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Rollercoaster Game Ends All Square

Ashville welcomed second placed Stockport Town to Ray Parker Stadium on Friday night.

Ashville showed grit and determination to rescue a draw against high flying Stockport Town on Friday night, in a robust response to the defeat to Stafford Town in their last league outing.

A floodlight failure ten minutes before kick off delayed proceedings, albeit entertaining the 153 in attendance, the problem was fixed however and the game was finally scheduled to begin at 8pm, 15 minutes later than planned.

Before kick off though, everyone came together to take part in a minutes silence in honour of those who lost their lives in the M53 school bus crash on Friday morning. The minutes silence was observed impeccably and both clubs sent messages of support and condolences to everyone affected, ahead of kick off.

With the game finally underway it was Ashville who came firing out of the blocks like bats out of hell.

Ben Greenop got the first real chance of the evening on 14 minutes when he found room for a shot inside the box which nearly caught Scholfield off guard but the Stockport keeper got down quickly to prevent Ashville taking the lead.

7 minutes later and Villa really should of been in front. Lewis Willingham losing his man at a corner, before putting his free header over the bar.

Five minutes later however, Ashville did take the lead, Ben Greenop smashing a wicked, curling effort into the back of the net from range. Scholfield was left stranded and Villa were ahead.

Greenop nearly doubled his and Ashville's tally five minutes before the half when he got in behind but had his lifted effort saved by Scholfield one on one.

Ashville won this fixture last year and in the long run it was possibly that result which cost Stockport the title and the visitors were determined to not fall to defeat again.

They ramped up the pressure coming into the half time break, Nathan Haynes brilliantly clearing a goal bound effort off the line. Villa went in a goal up and in good spirits.

The good vibes were resonating in the stands too, a contingent of Norwegian groundhoppers doubling up as the home sides back up ultras and making plenty of noise. That's right, Ashville have gone international!

The mood dipped considerably in the second half however as Stockport came out of the break a revitalised side on a vengeance mission.

It was Ashville, however, that created the first real chance of the second half. Ben Greenop, who will feel he should of had a hat trick on the night, showing good feet on the edge of the area to create room for a shot that he dragged just wide of Scholfields goal.

For all of the pressure that Stockport were piling on, they weren't creating many chances but they did have Ashville penned deep into their own half for the majority of the second half.

It was Ashville again though that should of extended their lead, this time Willingham dancing through tackles on the edge of the area before digging out a shot out from under his feet that scooped just over the bar.

Stockport went right up the other end and won themselves a free kick in a dangerous position. The free kick was fired over, although not by much, and would prove to be a warning sign of things to come for Ashville.

A long range effort had Dixon scrambling across goal to make a fantastic parried save and there was seemingly nothing Ashville could do to keep the ball up the other end of the pitch.

A minute later and the pressure became too much for the Ashville defence who switched off from a corner into the front post, that was flicked on and tapped on unchallenged by Vincent at the back post.

It was a hammer blow to an Ashville side that had played extremely well up to that point but just goes to show that one slight lapse in concentration will hurt you in football.

Ten minutes then went by, filled with contentious decisions and the occasional flare up, before Ashville's night went from bad to worse. A corner wasn't dealt with, was headed down into the back post area where McGowan was lurking to turn and fire the ball home to give Stockport an unlikely lead.

That goal could of been, and previously would of been, a stomach punch for Ashville. It's a testament to the great work done by Gary Jones, Ian White and the rest of the coaching staff that this Ashville side never gives up.

With four minutes of stoppage time indicated, fresh hope and optimism filled the Ray Parker Stadium. The volume rising ever higher with every forward pass and every nearly moment as the hosts pushed hard to get an equaliser they more than deserved.

Then it happened. Seven minutes into the four added, thanks to some misjudged time wasting by the visitors, a deep free kick is allowed to bounce all the way through to captain fantastic, Shaun Farrall, at the back post who heads home from less than 2 yards out to secure a last second equaliser for Ashville.

The roar was deafening and the captain launched himself into the arms of the Ashville faithful who swarmed their captain from the other side of the barrier.

It was a well deserved point on the night and a fair result given both sides performances. Ashville will look to take such a positive result into next weekends game at Ray Parker Stadium, the SIXTH consecutive home game for Villa in all competitions, when they take on Cheadle Heath Nomads.

Tickets can be bought on the club website.

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