18/2/17 Tunbridge Wells Won 2-0

Table toppers ease to victory thanks to second-half goals

Match Stats

Date: Sat 18 Feb 2017

Kick Off: 3.00pm

Match Type: Southern Counties East Football League

Venue: Homelands

Score (FT): 2-0

Score (HT): 0-0

Goalscorers: Ashford United
Jason Goodchild (54)
Shaun Welford (58 p)


Referee: Dan Doyle

Assistants: Matt Williams & Jerry Annandale

Bookings:
Tunbridge Wells
Jamie Lawrence (37)
John Shea (72)


Teams:
ASHFORD UNITED
George Kamurasi
Jason Goodchild
Frazer Walker
David Botterill
Stuart West
Pat Kingwell
Ryan Palmer (off 81)
Ben Davisson
Shaun Welford (off 90+3)
Adrian Stone (off 72)
Rory Hill

Substitutes (used *)
Luke Eldridge * (on 81)
Brett Ince * (on 72)
Danny Lye
Dan Stubbs * (on 90+3)
Clark Woodcock

TUNBRIDGE WELLS
Steve Lawrence
Kieron Tarbie
Alfie Hall (off 78)
Jamie Lawrence
Brad Potter
Perry Spackman
Jon Pilbeam (off 64)
Paul Butler (off 64)
James Pinnock
Callum Smith
Ryan Crandley

Substitutes (used *)
Luke Carpenter
John Shea * (on 64)
Tom Mackleden * (on 64)
Luke Hackett
Michal Czanner (gk)


Attendance: 330

Top of the table Ashford United eased to victory over struggling Tunbridge Wells with two second-half goals in the space of four minutes at the Homelands.

Jason Goodchild opened the scoring in the 54th minute finishing well after a neat one-two with Adrian Stone.

Danny Lye’s title challengers then doubled the lead four minutes later, when Shaun Welford added his 32nd of the season from the penalty spot, after Ryan Palmer had been upended.

Despite their lowly position in the table the visitors – with nine defeats in 11 matches – had the first shot on target, when James Pinnock tested George Kamurasi from long range in the 10th minute.

Almost immediately Ashford responded when Stone turned well, but the effort from the in-form striker was weak, he then turned provided to set up Welford, but visiting goalkeeper Steve Lawrence stood firm to pull off a good save low down.

But as the half wore on both keepers had little to do, as the majority of efforts were sporadic and off target, with Ben Davisson and Ryan Palmer wasteful for the hosts when well placed.

The Wells though enjoyed a slice of luck when veteran defender Perry Spackman, under no pressure attempted a back pass from outside the box and with Lawrence not in sight the blushes of Spackman were sparred when the ball trickled past the post.

Welford then drew a neat save from Lawrence with a firm header, whilst Rory Hill fired narrowly over the bar in the closing stages of a competitive but somewhat stalemate first 45 minutes.

Goodchild gave a hint of things to come early in the second-half when he produced a good run to neatly chip the ball through to Welford, who was forced wide before missing the target from an acute angle.

The momentum changed though nine minutes after the break when Goodchild scored his fourth in eight appearances by starting and finishing a move involving Stone. Receiving the ball back from his partner, he took a stride before coolly placing the ball past the outstretched right hand of the keeper to give Ashford the lead.

There were few complaints from the visitors four minutes later when Palmer was fouled inside the box, as Welford kept up the Nuts & Bolts 100% record this season from the spot, the top scorer having now been successful for five of the eight penalties awarded thus far.

Having taken a two goal lead, United never looked like conceding, especially with the ever reliable Pat Kingwell and Stuart West – with much improved discipline in recent weeks – negating any threat from the visitors.

The solid if unspectacular 2-0 win maintained the slender lead over Crowborough and with Sevenoaks Town and Sheppey United both losing, the pair now have clear water with an eight and seven point lead respectively over the Oaks in third place.

It was pleasing also to see a bumper crowd of 330 in attendance which is United’s fourth best in a competitive match, only surpassed by 636 in the FA Vase v Dunston UTS last season. Whilst back in season 2013-14, the league clash v Tunbridge Wells saw 347 and the FA Vase game versus Tring Athletic drew an attendance of 335.

Next up for Ashford are two trips in the space of five days to Eltham, when they visit fellow Kent Senior Trophy finalists Cray Valley Paper Mills in the league cup on Wednesday, before returning for a league clash on Sunday.

Match Reporter Kevin Hall