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As of: 18/08/09 21:30

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AFC Liverpool 4 - Ashton Town 0 - Match Report

Afc Liverpool maintained their winning start to the season with an emphatic 4-0 win over Ashton Town at Valerie Park.

Derek Goulding stuck with the same starting eleven that had romped to a 5-0 win at Rochdale a week earlier, but despite playing some good football in the first half,  AFC failed to find a breakthrough. The nearest they came to scoring River Humphreys fired just wide after ten minutes and Mark Bloxam hit a stunning thirty yard shot that drew a good save from the keeper on 35 minutes.

David Ojapah was leading the line and the nearest he came to scoring was when he turned and shot from the edge of the area in the twentieth minute but the ball was deflected wide. The Reds passing was slick and swift and they were moving the ball out of defence well on the few occasions Ashton troubled, with Paul Willis only needing to make one meaningful save. In the last action of the first half, Andy McCoy hit a forty yard pass to Todd Bamber on the right and he sped into the box before crossing to Ojapah, but the Ashton keeper managed to smother the ball at his feet.

Despite the game remaining goalless at half time the Reds had stated their intent and were fighting for every ball and tackling back, it seemed only a matter of time before a goal came as they kicked into the Kop for the second half.  Just three minutes after the restart they found an opening when Mark Bloxam rose unchallenged to head in a corner from the edge of the six yard box.

AFC continued to press forward and Ryan Wignall dragged a shot wide after being played in by McCoy, while Bloxam looked set to head in another, but was just beaten to the ball by an Ashton defender. Dean Thurston
came on for Ojapah midway through the half and had two early openings created for him by Wignall and Darren Torpey but he was muscled off the ball by defenders. Thurston then seized on a poor backpass and as he went to pull the ball back to Torpey, two defenders managed to force the ball out for a corner. This was wasted and Ashton broke clear, but Phil Stafford got across to cover well as Liam Coyne and Bloxam were still returning from the opposition half.

Had Ashton equalised it would have been a travesty but in the 77th minute Thurston calmed nerves when he crashed the ball into the roof of the net from the edge of the six yard box after Wignall had pulled the ball back to him from the line following some good link up work with McCoy. Two minutes later John Kennedy fired home from the spot to put the Reds 3-0 up, the kick having been awarded after a shot of his had been blocked by an Ashton players hand.

To their credit Ashton didn’t give up and had their best few moments of possession, Willis having to deprive one of their players with a sliding tackle after he had burst into the area. Seconds later a 35 yard curling effort went only just wide of the post.

It wasn’t long before the Reds were back in control for the closing stages. Liam Coyne teed up a shot only to see Bamber take the ball form him and fire just wide courtesy of a deflection. Then in injury time McCoy
played the ball into the box for Thurston, as the Ashton defence appealed for offside he unselfishly pulled the ball back for Kennedy who made no mistake in making it 4-0. There was still time for one more attempt on goal from Bamber, whose low shot was tipped wide by a stretching keeper.

Over all it was a fine attacking display by the Reds who will be hoping to maintain their excellent start at Cheadle next Saturday.

(August 19, 2009)