Making just the one change to the starting eleven, Neal Bishop brought Joseph West and Jack Dyche back into the squad of sixteen. West replacing Isaac Rice in the starting eleven, while Dyche was added to the bench, as Bishop looked to allow the attacking trio of Curtis Durose, Clayton Donaldson and Harry Lewis to continue where they left off last time out, away at Belper.
Ashton’s Sam Baird powered a free-header well wide inside the opening couple of minutes, but that was just the spark that Trinity needed, the returning West, playing a neat one-two with Liam Waldock to advance down the left. The give and go bought the former Frickley full back half a yard, to deliver. His precision left wing cross was met by Curtis Durose to glance his header into top right hand corner, giving Greg Hartley no chance. And whipping the crowd of 622 into an early frenzy.
The Blues were not about to rest on their laurels, and immediately set about extending their advantage. And less than ten minutes later, Trinity doubled their lead, when Clayton Donaldson broke free. As he was nudged by Matty Regan, eyes turned to referee Richard Eley, who played on. Donaldson retained his footing, and despite being off balance, still managed to slide a brilliant ball across the face of goal which was finished off by Waldock, turning home gleefully, at the back post.
Ashton saw plenty of the ball in the first half, forcing half a dozen corners in the first period alone, but the Blues held firm, with ‘keeper Matt Yates allowed to keep his gloves clean for long periods of the first half.
Harry Lewis was a constant menace going forwards for Trinity, but he didn’t shirk the defensive work going the other way either. When Lewis’ freekick was easily cleared, Shrimpton on the follow up drove goalwards, only to see his effort blocked at source. Wright firing the rebound over the top as he was unable to adjust his feet quickly enough to trouble Hartley.
Durose was enjoying the first half, relishing the battle against Cole Lonsdale who had no answers for his trickery. The visiting full back picking up a caution five minutes before the break
Half time: Gainsborough Trinity 2 Ashton United 0
The visitors chased the game in the second period, but Trinity looked a threat every time they went forward. Despite not hitting fifth gear as an attacking threat, when things clicked, the Blues did cut through the Robins’ defence on a number of occasions, with the visitors grateful to their last line of defence.
Lewis flashed a ball across the face of goal, before Hartley produced a phenomenal save to deny Waldock his second and Gainsborough’s third. Durose’s cut back found Waldock less than eight yards out, but somehow Hartley was able to divert the ball over the bar.
At the other end, Yates was called into action, as Ben Hardcastle tested the Trinity ‘keeper with a well struck freekick from the edge of the box. Trinity’s number one getting two strong hands to the ball to beat the ball behind for a corner.
Trinity changed shape as Harry Lewis was deployed further forward and he almost combined to brilliant effect as he danced in from the right, onto his left foot, only to see a last ditch challenge divert the ball away from the Trinity eleven.
Yates was again called into action, when Ben Hardcastle’s floated cross was powered goal-wards by Darius Osei, but a save at a crucial time that ensured the Robins couldn’t launch a fightback, by the ex-Derby County youngster ensured Trinity kept their two goal cushion.
Looking to spin in behind, Lewis was too much for Robins' skipper Matty Regan. The centre half booked for his troubles. And if the visiting defence hadn't been given a thorough enough examination, Bishop turned to his bench to unleash Dyche for the final dozen or so minutes.
If it wasn’t for the heroics of Hartley between the sticks, Trinity could have had four or five, but the visiting number one dominated the frame of his goal. Moments after coming on Dyche saw his volleyed effort whistle goalwards, only to be touched over, before clever Durose and Donaldson interplay again brought the best out of Hartley. Cogill then saw his close range effort diverted wide by the outstretched boot of the visiting number one.
Then, Hartley again denied Durose a second at his near post as the Blues smelt blood. Durose did have the ball in the net for a second time. Waldock sliced through the visiting defence, like a hot knife through butter, picking out the all action Rotherham youngster. Steading himself, Durose smashed the ball past Hartley into the roof of the net, only to see his personal joy quickly tempered by the assistant's flag.
Yates was on hand to preserve the clean sheet, twice in quick succession thwarting the visitors as the Blues navigated four minutes of stoppage time to record an eighth clean sheet of the season and eighth league win of an exciting campaign for the Holy Blues.
Three of the next four games for Neal Bishop's Gainsborough Trinity are on the road, starting with Tuesday night's trip to Nantwich Town. The sky is the limit for this exciting young group, so if it is at all possible... follow the Holy Blues to Cheshire on Tuesday, as come 10pm, Trinity could be top of the Pitching In Northern Premier League!
Matt Yates, Prosper Keto (Hayden Cann 59) Joseph West, Andrew Wright (Isaac Rice 59), Cody Collins, Dylan Cogill, Curtis Durose, Fin Shrimpton, Clayton Donaldson, Liam Waldock, Harry Lewis (Jack Dyche 78)
Subs not used: Ethan Bojang & Neal Bishop
Goals: Curtis Durose 5, Liam Waldock 14
Greg Hartley, Aidan Roxburgh, Cole Lonsdale, George Milner, Matty Regan, Sam Baird, (Harry Coates 56), Ben Hardcastle, Joe Robbins, Darius Osei, Max Harrop (Ben Hough 52) Tom Warren (Jack Kenny 52)
Sub not used: Luke Taylor
Ashton bookings: Cole Lonsdale, Matty Regan
Referee: Mr Richaed Eley
Sponsors Man of the Match: Curtis Durose
Match report written by Rob Hughes (@AATM_Media)
Photos of our pre-match Remembrance Sunday Service captured by Kate Simmonds (@kls_mediauk)