Four star Ashby Ivanhoe make it five wins in a row - as chaotic game sees visitors finish with eight players

By Josh Kay

4th Dec 2022 | Local Sport

Action from Ashby Ivanhoe's win over Nuneaton Griff. Photo: Ashby Ivanhoe FC
Action from Ashby Ivanhoe's win over Nuneaton Griff. Photo: Ashby Ivanhoe FC

Ashby Ivanhoe 4 Nuneaton Griff 2

Ashby survived a second half scare to make it five league wins in a row, and close the gap at the top of the table to two points.

Ivanhoe led inside five minutes through Will Robson, whose eventful afternoon started off in fine fashion as he danced through the Griff defence and slotted past goalkeeper Dale O'Donnell.

Despite coming into the match in strong form, Griff were shellshocked and found themselves two down not long after.

Top scorer Sam Grouse turned provider to Gabe Webster, who picked the ball up on the right of the box and placed it past the goalkeeper after taking a touch to set himself up.

Not one to miss out on a goal, Grouse found himself on the scoresheet before the half hour mark.

His relentless pressing once again paying off, forcing a mistake out of O'Donnell, who relented possession and allowed Grouse to score into an empty net.

Not usually a side to get complacent, Ashby seemingly lost focus for the rest of the half.

Griff took the initiative and created numerous chances before the break.

The visitors would pull a goal back before the break, a rare mistake from captain Macauley Holmes was pounced on by Griff skipper Ross Proudlock, who gave his side hope with a calm finish.

Looking more alive after half time, Ashby fought to restore their three-goal lead. Griff however maintained a constant threat, looking much more like the tough test Ivanhoe were expecting to face coming into the match.

In a five-minute period just after the hour mark, the game appeared to flip on its head. Griff would pounce on some lacklustre Ivanhoe defending and close the deficit to one, seizing all the momentum with a low finish from Proudlock.

Minutes later, the Ashby bench were furious as goal scorer Robson was sent off for a high challenge.

Despite most fans believing that a yellow card was a fair punishment, the referee produced a red after a long delay.

After the match Andy Gray noted that he appreciated the job of the officials but spoke on his displeasure at the decision: ''It affected the game massively, I thought he caught him, but it wasn't an intentional foul'', he said.

The controversy would not end, however. Failing to capitalise on momentum, Griff would not force Tommy Dyche into a quality save and saw themselves go down to 10 men with only minutes to go when substitute Jenson Corbett saw red card for a second bookable offence.

It would be Ivanhoe who had the chance to put the game away from the spot as the match approached added time.

Grouse saw his spot kick smartly saved by O'Donnell however, who kept his team's hopes alive.

Moments before this, the match had descended into chaos as Proudlock and Brady Floyd were sin binned for dissent, meaning their side would finish the match with eight players.

Chris Acott capitalised on Ashby's two-man advantage and score on the counter attack to seal three points with the final kick of the game. A remarkable game of football, and a result that takes Ashby a step closer to Dudley Town at the top of the MFL Division One.


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