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Match Report: Ashton United 1-2 Ilkeston Town

Credit: Nigel Wood

Ashton United’s play-off hopes were dented as the Pitching In Northern Premier League’s form side were beaten in controversial circumstances in Saturday’s Battle of The Robins. 

Steve Cunningham’s side had the first chance as Al Byrne set off on one of his trademark runs down the right, found Dan Cowan at the back post who nodded it down to Jason Gilchrist who couldn’t convert from six yards. 

Moments later, the first of the controversies came as Ilkeston’s left back Jamie Walker slid in late on Byrne, leaving the Robin’s winger with two feet in his chest but a yellow card was produced by the referee. 

Tempers flared as the referee allowed more to be let go without punishment, Kielen Adams was through on goal only to be sithed down by Callum Minkley, but the centre half got away without being taken into the notebook and the resulting free-kick ended wide from Byrne. 

The Derbyshire based outfit, took the lead bang on the hour mark as a mis-possession from dependable midfielder Mitch Rose allowed the visitors to break, and after a superb double save from Robins keeper Paul Cooper fell fowl of former Grantham striker’s Jonathan Wafula’s right boot. 

A double change came at the break for Steve Cunningham but it was the visitors that doubled their lead eight minutes into the second period, as Tom Cursons tapped home unmarked at the back post. 

The Robins claimed a consolation goal as a great strike from 30 yards with his weak foot saw Benny Couto fire home for the left back’s third goal of the season. 

The controversy was compounded as top-goal scorer Jason Gilchrist was shown a straight red for an elbow. 

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