Ashton Athletic 2 Maine Road 2
2 points dropped as Yellows rue missed chances.
Ashton Athletic welcomed Maine Road to Brocstedes Park for their first home game and Road's first league game of the season. The Yellows were without captain Paul Watson, midfielders Joel Brownhill and Sam Bailey, as well as striker Adam Gilchrist. Ashton were also welcoming 2 former Yellows in Louis Edwards and Paul Casey back to Brocstedes Park.
Maine Road had the better of the open few minutes when they went close with a corner in the first 3 minutes. The Yellows then got a foothold on the game and had chances from Isaac Kusaloka, Danny Regan and Matt Farnworth to take the lead but were unable to find the back of the net. Road had a couple of chances in the middle of the half on either side of a Kusaloka shot that went straight at the keeper. A 2nd poor back pass in 2 games from the Ashton defence could have lead to Eder Ruiz-Villasante opening the dead lock, but the Sky Blues striker couldn't find the target. The Yellows were still looking to break the deadlock towards the end of the first half and had 2 more chances before half time. Danny Regan fired a shot straight at Ryan Livesey and Isaac Kusaloka shot wide from the edge of the area.
HT: Ashton Athletic 0 Maine Road 0
Maine Road started the second half brighter than they ended the first, but it was Ashton who had the first chance of the half. Isaac Kusaloka once again with the chance but turning with the ball to fire wide of the post. A minute after Isaac's chance, Maine Road went up the other end of the pitch to open the deadlock. A cross from the left hand side falling to Eder Ruiz-Villasante to slot the ball home under Martin Pearson and Luke Holden. The lead lasted 2 minutes when a free kick was sent into the Maine Road box and Isaac Kusaloka collected the ball with his back to goal, turned and fired the ball into the back of the net. The Yellows could have gone ahead 2 minutes later. Danny Regan working his way into the Road box only for Isaac to shoot wide. Ashton were almost made to rue those misses with 2 chances in close succession for Road. Joshua Tinker firing a shot over Pearson's bar.
Ashton took the lead in the 57th minute. A Danny Smith corner hit Luke Holden at the far post. The ball fell to Isaac who lofted the ball goalwards only for it to hit the bar and fall back to a waiting Kusaloka who smashed the ball into the back of the net. Both teams had chances to add to the scoreline. Danny Smith heading over before Michael Burke and Ryan Steel brought saves from Martin Pearson, the effort from Steel tipped over the bar from a fine save from Pearson. Isaac had more chances to grab his hattrick but he couldn't find a way past Ryan livesey and Matt Farnworth had a shot deflected wide before ex Yellow Louis Edwards came back to haunt his old club by headin the equaliser 6 minutes before full time. A needless free kick was given away by the Yellows' defence on the left hand touchline and the free kick was aimed at the back post where Edwards rose above Calum Wilson to head the ball home and level the scores to give both teams a point.
Ashton Athletic: Danny Regan, Chris Webster, Danny Smith, Aaron Cringle
Maine Road: Jamie Roe, Louis Edwards
FT Ashton Athletic 2 Maine Road 2