Game 31: Ashton & Backwell United 1.2 Barnstaple Town (Western 1) 22.03.14
After the sunshine and tshirt weather last weekend it seemed like the weather was back to normal with a strong wind, grey clouds and rain when I left Bristol on the train. Getting off at Nailsea & Backwell, I took a turn down the road and walked into Backwell where the team created by a 2010 merger play. The ground is undergoing development and the area behind one of the goals wasn’t accessible. The pitch had a noticeable slope up to the centre from the wings and again from end to end.
Ashton had a great opportunity in the first half to score when a player accelerated and managed to catch up with a speculative through ball before the keeper could reach it. He took the ball round the keeper but his shot came off a post and rolled towards the goal. Before it could cross the line a defender stepped in and guided the ball away with a big boot. Barnstaple had a bit more luck when what looked to be a heavy pass into the area whipped past every player, bounced off the post and ended up in the back of the net before the keeper could react.
In the second half Barnstaple were unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty when a player was brought down in the area. This was forgotten shortly afterwards when they added a second from a quick counterattack following an Ashton corner. The ball was cleared and a player ran most of the length of the pitch before guiding a shot in at the near post past the keeper’s dive and a covering defender’s lunge. Ashton pulled a goal back five minutes later from another counter-attack. This time the ball went down the right wing and was crossed to a striker with his back to goal and a defender covering him. He got the ball under control and quickly span to hit a fierce low shot that beat the keeper’s dive.