No joy for Town as Ashton win FA Cup replay

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Morpeth Town 1-2 Ashton Athletic

FA Cup Replay

Morpeth Town failed to build on their replay opportunity as a resolute performance from Ashton Athletic saw them win the game and face a glamour tie at York City in the next round.

The teams had drawn 1-1 at Ashton on Saturday with the replay at Craik Park on Tuesday.

A stunning Marcus Cusani free kick put the Yellows on the road to victory and Christopher Bandell doubled their lead before the interval. Despite Joe Walton scoring his second penalty in as many games, it proved to only be a consolation for the Highwaymen.

Marcus Cusani shot over after only four minutes, but he opened the scoring when he curled a free kick expertly into the top corner.

Joe Walton tried to respond for the Highwaymen but his effort was sliced well off target.

Joshua Nicholson went close to doubling the lead for Ashton but his dipping effort went over the bar.

As the game approached the half hour mark, both sides traded goals that were flagged for offside. Liam Henderson had the ball in the net for the hosts before Christopher Bandell netted for the visitors.

There was no flag for Bandell to be denied on 35 minutes though, when his initial effort from Nicholson’s low centre was blocked by Lowson, and he made no mistake from the rebound.

Sean Taylor went the closest to scoring for Morpeth in the first half as his cross kissed the crossbar on the way over.

The Highwaymen started the second half on the front foot and Iulian Petrache headed straight into the arms of Pearson.

As the game reached the final 20 minutes, it became more niggly as Ashton disrupted Morpeth’s fluent style of play. Several players were shown yellow cards as fouls and dissent became a constant feature of the game.

On 75 minutes, Petrache who again looked the most likely goalscorer saw his looping header drop narrowly wide of the near post with Pearson stranded.

Morpeth were handed a lifeline with 11 minutes remaining. Henderson, who had to deal with feeding off scraps for the majority of the game, was barged over in the box by one of the Ashton substitutes. Walton, who had rescued a replay on Saturday, was given the responsibility and the man with ice in his veins, blasted his penalty into the top corner.

David Carson went close in the final five minutes as the hosts pushed for an equaliser but his effort was wild and it cleared the crossbar.

Next up for Morpeth is a league game when they make the long trip to Stamford on Saturday. The next game at Craik Park is on Saturday, September 22 when Carlton Town are the visitors.