brown and Adam Burley for Elliott Durrell and Danny Harvey respectively

That seemed to have little impact on the side, although Brown looked threatening with a number of runs down the right hand side in a twenty minute cameo

With the game entering the closing stages, Ashton thought they had wrapped up the three points when Richards played an instinctive ball through the Hednesford defence to the onrushing Howard, who fired across Brock and towards the far corner of the net. With a number of people already celebrating, the ball dribbled wide of the post by a matter of inches

Back came the Pitmen, as they searched for a late leveller. Draper, who seemed to have assumed the responsibility of having all of the Pitmen's efforts, pulled a shot over the bar after being set up by Maguire with eight minutes remaining

After winning a late, late corner, Maguire wasted a great opportunity by firing well over the bar, followed by a shot from sub Hall that was well held by Smith

The Pitmen's run ends, then, but with a healthy gap back to second placed Kendal, who come to Keys Park on Saturday, there is plenty still to be positive about cds

Kendal Town (H)

15.11.2008
Team Mins On   On/Off For   Goals Top Scorer Barnett (11)
.1 Stuart Brock 90 .. .. .
.2 Sean Platt 90

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. UniBond Premier League 10.11.2008
.3 Anthony Maguire 90

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. Top Half
.4 Decio Gomes 90 .. .. Pos Team Played Points
.5 Danny Harvey 68

Burley.

. 1st HEDNESFORD 18 39
.6 Tom Marshall 90 .

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2nd Kendal Town 16 31
.7 Mark Briggs  81

Hall

. 3rd Guiseley 14 30
.8 Elliott Durrell 68

Brown

. 4th Marine 17 30
.9 Tyrone Barnett 90

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5th Ashton United 17 27
.10 Ross Dyer 90 .

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6th Ilkeston Town 15 27
.11 Ross Draper 90

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7th North Ferriby 16 26
Substitutes

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8th Bradford P A 16 25
.12 David Brown

22

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Durrell

. . 9th Nantwich Town  15 24
.14 Scott Stamps 0

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. 10th Eastwood Town 12 22

.15

Sam Hall 9

Briggs

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.16

Adam Burley 22

 Harvey

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.17

Chad Sheppard 0

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