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Sat 28
Hengrove Athletic
1
-
1
League
Ashton & Backwell United
H Walker (40')
HONOURS EVEN IN DERBY DRAW

HONOURS EVEN IN DERBY DRAW

By Martin McConachie
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Hengrove Athletic stretched their unbeaten run to four games with a valuable point against high flying neighbours Ashton & Backwell.


The visitors had gone ahead just before half time through Harry Walker's crisp finish but crucially, Hengrove levelled before the break to go in all square in front of the biggest crowd of the season. In the second half, it was backs to the walls defending at times but Grove held on and Ashton saw sub Paul Uppington sent off near the end for two bookable offences.

The point leaves Jamie Hillman's men in 19th spot but having reeled in the teams above them that now separate them by goal difference only. For Ashton, they slip to eighth after wins for Radstock and Portishead saw them leapfrogged.

Last week had seen an impressive 2-1 win for Hillman's side at Warminster and for the visit of Stu Jones' side, he was able to bring in a little more experience at the back. Carl Bush returned in goal and with Luke Crewe and Gary Shorney also available too, it meant a place on the bench for Aidan Jones. Minas Constantinou was injured and Mickey Parsons began his suspension so in came Simon Knight up top.

Early on, Ashton set the pace with strikers Saul Jarrett and Calum Townsend having half chances inside the first five minutes. On the quarter hour, the referee initially awarded Ashton a penalty for handball against Shaun Trott but upon discussions with his assistant, reversed his decision.

Midfield general Craig White went closest for Grove with a free kick that took a touch onto the crossbar but it was still Ashton shading the chances. Connor Saunders headed straight at Bush while Sam Thomas couldn't get around a bouncing ball outside the box and dragged his shot wide of goal.

On forty minutes, the visiting Ashton, backed by a healthy contingent of supporters, took the lead when a ball found Harry Walker who fired home via a slight deflection. However their lead lasted only four minutes as another White free kick was glanced into his own net by Joe Bishop, leaving keeper Lewis Coombes helpless.

The first fifteen minutes after half time saw Ashton very dominant but unable to turn that advantage into goals. Walker's free kick and Charlie Saunders' header were both off target, Bush denied Saunders again and a terrific defensive block frustrated Townsend but Grove were still in it and more importantly, still level.

The game started to lose its shape a little amid a host of bookings, two of which came for Ashton sub Paul Uppington in short time seeing him dismissed. Grove sub Giorgio Mancini headed a White corner over the bar and in stoppage time, Hengrove had a huge escape when Townsend took advantage of a defensive mix up, rounded Bush but could only hit his shot against the inside of the post and back across goal.

For their efforts and endeavour, Hengrove deserved a point but on chances, Ashton may rue the fact three points were there for the taking. Four games unbeaten now for Jamie Hillman's side, two of which have come against top six sides,as the Grove's rebuilding process continues with promise.

Next Saturday, Hengrove make the shortish trip to Cheddar, kick off at 3.00pm.

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Match details

Match date

Sat 28, Sep 2019

Kickoff

15:00

Attendance

73

Competition

Division one

League position

8
Ashton & Backwell United
19
Hengrove Athletic
Danny Lock

Player of the match

Danny Lock