Vanarama National League North
Hurst Cross / 27th Aug 2018 / 3:00pm
Ashton United 2 Darlington 2
Goals: Chadwick (8 mins, 1-0), Jackson (23 mins 2-0), Thompson (52 mins, 2-1), Saunders (76 mins 2-2)
Quakers came back from 2-0 down to deservedly collect a point at Hurst Cross.
The performance was much better than Saturday, with plenty of effort and endeavour, with plenty of chances created.
One of the talking points was the fact that Quakers had five penalty appeals, and only one of them was given.
Quakers won a free kick on the left for a foul on O’Hanlon, but Elliott’s free kick was cleared.
Quakers then won another free kick in a more central position on 5 minutes after Styche was fouled by Sephton, who was booked, but again Elliott’s free kick went into the wall.
Ashton took the lead out of the blue on 8 minutes, the ball was played out to the left outside the box, to Matt Chadwick, who hit a left foot shot across Maddison into the top corner.
Quakers thought they should have had a penalty when Trotman played a 1-2 and seemed to be upended, but the ref waved play on, much to Darlington’s disappointment.
And Quakers had another shout when Nicholson seemed to be tripped by Regan, but again the ref waved play on.
Quakers nearly levelled on 18 minutes, when Thompson crossed from the right for Styche to nod down for Saunders, whose shot on the turn was blocked and gathered by the keeper.
Nicholson then showed some superb skill when he turned away from a defender, ran forward 10 yards and struck a low left foot shot that went just past the right hand post.
There was another chance when O’Hanlon played a great diagonal ball over the top of the Ashton defence for Syers to latch on to, but the keeper blocked his shot.
But it was 2-0 on 23 minutes when Jackson picked the ball up on the right, stepped inside O’Hanlon, and hit a left foot shot into the top left hand corner.
Quakers tried to hit back, but even though they had more possession and showed plenty of spirit, didn’t test Ashton keeper Luke Pilling.
Quakers then gained a free kick almost next to the corner flag for a foul on Saunders, but Thompson’s free kick went over everyone and just past the far post.
Ashton hit back with a ball into the box for Hobson, who turned quickly on to his left and fired into the side netting from a tight angle.
And there was a third penalty shout just on half time when Nicholson seemed to be barged to the ground, but again the ref didn’t want to know.
Half time came with Quakers wondering how they were two goals down -- the performance has so far been much better than Saturday.
Half time: Ashton United 2 Darlington 0
Quakers had a chance at the start of the second half when Thompson tricked his way past a defender and crossed to the far post, where Styche rose high and headed into the keeper’s hands.
Quakers were finally awarded a penalty on 52 minutes when Styche went tumbling in the box on the end of an Elliott flick, and the ref pointed to the spot, from where Thompson fired into the top left hand corner -- his 86th for the club!
Ashton then claimed that they should have had a penalty following a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge by Burn, but ref waved play on.
Quakers then got a free kick when Nicholson was tugged back as he made a diagonal run 30 yards out, but Thompson’s free kick went well over the bar.
Ashton nearly made it 3-1 when Hobson controlled a free kick into the box, turned, and hit a right foot shot that hit the underside of the bar, and was cleared by Burn.
Quakers levelled on 76 minutes, when Styche hit a curling right foot shot towards the bottom corner that Pilling parried, and Saunders was on hand to knock the ball over the line.
Quakers then got a free kick on the edge of the box for a foul on Saunders as Ashton lost their cool, but Ainge’s free kick went off Thompson for a goal kick.
Maddison then pulled off an excellent point blank save from McAtee off a left wing cross, and play went up the other end for Styche to have a shot blocked.
Quakers then had penalty appeal number five turned down when Saunders burst into the box and a defender seemed to use his hand as Saunders tried to turn inside, but again the ref said no.
Maddison, Trotman, Burn, Ainge, O’Hanlon; Elliott, Syers,Nicholson, Styche, Saunders, Thompson
Subs: Glover, Bancroft, Banks, Hughes, Morrison
Pilling, Sephton (sub Lees 46), Jacobs, Chalmers, Regan, Sheridan (sub McAtee 64), Jackson, Platt (sub Hill 46), Hobson, Tomsett, Chadwick.
Subs: Evangelinos, Casian-Anghel,
Booking: Sephton, Sheridan