Ashton bring Seagulls back to earth
AFTER flying high as league leaders with last Saturday's fine win at North Ferriby, Colwyn Bay were brought down to earth with a 3-0 home defeat against new table-toppers Ashton United tonight.
The scoreline was a little harsh, however, as Ashton scored two second half goals on the break to seal the points, after snatching the lead from a corner eight minutes before half-time.
But player-boss Dave Challinor admitted: "It was a harsh lesson on how to win a football match and one we have to learn from."
And he warned: "Other teams know we have pace up front and are going to come here like Ashton and park players on the 18 yard line, and we have to learn to deal with that better than we did tonight.
"In the first half I thought we passed the ball well, with Jon Newby and Luke Denson a threat down the right. But the quality of our play in the final third wasn't good enough and then we got caught by a sucker punch with their first goal just before half-time.
"That meant we had to chase the game a bit and they've caught us on the break twice to give them a flattering scoreline.
"Unfortunately our options up front are rather limited at the moment. We are working hard to try and bring in a big forward to give us some height and strength down the middle and I am talking to a couple of players this week, but I'm not sure if anything will happen before Saturday.
"Bradford Park Avenue will be another tough test for us, but we'll take what we've learnt from tonight into training on Thursday and work on the areas that we need to improve."
Ashton manager Danny Johnson, in fact, was very complimentary about the Bay afterwards.
"You have got a good team here, I was impressed," he told me.
"The scoreline flattered us a bit, but we scored with a couple of great strikes in the second half and we have been very strong in defence to keep clean sheets in the two games we've played so far. We didn't allow Colwyn Bay to create much tonight and we didn't allow Burscough to create anything last Saturday - and that is pleasing from my point of view."
Ashton are certainly strong and solid at the back, although they don't mind showing a physical side as well.
They set the tone for the first half with a booking after just 23 seconds when Ged Murphy went straight through Damien Allen with the first tackle of the game.
They had two more players booked before half-time and were lucky it wasn't more in a half littered with free kicks, but although Colwyn Bay had a couple of spells of good possession they couldn't create a clear cut opening.
Mick McGraa was narrowly too high with a long range shot, but with no height up front they had to try and pass their way through or around the opposition and struggled to do that.
Too many crosses were hung up in the air and were easy for keeper Terry Smith and big defenders Stephen Rose and Craig Robinson to deal with.
Having said that Ashton had not really posed a threat prior to snatching the lead from a left wing corner on 37 minutes.
A very late linesman's flag pulled play back for the corner after keeper Chris Sanna had dived on the ball on the byline and then cleared upfield, and Ashton capitalised when Matty O'Neill headed goalwards and Lee Steele, standing right in front Sanna, got the faintest of touches to divert the ball over the line.
Colwyn Bay tried to press forward at the start of the second half without much success and were caught on the break to concede a second goal on 63 minutes.
Raiding full back Danny Caldecott broke down the left and his deep cross picked out the unmarked O'Neill to score with a fine finish.
The Bay introduced attacking substitutes Alex Titchiner, Ben Jones and Joe O'Sullivan from the bench and again pressed hard, but Damien Allen shot wide after a good run into the area and Karl Noon got himself into a good position only to miscue a weak shot straight at the keeper.
Ashton then broke away again on 77 minutes to kill the game off with a third goal as Liam Dawson cleverly turned his marker and hit a left foot shot past Sanna into the corner of the net.
There was no way back for the Bay after that, although Allen was inches away from a late consolation goal with a well struck free kick.
Colwyn Bay: Sanna, Denson, Beattie, Challinor, Grannon, McGraa (O'Sullivan 71mins), Sheridan (Titchiner 60mins), Allen, Noon, Newby (Jones 70mins), McLachlan. Subs not used: Brandreth, Metcalf.
Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Ashton bring Seagulls back to earth.
TrackBack URL for this entry: