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Match Report


Sat 15 Aug, 2009




Ashton United

Unibond League Premier Division
15 August 2009
City rue missed chances
by Ken Milgate

Durham City 0
Ashton United 1
Smith 46

Unlucky not to be in the lead at half-time, City conceded an early goal after the break and fell away from their first-half dominance while the visitors improved and contained City quite comfortably.
After Craig Turns had an easy save to smother Marlin Piana's shot on the turn, Tommy English took a Calvin Smith pass in his stride on 8minutes and from outside the box hit a shot that beat Terry Smith's left hand only to come back into play off the far post.
He followed this effort with a lofted shot before being involved in a three-man move with Stuart Elliott and debutant Chris Moore which resulted in a non-productive corner.
City continued to pile on the pressure but the final ball was letting them down.
After Piana had only connected weakly with a Matty O'Neill cross, City were again denied when on 36minutes Smith and English combined to set up Paul Brayson only for Craig Robinson to clear off his line the striker's lob over the advancing keeper.
Two minutes later Brayson took an English cross on the volley but fired wide off the far post before a Michael Laws free-header from an Elliott free-kick was directed straight at the keeper.
In a rare counter-attack O'Neill cut inside a minute before the interval only to clear the bar with a shot that Turns had covered all the way.
City's defence was all at sea shortly after the break when Ben Smith scored what proved to be the match winner with a low drive after O'Neill had been given too much room on the right wing before crossing where Gareth Richards hooked the ball into the danger area.
English hit two distance shots over the bar and Piana hit Turns' chest with a long-range effort before Chris Carr headed wide from an English free-kick.
The goal seemed to have rocked City but inspired Ashton; City lost possession with alarming frequency while the visitors seemed content to knock the ball about without unduly threatening to increase their lead.
The result is an undoubted disappointment for City especially with the additional cost of three bookings; there were, however, some promising moves in the first period, which is something to be savoured considering the many changes in personnel in recent weeks and the subsequent invalidity of so many pre-season friendlies as Lee Collings tries to assemble a squad for the next step up the pyramid.

Durham City - Turns, Laws, Newby, Dodds, Wilkinson, Carr, Moore, Elliott (Bonar 73), Brayson, English (Kevin Dixon 81), Smith
Subs not used - Ian Dixon, Marc Riches, Shaun Bell
Yellow cards - Elliott (58), Laws (69), Wilkinson (90)
Man of the match - Ross Wilkinson

Ashton United - Smith, Frost, Caldecott, Prescott (Hadfield 27), Robinson, Johnson, O'Neill (Moore 87), Smith, Richards (Kearney 90+2), Piana, Howard
Yellow cards - Caldecott (50), Richards (90+1)
Man of the match - Iain Howard

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