Stunning goal rounds off great display by United

Match Report by Kevin Hall

In front of a decent 333 attendance, Ashford United ran out worthy 2-0 winners over Whitstable Town, thanks to second-half goals from Trey Williams on 57 minutes, before a strike of individual brilliance by Danny Parish in injury time sent the fans home happy.

Ashford always looked the stronger of the two sides, dominating the encounter throughout and a corner count of 13-4 in the Nuts & Bolts favour gives a strong indication of the way the match went.

Despite being in the ascendancy during the opening 45 minutes shots on target were most definitely lacking, with neither goalkeeper forced to make a save of any note. United going closest through Mohammed Kamara, who really should have hit the target with a volley from close-range, whilst Josh Wisson and Theo Fairweather-Johnson were both wide of the mark when well placed.

Recent acquisition Fairweather-Johnson limped out of the action after 35 minutes, following a robust challenge by Chris Saunders five minutes earlier, which quite rightly earnt the former United player a booking.

Saunders was one six former United players in the Oystermen squad, five in the starting XI plus Louis Sprosen on the bench, although he remained unused. Another notable returnee to the Homelands was former Ashford Town favourite, centre-back Rob Gillman who made 65 appearances in two spells for the club, firstly in season 2003-04, before returning at the start of season 2007-08. The 35-year old though moved away shortly after the arrival of Steve Lovell, who replaced Clive Walker at the helm during November 2007.

The second-half again saw the hosts much the brighter of the two teams, with Toby Ajala firing narrowly wide from around 20-yards, two minutes after the re-start. Shortly afterwards Usman Udeniji found the net for United, only to see the flag raised for offside.

Sam Mott comfortably gathered low down at the near post to prevent Chris Elliott from giving the visitors an undeserved lead. Dan Eason though was much the busier of the two keepers, pulling off a number of fine saves, with Ajala being denied by a finger-tip save which looked destined for the top corner.

Parish almost scored a fluke goal when he rushed to put pressure on Eason, the shot-stopper attempted a clearance, but his blushes were spared when the ball bobbled off the livewire forward and only just past the post.

With United knocking on the door, it came as little surprise when the opening goal was scored, with debutant Williams sliding the ball past Eason at the far post, following good work by Sam Corne down the left-flank.

With the momentum behind them United crafted numerous chances, only to find a goalkeeper in inspired form, as Eason thwarted Parish with a top drawer save. Ajala then tried his luck from the edge of the box and Corne tested Eason with a cheeky effort, before another wonder save prevented Wisson from doubling the lead.

Ajala could have bagged a hat-trick, but another effort was pushed away from under the crossbar by the overworked man of the match Eason.

The victory though was sealed in the first minute of stoppage time with a goal of pure class and quality. Picking up the ball deep inside his own half, Parish evaded all challenges to run virtually the length of the pitch down the right-wing. He then waltzed into the box, before dummying and then scoring with his left-peg, he quite rightly melted the applause which he richly deserved from the home faithful, after scoring one of the best individual goals seen at the Homelands.

The match also saw Clark Woodcock come on as 71st minute substitute to bring up 50 appearances for the club, whilst youngster Kundai Munyama replaced hero Parish in the third added minute before the whistle blew about 15 seconds later.

The win lifts the Nuts & Bolts to fourth in the table and very much in the mix for a place in the Isthmian League South East play-offs.

Next up is another home match, when Greenwich Borough visit on Saturday 19th January, very much looking for a result following their 2-7 home defeat to fellow strugglers Herne Bay.

Match Reporter Kevin Hall

Match Stats

  • Date: Saturday 12th January 2019
  • Kick Off: 3:00pm
  • Match Type: Isthmian League South East
  • Venue: Homelands
  • Attendance: 333
  • Score (FT): 2-0
  • Score (HT): 0-0
  • Goalscorers (Ashford): Trey Williams (57) Danny Parish (90+1)
  • Referee: Jack Fagg
  • Assistants: Jak Hill & Richard Joss
  • Bookings:

    Ashford
    Yellow Cards: Josh Wisson (86)

    Red Cards: None

    Whitstable Town
    Yellow Cards: Chris Saunders (30) Charlie Smith (63)

    Red Cards: None
  • Teams:


    Ashford United

    Sam Mott
    Jerald Aboagye
    Tom Carlse
    Josh Wisson
    Afolabi Coker
    Mohammed Kamara
    Sam Corne
    Toby Ajala
    Danny Parish (90+3)
    Usman Adeniji (off 71)
    Theo Fairweather-Johnson (off 35)

    Substitutes

    Clark Woodcock * (on 71)
    Trey Williams * (on 35)
    Tony Oladipupo
    Kundai Munyama * (on 90+3)
    Charlie Wealands (gk)

    Whitstable Town

    Dan Eason
    Sam Welch
    Chris Elliott
    Stuart West
    Rob Gillman
    Tom Bryant
    Chris Saunders (off 68)
    Michael Jenner
    Charlie Smith (off 68)
    Jordan Wright
    James Trueman

    Substitutes

    Harry Brown
    Tom Walmsley * (on 68)
    Ricky Freeman * (on 68)
    Teddy Nelson
    Louis Sprosen