The England wing could not remember another occasion in either rugby league or union when he was starved of possession to the degree he was in today's decisive showdown with Scotland at Eden Park.
Scotland led the intense, scrappy encounter 12-3 at one stage but England battled their way back into the game.
Ashton's try three minutes from time confirmed their place in the quarter-finals as unbeaten Pool B winners.
"I don't think I got the ball where I wanted throughout the game, it was frustrating me," Ashton said.
"I reckon it was 60 minutes in before I touched the ball. I was running around hitting a lot of breakdowns which I'm not very good at. My third touch was the try.
"I was thinking during the game 'this has got to be one of the strangest ones for not having the ball'.
"There have been times I have lost my head in those situations. I get frustrated but I've just got to get used to that happening.
"It's the World Cup, it was a very tense game, and Scotland had to do what they had to do.
"I've just got to get used to it because these games are only going to get worse. They're only going to be closer."
Ashton extended his tally of tries to six for the World Cup, which put him top of the charts ahead of Adam Ashley-Cooper and Vincent Clerc.
The Northampton wing is also now England's record holder for a single World Cup tournament.
Ashton believes England can cause teams more danger if they could release the back division more often than they managed against Scotland.
"We are not that far off. We keep getting out of these holes," said Ashton.
"Maybe if we move the ball around a bit more we could have a bit more confidence and we could get a bit more go forward."
France stumbled into the quarter-finals with a defeat to Tonga and they have lost to England in the knockout stages at the last two World Cups.
"France lost tonight (to Tonga) and they lost against New Zealand - and the worst time to play France is when they are on the back foot," Ashton said.
"We will be ready. A win is a win, it doesn't matter how."
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