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Late Goal Denies Ashville Win

Ten man Sandbach United fought back to steal a late draw against Ashville.

Ashville saw another opportunity to climb the table fade away on Saturday afternoon after they surrendered a one goal lead in the final minutes in Cheshire.

Sandbach started the better of the two teams but it was a fairly even affair that was mostly played in midfield.

It would be Ashville who found a breakthrough however. With 18 minutes on the clock a deep whipping free kick from Josh Maldon found an unmarked Ben Greenop, Ashville's star striker heading the away side into the lead.

It wouldn't be until just after the half hour mark that Ashville would see another clear cut opportunity. Lewis Moynes brilliantly beating his man before delivering a sumptuous cross for Ben Greenop. The striker couldn't replicate his earlier success and saw his header go inches wide.

The tide would turn even more in Ashville's favour on 38 minutes when Sandbach centre-half, Thomas Morris, would see red for a frankly horrific two footed challenge on Josh Maldon.

It would be Maldon with Ashville's next attempt on goal five minutes later, his free kick beating Jensen but it was a little too high and bounced off the roof of the net for a goal kick.

The second half couldn't of told a more different story. You would be forgiven for thinking it was Ashville who had been reduced to ten as Sandbach peppered the away side. Ashville held firm but couldn't get on the ball. Any time they did, it was wasted almost instantly and Sandbach just kept flowing forward.

The game would see another moment of controversy just before the half hour mark when Sandbach should of been down to 9. A clearance from Ashville saw the referee try a different kind of ball control, leaving the match official keeled over and in desperate need of a breather. Immediately after the wince inducing blow, Lewis Moynes was recklessly hacked down with a high studs up challenge. The Ashville bench appealed to the referees assistant but were hit with claims he "didn't see it" despite looking straight at the challenge.

This reprieve from a relentless barrage of attacks wasn't capitalised on by Villa and Sandbach continued to surge forwards.

Poor ball retention and game management made Ashville their own worst enemies. For Sandbach however, it was poor finishing which ensured Villa barely held onto their lead.

With ten minutes to go Sandbach were edging ever closer to the equaliser. A long range effort deflecting over Carr and down off the crossbar as Villa frantically tried to clear.

With just four minutes left it was another deflected effort which almost brought Sandbach level. This move would foreshadow the events to come however...

And with 89 minutes on the clock it finally arrived. The goal was reward for a relentless and hearty display from the ten men of Sandbach. In what was a carbon copy of their earlier chance, a wayward shot was redirected into the bottom corner by Callum Chapman.

And after four minutes of added time Ashville could finally breathe. The away side will feel disappointed not to come away with the three points but they can only blame themselves. There is zero doubt that game management will be an area of focus for Gary Jones' men ahead of Tuesdays return to Macron Cup action, when the Wallasey based team travel to Lancashire to take on NWCFL Premier Division side, Glossop North End.

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