Report by Rod Hadley:
Alan Nagington gets on the scoresheet with the opening goal
After Ashton United were gifted an equaliser late in the game the Pitmen progressed to the fourth round of the Unibond League Cup with two goals during the extra time period.
The visitors were nearly gifted a goal in the opening minutes of the game when Paul Robinson placed a header back towards Rene Gilmartin unaware that Chris Coward was waiting to pounce on any mistake. The Pitmen keeper was however alert to the danger and just managed to get a hand on the ball to push it away.
Linden Dovey went close with a speculative shot from the right which went across the face of the goal and out for a corner kick on the left. Dovey turned provider minutes later when he turned on the edge of the box to lay the ball back to Anthony Maguire to hit a first time shot which went just wide of the right hand post.
Alan Nagington scored in the 27th minute his first goal for club since his move during the summer from Leek Town. A pass from midfield found Nagington on the right, he played a good ball back inside for Wayne Dyer to run onto and hit a fierce shot from the edge of the box. Damien Rooney the Ashton keeper could only parry the ball back down to Nagington who was relieved to see his half hit shot trickle over the line.
Maguire who had made the switch to Keys Park from Leek Town earlier in the day forced Rooney to turn another shot around the post for a corner kick. At the start of the second half a Maguire corner kick found Chad Sheppard 20 yards from goal, he hit a shot which was deflected to Nagington who looked offside but play continued only for Rooney to make a save, the ball dropping to a defender to clear upfield.
Liam Mcmanus was cautioned for a foul on Chad Sheppard in the 50th minute
Damien Rooney left his area to clear a loose ball from the PItmen and the ashton keeper hit a great pass through to Tommy Taylor who was denied a goal by a Gilmartin save conceding a corner in the process. The Pitmen keeper was soon in action again when he saved a shot from the left by Iain Howard which Ross Adams tidied up by conceding another corner kick.
In the 59th minute a fast break out of defence by Ashton resulted in Chris Coward missing a chance from inside the six yard box when he hit a cross from the right over the crossbar.
Dave Brown who came on for Linden Dovey after 60 minutes play attempted to bring some extra pace to the attack and after making a n attacking run from the half way line he was stopped in his tracks by a challenge which resulted in a free kick for the Pitmen. Sheppard’s free kick was headed away for a corner by Gary Furnival.
Ashton’s Danny Caldecott needed lengthy treatment after a tackle from Paul Robinson brought him down just outside the penalty area. The tackle resulted in a yellow card for the Pitmen’s captain and as a result of picking up 5 cautions since the start of the season he will miss the Wolves BCFA Senior Cup tie.
Rene Gilmartin made a number of fine saves to keep the Pitmen in front, especially one from Tommy Taylor in the 74th minute but he was powerless to stop Ashton equalising in the 77th minute when substitute Tim Sanders hit a poor back pass straight to Chris Coward and the Aston centre forward did not waste the gift presented to him as he tapped the ball home into an empty net.
Iain Howard picked up a yellow card for hand ball when he caught a ball which was to high for him to head,
With extra time looming both teams pushed for a winner, first Nagington was unlucky when his shot from the right was stopped on the line by Gianluca Havern then at the other end Gilmartin made another good save to deny Coward a goal when he saved his close range header then Howard hit over the crossbar his following up shot.
The game went into extra time and it was only four minutes old when Alan Nagington broke down the left wing, he sent a cross to the back post where Tom Ward headed the ball back into the six yard box for Wayne Dyer to score his first goal for the club from close range.
With the first half of the extra time period closing Gilmartin made another good save when he clung onto a dangerous cross into the box by Steve Garvey
In the second period of extra time Nagington crashed a header against the crossbar from a David Brown cross. The ball dropped to Tom Ward who with the goal at his mercy lost control of the ball and a great chance to put the game beyond Ashton’s reach was lost.
Wards miss nearly proved costly as shortly after Gilmartin spoiled a good performance by fumbling a corner which presented a scoring opportunity to Ashton. The visitors thought they had equalised for the second time in the game but a fiercely hit shot was cleared off the line.
The game was eventually sown up with six minutes to go when Tom Ward came off best in a 50/50 challenge with Rooney and with an open goal in front of him Alan Nagington took the ball of his foot to tap home himself and score the ultimate poachers goal.