Paulton Rovers overcome Ashton and Backwell with opening win of pre-season
PUBLISHED: 23:48 10 July 2019 | UPDATED: 23:48 10 July 2019
Paulton Rovers secured a narrow victory over Ashton and Backwell at the Lancer Scott Stadium after Joe Hillard's headed winner just before half time.
Ryan Gay had opened the scoring early on, before Callum Townsend equalised with the hosts first shot on target of the game.
The visitors who hit the woodwork three times throughout the match, thoroughly deserved their win
Stuart Jones's men, who were playing their second game in four days after being narrowly defeated by Weston, went behind in the second minute.
Calum Biggins's poor pass found its way to Ben Bament who after interchanging it with Trailist A found Gay where his low shot arrowed into the bottom left hand corner past the static Lewis Coombes.
The Rovers went close to doubling their lead moments later after Craig Allan saw his effort came back of the post before Townsend's equalised for the Stags out of nothing.
After picking up a loose ball, 21-year old Townsend fired his low shot across Joe Perry and into the far corner to level the scores.
Moments later Bament almost got himself on the scoresheet but was denied superbly by Coombes, before Townsend's teasing cross into the box was met by former Rovers left back Charlie Rich but his tame shot was cleared of the line by the visitors defence and cleared to safety.
John Rendell's men would reclaim the lead after Ali Sen was fouled halfway up the pitch.
Ed Butcher's whipped free kick was headed back across goal by Gay and into the path of Hilliard who had the simple task of headed home past Coombes.
The second half started like the first as Butcher was denied by the woodwork twice in quick succession.
First his effort hit the crossbar from his cross turned shot before getting on the end of a cross from Gay and hitting the foot of the post.
Despite the ongoing pressure, the Toolstation Western League Division One side went to close to levelling the scores for the second time.
Saul Jarrett received the ball just inside the penalty area before placing his shot just wide after good work from substitute Billy Devoy to hand the Southern League Division One South side their first win of pre-season.