Robins Win League Cup
Ashton United won their first piece of silverware under Danny Johnson’s leadership with a deserved victory against Northwich Victoria at Witton Albion’s Wincham Park on Saturday.
Aaron Burns netted the all important goal just six minutes from time just when it appeared that Vics keeper James Spencer had single-handedly kept his side in the game with some excellent saves, he even saved an injury time penalty, but Ashton comfortably held on to claim the trophy.
Ashton dominated the game for long periods but it was Northwich that had the first effort on goal when a poor clearance from Terry Smith fell to Andy Fowler, whose shot went tamely wide.
Burns, back in the starting line up for the first time in six weeks tried an attempted lob soon after with Spencer making a comfortable catch.
The Robins kept the pressure up and Craig Robinson was first to meet a Danny Caldecott corner, but the skipper headed wide under pressure from the Vics defence.
Burns was presented with a good chance when Liam Dawson played him in on the right, but Spencer managed to tip his effort away and then when Louis Barnes sold his keeper short, Burns was denied by some brave keeping.
Ian Bennett and Ged Murphy bossed the midfield and a typical run at the heart of the Vics backline by Bennett ended with a pass that set up Burns, but once more Spencer proved equal to the challenge to save a gilt edged chance.
Ryan Crowther fired a free kick straight at the overworked Spencer before Northwich had a couple of half chances near the break that saw Smith save after a run and shot by Wayne Riley, and Tony Evans glanced a header wide from a cross by Graeme Law.
Early in the second half, Crowther won a header on the edge of the area to set up Dawson, but Spencer made the save.
A long ball from right back then found Burns again, but was thwarted by Spencer and another chance came and went when Crowther crossed to find Bennett, whose shot went wide.
Burns had another attempt saved by Spencer before Smith produced another moment of fine goalkeeping as he tipped a long range effort from Woolfe over the bar.
The resulting corner from Woolfe saw Monteiro head wide of the target.
Sam Madeley entered the fray in the more familiar strikers role after donning the goalkeeping gloves at Victoria Stadium the previous Monday and he had a great chance to open the scoring when Burns won a vital tackle inside the Vics half and unleashed the jet heeled striker through on goal, but Spencer stood tall and saved his effort.
The Robins cheered and drummed on by their fanatical following were finally rewarded when Burns received a through ball on the left and with Spencer out to narrow the angle, Burns kept his cool and rolled the ball through the keepers legs and into the net. The players ran to celebrate with their delirious fans for an unforgettable moment marred slightly by the referee awarding a yellow card to Burns on his return to the pitch.
Ashton could have been forgiven for resting on their one goal lead, but instead controlled the rest of the game despite going down to ten men when Bennett was carried off and when Barnes brought down Jonathon Bathurst in injury time, Dawson had the chance to clinch the game from the spot.
Spencer rubber stamped his man of the match performance by guessing the right way to deny Dawson, but soon after the referee blew his whistle to spark wild celebrations from the Ashton party.
Craig Robinson lifted the first trophy the Robins had won in eight years, a fitting end to a roller coaster season for the Robins.
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