Source: Tameside Advertiser
Ashton fell just short on their Boxing Day visit to Gigg Lane to face play-off hopefuls FC United.
They made the worse possible start as, with just three minutes on the clock, Matty Wolfenden controlled a through ball and struck his shot against the bar, ex-Curzon striker Mike Norton knocking home the rebound.
After 10 minutes, Mark Peers pulled the ball back for Ian Bennett whose left-footed effort was blocked before Warren Beattie volleyed over.
A couple of minutes later a great crossfield pass from Peers found Chris Amadi, who outpaced the full-back and hit a fine finish past James Spencer goal to level.
Midway through the half a long cross by Lee Neville saw Nicky Platt head wide for FC and Carlos Roca was then fouled by George Melling, the resultant free kick being headed wide by Adam Jones.
On the half-hour Wolfenden’s searching cross was too high for Norton and Stephen Johnson’s follow up hit the side netting.
Neville then won a challenge in midfield and fired off target from 20 yards.
The ball was then deflected through to Jones, whose near post effort was blocked as the home side continued to press.
After the restart a ball into the area by Peers saw Aaron Burns beat his marker and fire narrowly wide from a tight angle.
At the other end, a cross by Wolfenden was headed back across goal and as the Ashton defence stood and watched, the ball dropped to Neville who scored with a left-footed effort from six yards.
Amadi then played the ball through to Ian Bennett, whose effort was saved by Spencer and Burns then had his deflected effort saved.
Wolfenden played the ball square to Roca who fired over from 20 yards.
Amadi was then fouled resulting in a free kick which dropped to Burns who fired home, only for the goal to be disallowed for dangerous play.
Midway through the half, a long ball found Norton completely unmarked on the penalty spot.
He controlled the ball and set up Johnson, whose effort was blocked and Norton fired the rebound wide.
With 15 minutes left on the clock Amadi made great progress to pull the ball back to Burns, who looked certain to equalise, but saw his effort denied by a superb save from Spencer.
As Ashton pressed for the equaliser, FC broke away and substitute Daniel Grimshaw was played clear by Norton only to screw his effort wide.