Wrexham FC defender targets double figures


Richard Williams

LEFT-BACK Neil Ashton is on a mission to try to take his goal tally into double figures before the end of the season.

Ashton took his account to five with a brace in Saturday’s 6-1 victory over Nuneaton Town at The Racecourse, a result which took Wrexham up to second place in the table just one point behind leaders Grimsby Town with a game in hand.

All three previous goals had come from the penalty spot but Ashton found the back of the net with a header from a corner in the first half before scoring a late spot kick.

“It is the old bus cliche, you miss one and then they all come along at once. It is just nice to get on the scoresheet,” said Ashton, who had gone over four years without a goal until he netted against Braintree in April.

“I was more pleased with my header. To actually get one from free play, I couldn’t tell you the last time I actually did that.

“They have all been free-kicks or penalties so that was nice but it all boils down to three points.

“If I can get to double figures I will be over the moon. I haven’t done that since I was about 12 when I played as a left-winger-come-forward.

“Since I have been playing full-back this is the most I have ever scored in a season.
“I think it is nine for my career so if I can get another five up until April I will be well chuffed.”

Wrexham opened the scoring through Johnny Hunt in the 20th minute following a well worked move and Ashton thought that summed up the Reds’ excellent build-up play as they took a 3-0 lead at the interval.

“I think the first half we moved the ball superbly well,” said Ashton. “The movement in some of our moves, to get in behind them and to get some crosses in and some shots at goal was superb.

“The first goal epitomised that with Johnny - a little round-the-corner and Brett Ormerod’s little flick to Johnny.

“It was pleasing to get the goal and the manner we got it was fantastic. The movement from everyone was superb.

“Some of the play was really pleasing to watch and be involved in and that is what we have missed in the last couple of weeks.

“We haven’t had that spark and it just seemed to click today. The lads are massively pleased with getting three points.

“It was a good week’s training which we needed and the response from the Kidderminster defeat and three massive points.”

Wrexham took until the 72nd minute to score a fourth goal and went on to make it 5-0 before Nuneaton replied, but Ashton rounded off a good afternoon’s work with his stoppage time penalty.

And former Shrewbury and Macclesfield Town full-back Ashton always felt Wrexham were capable of stepping up a gear after the break.

“We knew we had a couple more gears and you seen that in the second half,” said Ashton.

“We started slow and we were containing them without doing anything really well. Then we kicked it up a gear, got two goals and it just knocked the stuffing out of them.

“Unfortunately we conceded a sloppy goal near the end but still Dean Keates made a great run to win a penalty in probably the 90th minute so that just goes to show the willingness to do runs and stuff like that we have got in the squad.”

Hoping this can be the catalyst for a lengthy run of games without defeat in the quest for promotion, Ashton added: “Everyone will be striving to stay unbeaten for as long as we can and pick up as many wins along the way.

“It is going to be a really tight league but if we can manage to get a good few wins and stay unbeaten for maybe 10 games, you never where it will take us.”

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