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Ashville Edged Out By League Leaders

Ashville put in a valiant display against league leaders Brocton but came up short.

Villa faced their biggest challenge of the season on Saturday as they welcomed league leaders Brocton to Ray Parker Stadium.

The hosts started off spritely with Peter Morgan nearly taking full advantage of some poor defending on 3 minutes. Connor Courtnell's low cross was slashed at, and missed, by two Brocton defenders before landing at the feet of Morgan who pulled his shot wide.

Despite putting the league leaders under heavy fire in the opening 20 minutes, Ashville just couldn't find the back of the net. Nathan Haynes saw a shot blocked from close range after a succession of corners but Brocton held firm.

This resulted in another corner which was cleared off the line, the closest Villa would come to breaking the deadlock.

After a shaky start, the visitors started to find their rhythm and created some good chances. Smith hitting the bar on 25 minutes should of been a wake up call for Ashville.

Just after the half hour mark Brocton finally got in front when Morgan Payne was played through one on one with Dixon, emphatically firing the ball into the roof of the net.

The second half would start off the same way as the first, with Villa pushing Brocton back into their own half.

This renewed vigour saw Courtnell whip in a brilliant cross to an unmarked Haynes. The midfielder, filling in on the wing, will feel he should of done better as he saw his goal bound flick go straight at Allsopp.

Five minutes later and we saw the first real opportunity of the day for Ben Greenop. The striker won the First Division South Player Of The Month award for September and was gifted an opportunity as he pounced on a poor defensive header meant for Allsopp. Unfortunately the angle was too tight and Allsopp got down well to prevent Greenop sliding the ball under him.

Two minutes later and that miss would prove to be costly as Payne worked his way past the Villa back line and fired his and Brocton's second in off the bar.

From that point on Ashville chased the game like greyhounds after a rabbit and got their reward on 85 minutes when Connor Courtnell took aim from 25 yards, his effort bouncing awkwardly in front of Allsopp who spilled the ball into the bottom corner.

The final five minutes, alongside five minutes of added time, saw Ashville pepper the Brocton defence but the league leaders just wouldn't break a second time.

Brocton nearly inadvertently added a third when a clearance from 65 yards had enough juice on it to nearly lob Dixon, the Ashville keeper recovering just in time to see the ball bounce over his goal.

It was a heartbreaking loss for Villa but a very spirited performance and on another day the result could of been very different.

Ashville are next in action today (Monday 16th October) when they travel away to Maine Road once again, this time in the Macron Cup first round before welcoming West Yorkshire outfit, Glasshoughton Welfare to Ray Parker Stadium in the Isuzu FA Vase first round proper. Tickets can be bought for the FA Vase game now on the clubs website

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