11/3/17 Bearsted Lost 0-1

Red cards costly as promotion aspirations dealt a big blow

Match Stats

Date: Sat 11 Mar 2017

Kick Off: 3.00pm

Match Type: Southern Counties East Football League

Venue: Otham Sports Club, Honey Lane, Otham

Score (FT): 0-1

Score (HT): 0-0

Goalscorers: Bearsted
Andy Irvine (85)

Referee: Hossain Tavakkoli

Assistants: Aaron Conn & David Sumner

Bookings:
Ashford United
Stuart West (50)
Jason Goodchild (73)
Rory Hill (84)
Pat Kingwell (87)
Frazer Walker (90+5 after final whistle)

SENT OFF
George Kamurasi (55)
Stuart West (82) – 2nd yellow card

Bearsted
Andy Foster (40)
Graeme Andrews (60)
Sam Flisher (78)


Teams:
ASHFORD UNITED
George Kamurasi
George Savage (off 65)
Frazer Walker
David Botterill
Stuart West
Pat Kingwell
Jason Goodchild
Ben Davisson
Shaun Welford
Adrian Stone (off 46)
Rory Hill

Substitutes (used *)
Harry Lavender
Brett Ince
Ryan Palmer * (on 46)
Ryan James * (on 65)
Luke Elddridge

BEARSTED
Scott Andrews
Sam Flisher
Andy Hart
Andy Foster
Rob Lyall
Graeme Andrews
Reece Collins (off 76)
Mike Holliday (off 65)
Andy Irvine
Matt Garner
Peter Williams (off 90)

Substitutes (used *)
Chris Carcary * (on 90)
Ollie Wells * (on 65)
Steve Sage
Keelan Mooney * (on 76)
Luke Hughes


Attendance: 219

Goalkeeper George Kamurasi and Stuart West both saw red as Bearsted with a surprise 1-0 win dealt a big blow to Ashford United’s title aspirations.

Ashford went into the match on the back of a twelve match winning streak, but paid the price for their ill-discipline when former player Andy Irvine netted the decisive winner five minutes from time.

The Bears – on the back of a good point against Sheppey United – enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges creating a number of decent chances, with Ashford’s first shot of note coming in the 12th minute from Jason Goodchild.

Shaun Welford was denied by a good block by Rob Lyall before the Bears replied, but Matt Garner’s rising shot never looked likely to trouble Kamurasi.

Ashford pressed but rarely troubled Scott Andrews between the sticks as most of the opportunities went wide of the target, with Rory Hill having at least four shots, with each one gradually closer to the goal.

On the half-hour Garner turned well but then fluffed his shot as the ball barely trickled towards Kamurasi, which typified the shooting from both sides in the first period.

Towards the end of the half United failed to take advantage of three successive corner-kicks, then in injury time Kamurasi did enough to put Irvine off from putting the hosts into the lead.

So after a scrappy opening first half, Ryan Palmer was introduced in place of Adrian Stone, with United in need of some pace to try and break down the obdurate Bears tactic of nine men packed in defence.

Then on 49 minutes the Nuts & Bolts went close to scoring, but a combination of Andrews and the right-hand post prevented Hill after his good run into the box.

That was about as good as it got for the visitors as the match started to unravel for Danny Lye’s title challengers a minute later, when West became the first Ashford name in the book.

But it was the dismissal of Kamurasi on 55 minutes for handball a yard outside the box – under pressure from Peter Williams – which proved most costly.

There was still much work to do when the former United forward found space and it is doubtful he would have had the composure to find the net, but when Kamurasi handled the referee had no choice but to brandish a red card.

So with no substitute keeper on the bench, 36-goal leading striker Shaun Welford had to don the gloves, having already done so heroically at Crowborough last season. Irvine’s resulting free-kick though was drilled straight into the wall, giving Welford time to settle into the goalkeeping role.

Despite the loss of a man and no front man available to lead the line, United pressed forward with purpose, Hill going close with a rasping shot over the bar before being thwarted moments later when a thunderous strike was headed away for a corner. Ben Davisson then hit a crisp free-kick from the edge of the box which curled narrowly over the crossbar.

Ashford started to become aggrieved at a number of contentious decisions – from referee Hossain Tavakkoli – none more so than the sending off of West eight minutes from time for a nudge just outside the box on Irvine who was already tumbling when the challenge was made.

So for the second time in four matches and the third time this season – West who seems to have more cards than Clyntons – received his marching orders, after his second yellow card.

Ashford have found the knack of finding a victory without a complete set of players on the field, but on this occasion the home side refused to yield. Then the misery was compounded in the 85th minute when Irvine stabbed home a loose ball to give the Bears a repeat of the 1-0 score at the Homelands back in September.

As the players left the field after the final whistle, United’s protests continued as Frazer Walker added to the card tally, whilst it is possible others were shown as the players reached the changing rooms.

It is fair to say Ashford won’t be in line for any fair play awards this season, with the red card count now in double figures which could ultimately cost them promotion.

They also won’t want to dwell too long on their encounters with the Bears, who are very much now becoming a bogey side for the Nuts & Bolts, having only won once in six encounters with them.

Match Reporter Kevin Hall