The Tameside Derby finished two apiece, although with a bit of luck, Celtic could have been out of sight by half time, but it took over half an hour to find the back of the net.
In the opening minutes, Celtic won a series of corners, with Ashton struggling to score, the ball came to Tom Brown outside the box and his rising shot was like a rocket, smashing against the crossbar to be hooked clear for another corner. This time, the corner came to Oli Roberts. Only a last ditch deflection from Josh Granite denied Roberts the opener. Ashton were struggling to contain Connor Hughes who put a couple of good crosses in before going himself, only for Josh Ollerenshaw to pull off a great stop after being robbed by Jake Charles but recovering to push Hughes’s low angled drive for a corner.
If Hughes was a handful, Matty Wolfenden was giving the defenders extra headaches with his movement. Ollerenshaw was forced into another superb stop at full stretch to deny Wolfenden, but the irrepressible striker wouldn’t be denied twice, latching onto Hughes’s low cross across the face to tap in at the far post.
Jake Charles could have finished Ashton off with a great strike, volleying Hughes’s cross just wide, whilst Hughes twice went close. Celtic had to look at those chances when John Pritchard out-paced Danny Morton and put a low cross to the front post. With Ross Killock for company, Dan Mooney still had work to do, but he turned well and fired across debutant keeper George Sykes-Kenworthy to equalise just before half time with their only real chance of the half.
Ashton came out of the blocks quickly in the second half, former Celt, Mark Lees, seeing his speculative drive from twenty-five yards crash against the bar.
Celtic responded with superb determination from Charles, reaching a ball he never looked likely to get to befire pulling out a low cross to pick out Wolfenden. His turn and shot completely wrong-footed Ollerenshaw, the ball squeezing in by the post.
Brown was denied by a brave block from Lees, firing in from the edge of the box, whilst Sykes-Kenworthy pulled off a decent near-post stop to deny Jack Dyche as the game went end-to-end, but there were shades of offside as Dan Mooney lifted the ball over the defence and found Dean Smalley all alone in the box to head past Sykes-Kenworthy.
Celtic shaded the chances in the last twenty minutes, with Charles forcing a good stop out of Ollerenshaw, Josh Ramsden heading just wide and Brice Pouamoun forcing another good stop from the Ashton Keeper. Right at the death, the corner came to Roberts who struck the ball cleanly, but his effort cleared the bar by inches leaving the visitors with a share of the spoils.
|7||Lees, Mark||> 75|
|11||Mooney, Dan||> 65|
|14||Platt, Nicky||< 88|
|15||Roberts, John||< 75|
|16||Makashini, Kanye||< 65|