Ashton v Trafford

Ashton United 4-2 Trafford FC

Ben McCarthy
The Semi-final of the Frank Hannah Premier Cup took place at the Hurt Cross Stadium which saw Ashton United take on visitors, Trafford FC.

Ashton United reached their 23rd Manchester Premier Cup final following a 4-2 victory against Trafford FC in an action-packed semi-final.

 The Robins went close to scoring early on, with Sean Newton’s freekick just outside the area being deflected slightly wide after 11 minutes. Shortly after, Kielen Adams was sent through on goal, turning the Trafford defender but was unable to beat Sam Booth in goal.

However, after 23 minutes it was the visitors that took the lead when Trafford’s captain Harry Norris headed home from Tom Beckett’s corner.

Seven minutes later, many in attendance thought Brad Abbot had equalised for Ashton when his header hit the side netting. But three minutes after, Abbot did get on the scoresheet, sliding in at the back post to get on the end of Adams’ left-footed cross.

Chris Rowley had the chance to restore Trafford’s lead just before halftime receiving the ball inside the box from a square pass, but his effort went well over the bar.

Ashton then made Trafford rue this missed opportunity when they took the lead on the stroke of halftime. Jason Gilchrist teed up Bernardo Cuoto on the edge of the area to finish superbly with a low-driven effort.

In the opening 15 minutes of the second half, neither side was able to fashion any clear-cut opportunities. But a Trafford substitution in the 62nd minute paid dividends for them when Rob Worral who had only been on the pitch for four minutes played a defence-splitting pass for Matt Morgan to finish and draw Trafford level.

Ashton continued to see more of the ball and began to put Trafford under pressure as the game went on. Warren Clarke and James Hardy both had the chance to take the lead, but both were unable to convert.

Then as a penalty shootout loomed, Ashton’s top goal scorer Jason Gilchrist latched onto the end of a flick-on from Alex Byrne to slot the ball home in the 86th minute.

Gilchrist then added Ashton’s fourth in the 92nd minute, Alex Byrne once again the provider drilling a cross in from the right for Gilchrist to tap home at the back post.

This 4-2 win sees Ashton United progress into the Final of the competition against either Avro or Curzon Ashton with that game yet to be played at the time of writing.