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Match Report: Radcliffe 2-5 Ashton United

Credit: Barkley Costello

The Robins of Ashton turned in one of their best performances in recent years to convincingly beat the Champions elect despite conceding almost immediately after the kick off.

Captain Nathan Lowe was restored in the absence of the suspended Brad Abbott and the hosts started with a strong wind at their back playing down the slope of the Neuven Stadium.

Just 35 seconds were on the clock as Brad Jackson made a run down the right wing and saw his cross headed home at the near post by leading scorer Jordan Hulme - 2 ex-Robins combining to put the home side ahead. Within 8 minutes the visitors had drawn level as Lowe's shot which was heading narrlowly wide was cleverly diverted inside the post by Alex Byrne after good build up play between James Hardy and Warren Clarke. Midway through the half Paul Cooper got down low to keep out Josh Hancock's effort and as the rain got heavier ten minutes ahead of the break Hardy robbed slipping centre back Olly Thornley and saw his cross converted by Kielen Adams on the 6 yard line.

The home side made a couple of half time changes and within 3 mintes had won a corner which saw Nicky Adams's deep delivery headed just beyond the far post by Thornley but 2 minutes later the Robins extended their advantage as Lowe fired home superbly from the edge of the area after Jason Gilchrist and Clarke had combined to good effect. Byrne again went close as he fired into Hewelt's arms following Adams' pullback and at the other end sub Jake Thompson found space for a fierce effort which Cooper palmed away.

WIth 15 minutes left Radcliffe were handed a lifeline as Gilchrist's pass into his own area sold Sean Newton short and he conceded a spot kick bringing down Anthony Dudley with Hancock scoring confidently into the corner. 6 minutes later Dudley volleyed over the top after a possible foul on Lowe and Scott Duxbury caught hold of a shot from the edge of the area which was well tipped over.

With 4 minutes remaining Hardy made the points safe rounding the keeper after good play between Gilchrist and Adams and the icing was put on the win as Lowe was brought down for a penalty converted by Byrne for his second goal of the afternoon.

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