by Robert Lee · 28/08/2022
Saturday 27th August 2022, FA Vase First Qualifying Round
West 3 (Elliott 54, Hampson 61, C. Jones 64)
Ashton Town 1 (Corness 90+)
West progressed to the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Vase, after an improved second-half performance against Ashton Town.
The visitors could count themselves unfortunate to only go into the break level after creating numerous chances. But Ben Elliott, Ben Hampson and Callum Jones all scored in ten second-half minutes to end the game as a contest, with Matthew Corness claiming a consolation with the last kick of the game.
Ashton came into the game on the back of five straight league defeats, but were buoyed by the midweek arrival of ex-Widnes manager Kevin Towey in the dugout, along with a sprinkling of new signings. It looked like the new additions were having the desired effect in the first period, as Andrew Jones was forced into making a series of crucial saves.
At the other end, West were struggling to find any fluency and it took until the last five minutes of the half to seriously threaten the visitors. Elliott latched onto Zeke Eme’s pass, but the angle proved too tight and the shot flew across the face of the goal.
Elliott was on target nine minutes after the restart – Dontai Gabidon’s threaded pass split the Ashton defence, and the West number 9 reacted quickest to roll the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper.
The momentum had now swung decisively in West’s favour, and Ben Hampson doubled the lead five minutes later. Sam Dickinson’s free kick swung towards the far post, and Hampson did excellently to steer his header into the bottom corner.
West now looked like scoring from every attack, with Jack Ryan seeing a shot cleared off the line. The ball fell to Callum Jones whose footwork took him past a pack of defenders, before he rolled home a third of the afternoon.
Ashton rallied in the final ten minutes as they chased a way back into the game, and Jones again produced a couple of excellent saves to keep them at bay. But the visitors did grab a deserved goal with the final action, as Corness converted a ball at the far post.
West now move on to a meeting with last year’s Vase opponents Nostell Miners Welfare, to be played at The Step Places Stadium on Saturday 24th September.
West: A. Jones, Cook, Hancock, Taylor (C. Jones), Hampson, Vayro, Eme, Dickinson, Elliott (Swift), Ryan, Gabidon (Miller). Not used: Foulds, Delaney, Iacovou, Zola.
Eckersley’s Plumbers & Locksmiths Player of the Match: Andrew Jones.