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Tunbridge Wells 1/3/16 Won 2-1

Match Report by Kevin Hall posted on 3rd March 2016

Quickfire goals earn the points and extend unbeaten league run to 13 matches

Match Stats

Date: Tue 1 Mar 2016

Kick Off: 7.45pm

Match Type: Southern Counties East Football League

Venue: Homelands

Score (FT): 2-1

Score (HT): 0-0

Referee: Ivan Gelov

Assistants: Unknown


Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

George Kamurasi
Adam Cuthbert
Charlie Dickens
Luke Cuthbert
Mikey Dalton
Pat Kingwell
Ryan Palmer
Gary Clarke (off 61)
Shaun Welford (off 78)
Jon Pilbeam (off 83)
Ben Davisson

Substitutes (used *)
Tom Fagg * (on 83)
Tasar Hassan
Paul Booth * (on 61)
Chris Saunders
Jack Healey * (on 78)

Steve Lawrence
Keiran Tarbie
Alfie Hall
Jason Barton
Tom Davey
Tom Bryant
Charlie Cornford (off 64)
Dane Moore
Ryan Crandley
Chris Seenan (off 78)
Lee Radford

Substitutes (used *)
Steve Ikpeme * (on 64)
Tom Mackelden
Basit Ajaja
Alwayne Jones
Joe Nwoko * (on 78)

Attendance: 204

Strikers Jon Pilbeam and Shaun Welford scored twice in four minutes midway through the second-half, to help Ashford United to three more vital league points, in the midweek clash at the Homelands versus Tunbridge Wells.

Substitute Joe Nwoko halved the deficit for the Wells seven minutes from time, but the two earlier strikes proved enough to extend the Nuts & Bolts unbeaten league run to 13 matches.

In an even fast paced opening period, Kamurasi saved well from Ryan Crandley, whilst a good build up involving Welford and Ryan Palmer ended with Mikey Dalton warming the hands of visiting keeper Steve Lawrence.

Palmer’s trickery was a constant threat to the visitors and he was the subject of a number of poor tackles on him, which all went unpunished by a very lenient referee Ivan Gelov.

Ironically for the home fans the first yellow card shown went to Welford, after clashing with Lawrence in the 24th minute.

For the visitors Charlie Cornford and Lee Radford were particularly lucky to see challenges on Palmer unpunished, but as the first half drew to a close Dane Moore was shown a yellow card.

In the second-half Ashford pressed forward as Palmer saw a shot blocked, before a Gary Clarke header went just wide.

Returning from long term injury, Clarke put in another good shift in midfield before being replaced in the 61st minute by Paul Booth, but it is great to see the tenacious midfielder perform as if he has never been away.

Newcomer Ben Davisson tested Lawrence with an effort from the edge of the box, then shortly afterwards the Wells attacked, Alfie Hall picked out Crandley whose header went narrowly off target.

Then with 70 minutes gone, Ashford broke the deadlock when Davisson crossed from the left to pick out Welford, whose looping header glanced in off Pilbeam en-route to goal, past a posse of defenders on the line.

If the first goal was a bit scrappy, then second after 74 minutes was a quite brilliant finish by Welford, who showed great pace to ease past the defence, before firing across Lawrence into the far corner for his 23rd goal of the season.

Nwoko blasted home to give the Wells some hope in the 83rd minute, firing into the roof of the net, to ensure a nervy finish for the hosts, but they held firm to secure the points.

The 2-1 victory for Ashford was a reverse of the result at the Culverden Stadium in early September and continues the dominance for Ashford over the Wells, the two now having met nine times in league and cup football.

The only victory apart from the league encounter earlier in the season since pair renewed rivalries for Tunbridge Wells, being a 3-2 Kent Senior Trophy during season 2012-13, whilst United have now been victorious on seven occasions, with the pair yet to share a score draw.

Match Reporter Kevin Hall