Ashton Town 4 St Helens Town 4

Andy Gillespie in action for St Helens Town (library picture)
Andy Gillespie in action for St Helens Town (library picture)

The neutrals in attendance at Edge Green Street were well entertained on Saturday as the teams shared eight goals in a game played at points in awful weather conditions.

St Helens dominated in the early possession stakes but it was the hosts who broke the deadlock ironically from a St Helens attack a shot from Danny Greene was blocked on the edge of the box and a swift counter attack culminated in Marcus Cusani’s finding space to get an effort off which bobbled in front of Mathew Hodge in the visitors goal and over his dive against the run of play.

The visitors bounced back quickly and almost levelled when a long free kick from Ant Whelan found Aaron Morris who flicked the ball onto Andy Gillespie who had his back to goal he managed to turn and get a shot off which Joe Clements pushed around the post. The scores were level a couple of minutes later when Ste Rigby linked with Gillespie on the left of the penalty box again with his back to goal it looked like his options were limited but the skipper turned his marker before curling an inch perfect effort into the bottom right hand corner of the net.

St Helens almost took the lead five minutes later when an attack saw Morris bring the ball forward linking with Gillespie on the right wing, Morris then made a run off Gillespie into the box which the striker found with his cross Morris’s header looked to be finding the net but was somehow deflected off target by a last ditch challenge from Sam Wilkie.

More pressure from the visitors just after the half hour mark saw Rigby get down the left before feeding Gillespie who sent a cross into the box which just evaded the unmarked Sam Sheen on the far post.

Similarly to the opening goal of the contest Ashton again scored against the run of play in added on time at the end of the half. The visitors failed to clear their lines and the hosts took advantage with former players Sean Robinson & Neil Weaver involved with the latter receiving the formers pass there was a suspicion of offside but the flag stayed down and Weaver rounded Hodge and scored to send the hosts into the interval in the lead.

The start of the second half once again found St Helens Town in the ascendancy as Ellis Mavers saw a free kick turned around the upright and another free kick from the same source rebounded off the wall before breaking centrally towards Whelan the ball was then half cleared to the left of the box where Morris’s attempted centre was blocked and the danger was cleared.

Parity was restored ten minutes after the restart when a Morris surge into the box was halted by foul means and Sam Sheen stepped up to fire the spot kick home sending Clements the wrong was in the process.

The visitors were again on top and as they poured forward looking to take the lead they were again caught on the counter attack, Greene was relieved of the ball on the left wing and when the ball was eventually sent into the box St Helens spurned two chances to clear the ball before David Mills was able to bundle the ball home from close range on the left post.

Again St Helens were able to bounce back from the set back and with ten minutes remaining a short corner was worked to Rigby on the right of the box, he tried his luck from all of 25 yards and his well struck effort found the bottom left hand corner of the net to draw the visitors level for a third time.

At the other end Robinson had a golden chance to put Ashton back in the lead when he rounded Hodge but he fired his effort into the side netting and at the other end George Lomax sent a cross to the far post finding Rigby but he couldn’t turn this good chance into a goal.

With time running out St Helens were awarded a free kick deep in the Ashton half on the left of the box.

Alex Gillespie sent the set piece into the box where it took a couple of deflections before Andy Gillespie pounced on the loose ball and poked it home to put the visitors into the lead for the first time.

The hopes of a victory were spurned in the second minute of added on time when a long ball towards Robinson who played a ball in behind the visiting back line and Weaver made no mistake to fire home and see the sides share the spoils.

Town are in action twice this week as first they welcome Northwich Manchester Villa to Brocstedes Park on Saturday, April 16 before hosting near neighbours Ashton Town Park the following Tuesday (April 19) with a 7.45pm kick off.