Nathan Lowe, named on the team sheet, at quarter past two, appeared unable to play as he limped down the tunnel fifteen minutes before the game. He did start though, and as the Robins kicked off, kicking the ball straight out, substituted the former Kidderminster Harriers man for James Baillie. A man not initially named on the aforementioned team sheet. A completely bizarre opening to the game, but despite the upheaval, the hosts from Hurst Cross started the game brightly, on the front foot.

The pitch was lively, and the game was being played at a good tempo. Fraser Preston and Curtis Durose were looking to link from opposite flanks. Both sides were pressing each other well, but the Holy Blues were struggling to get on the half turn, until the returning Waldock did brilliantly to send Clayton Donaldson away down the right, as he ploughed into the box, a desperate challenge from home skipper Matt Regan sent Donaldson sprawling. But Mr Neild waved away appeals for a penalty.

Harry Bunn saw an effort from twenty yards bravely blocked as grey shirts converged on the Ashton attacker. Not allowing the number eleven a clear sighter of goal. Donaldson was looking lively for the Holy Blues, working across the front line, looking to occupy Regan and his centre back partner Craig Hobson. George Hornshaw was enjoying a good battle with Jack McKay down the Gainsborough right, as Hornshaw stuck resiliently to his task.

Midway through the first half, Dale Whitham and McKay combined, with the later poking goalwards. Matt Yates quickly able to gather. Ashton then played well out of a high Trinity press in their own left back position, but young Bailey Conway stopped the counter attack before it could endanger the visitors. Yates was then called into action, holding on at the second attempt as Bunn struck from distance.

Hobson for Ashton then reacted well to the danger as Donaldson picked his pass. Rolling the ball to his left, looking for Durose, as the on loan Rotherham youngster primed to pull the trigger, the defender nipped in to clear behind for a corner. Nothing coming from two quick corners.

Yates again was called into action, making a smart save from Jack McKay, low down to his right, but despite his heroics, two minutes later, he was beaten by a firm downward header from Jason Gilchrist. A cheap free-kick given away, was delivered with quality from Cole Lonsdale and the experienced striker timed his run, to arrive unmarked and unchallenged six yards from goal - to give Yates no chance!

The home side had certainly adapted to a lively pitch the better. And Steve Cunningham's Robins were giving their manager everything, in spite of the pre-game chaos! Neal Bishop's Holy Blues certainly had it all to do, going in at the break, trailing by a goal to nil.

Half time: Ashton United 1 Gainsborough Trinity 0

Turning to his bench, Bishop made a double change to change the course of the game. Replacing Curtis Durose and Fraser Preston, with Tyrell Sellars-Fleming and Harry Lewis, the Blues went with two up top as they looked to chase the game. Skipper Isaac Rice was looking to drag the visitors back into the game as Trinity started the second half positively.

As part of the half time reorganisation, Conway found himself operating from the right, and he was looking to get in behind the full back, where he looked to add quality service into the front pair of Sellars-Fleming and Donaldson. After Ashton hacked clear a Conway centre, Rice called Mendez into action.

Donaldson and Conway kept things ticking, for the Blues, before the experienced forward had too much nous for the Robins' centre back and skipper as Regan dangled a leg and sent Trinity's number nine tumbling. The forward dusting himself down to score from the spot, his third goal in two games, and twenty-second of the campaign.

Trinity were working hard to apply the pressure and make the home side work for the ball, but an overzealous challenge on Keilen Adams saw Ashton win a free kick on half way. Under pressure, Dylan Cogill failed to clear his defensive lines, and centre back partner Hayden Cann failed to react first, only able to watch on as Dale Whitham poked past the exposed Matt Yates in the Trinity goal.

There was little time for an inquest, as Rice was quickly parachuted into the centre of defence as Andrew Wright replaced Cann for the final 35 minutes or so. The Holy Blues were looking to chase the game, and Regan found his name in the referee's notebook when he unceremoniously knocked Donaldson off his feet down by the corner flag. Hanging on to their lead, Ashton looked to kill time.

Trinity were beginning to grow into the game, but were having to keep things tight at the back as they chased a second equaliser. Wright's ball into the box was helped on by Waldock and Sellars-Fleming before it found its way to Cogill, up from the back, but the Blues passed up the opportunity to pull the trigger and Ashton survived another Trinity move.

Hornshaw's right wing delivery wasn't far from finding teenage front man, Sellars-Fleming, but Trinity had to be content with a corner, as Regan headed behind. Mendez didn't look convincing dealing with the set piece.. and it would be the hosts undoing a few minutes later. Harry Lewis's right wing corner was headed behind for corner on the other side. And Wright's centre found Lewis across the near post - to provide the all-important touch! Putting Trinity back level on terms for the second time in the game.

Trinity tails were up, when six minutes later, Sellars-Fleming showed composure inside the box, picking the pass to Lewis, who took aim and beat Mendez at his near post to double his tally, and hand Trinity the lead for the first time in the game. To the delight of the travelling Trinity contingent, and the relief of the scorer, Lewis certainly added the firepower. The Blues, in grey, just needed to see out the final few minutes, plus stoppage time - to secure another famous - come from behind victory.

At the back, Matt Yates provided a calming reassuring pair of hands as Ashton looked for one final response. But Trinity’s 'keeper relieved the pressure and Trinity saw out the game, to climb back to sixth in the table. A point outside the play-offs with ten games to play! Guiseley are next on the horizon for Bish and Stampy's play-off chasing side. With ten cup finals left to play, we can dream. Until next Saturday folks, enjoy your week!

The Teams

Ashton United: Andre Mendes, George Milner, Craig Hobson, Cole Lonsdale, Matt Regan, Nathan Lowe (James Baillie 1) Jason Gilchrist, Dale Whitham, Kielen Adams, Jack McKay (Rob Guilfoyle 89) Harry Bunn. Subs not used: Ben Hough, Pababou Jenkins

Gainsborough Trinity: Matt Yates, George Hornshaw, Joseph West, Isaac Rice, Hayden Cann (Andrew Wright 56) Dylan Cogill, Curtis Durose (Tyrell Sellars-Fleming 46) Bailey Conway, Clayton Donaldson, Liam Waldock, Fraser Preston (Harry Lewis 46). Subs not used: Jack Dyche and Jay Glover

Gainsborough Goals: Clayton Donaldon (51), Harry Lewis (80 and 86)

Match report by Rob Hughes (@aatmmedia)
Photo credit: John Porter (Ashton United)