1/4/17 Crowborough Athletic Won 3-1

Brilliant Hill treble settles pulsating top of the table clash

Match Stats

Date: Sat 1 Apr 2017

Kick Off: 3.00pm

Match Type: Southern Counties East Football League

Venue: Homelands

Score (FT): 3-1

Score (HT): 1-1

Goalscorers: Ashford United
Rory Hill (39,69,80)

Crowborough Athletic
Ross Treleavan (20)

Referee: Kane Dempster

Assistants: Joseph Dann-Pye & Harry Phillips

Bookings:
Ashford United
David Botterill (29)
Jason Goodchild (61)
Rory Hill (62)
Dan Stubbs (79)
George Savage (88)

SENT OFF
Danny Lye (61) Manager dismissed from dugout

Crowborough Athletic
Jack Walder (53)
Zac Attwood (63)
Jack Turner (65)
Henry Muggeridge (90+4)


Teams:
ASHFORD UNITED
George Kamurasi
George Savage
Frazer Walker
David Botterill
Richard Avery
Pat Kingwell
Dan Stubbs
Ben Davisson
Shaun Welford
Jason Goodchild
Rory Hill (off 90)

Substitutes (used *)
Ryan Palmer
Luke Eldridge
Joe Vines * (on 90)
Adrian Stone
Matthew Day

CROWBOROUGH ATHLETIC
Dan Ellis
Sam Crabb
Tom Boddy
Lee Carey
Jack Turner
Jason Barton
Ross Treleavan (off 83)
Jack Walder (off 86)
Zac Attwood
Eddie Smith (off 74)
Sam Muggeridge

Substitutes (used *)
Sam Carrington
Dan Tear
Tom Pearson * (on 83)
Dan Perry * (on 74)
Thomas Vickers * (on 86)


Attendance: 459

A brilliant Rory Hill hat-trick inspired Ashford United to a 3-1 win over Crowborough Athletic in a pulsating and entertaining clash, as the top two battled for supremacy in front of 459 spectators on a bright and sunny afternoon at the Homelands.

The bumper attendance setting a new home league record for United and the highest at the Homelands since 734 saw current Manager Danny Lye score the only goal of the game, in a 1-0 Ashford Town win over Folkestone Invicta on 27 December 2008.

United did though have to come from behind to grab the points, but once Hill drew them level after 39 minutes with an absolute stunner, Ashford started to dominate proceedings and gradually turned the screw on the Crows.

Having grasped the initiative there only ever really looked likely to be one winner with Hill completing his treble with further strikes to take United to 100 league goals for the season.

The Nuts & Bolts even afforded the luxury of a missed a penalty when Dan Ellis guessed correctly to deny top scorer Shaun Welford.

Whilst Hill will deservedly take all the plaudits, it was a great all-round team display and in stark contrast to recent weeks that had seen the promotion bid stutter.

The Crows started the match in lively fashion, with big money signing Eddie Smith beating the offside trap before scuffing the first opportunity of the afternoon, whilst Zac Attwood shot wide shortly afterwards.

With United having been restricted to just a speculative long-range effort from Hill and a shot off target from David Botterill, it was the Crows who drew first blood by opening the scoring after 20 minutes.

United were opened up by a good move down the left-hand side, which ended with Henry Muggeride picking out an unmarked Ross Treleavan who finished well past the outstretched left-hand of George Kamurasi.

Lee Carey then drew Kamurasi into a save when he let fly from around 22-yards, but after this United started to “up the ante” by making headway towards goal.

Jason Goodchild tip-toed his way into the box but took a touch too many, thus allowing Ellis to dive at his feet and bravely smother the ball, before Welford glanced a free header narrowly wide of the target.

Parity was then restored by a piece of magic by Hill who darted inside from the left to breeze past a posse of defenders, before firing home from the edge of the box.

Buoyed by his stunning goal, Hill then went close twice in quick succession with a header off target, before neatly chipping just over the crossbar from an acute angle.

Former Farnborough and Slough Town forward Smith wasted a golden opportunity to put the Crows back into the lead after a rare mistake from Pat Kingwell , but with only Kamurasi to beat, a decidedly off colour Smith poked the ball tamely wide.

The visitors offered very little going forward in the second period in contrast to United who pressed forward at every opportunity.

Ellis who was much the busier keeper as the game progressed, bravely denied Welford in a one-on-one soon after the re-start.

The referee Kane Dempster was also a busy man particularly in the second 45 minutes, brandishing nine yellow-cards, it what wasn’t a dirty match by any stretch of the imagination.He also sent Lye from the dugout after he gesticulated with the referee in irate fashion after one such incident.

In the 65th minute Welford, missed the chance to notch his 39th goal of the campaign, when he saw his well struck spot-kick saved, as the big Geordie missed a penalty for only the second time this campaign.

It mattered not though as Hill found space four minutes later to fire in another cracker from the edge of the box into the bottom left-hand corner to put United into the lead.

However Hill – in search of his hat-trick – was greedy when he raced past the shell-shocked Crows defence but instead of passing to an unmarked Welford he this time shot wide of the post.

His second treble of the season was duly completed 10 minutes from time when he drilled a free-kick from the edge of the D, in off the left-hand post to ensure the points were in the bag for the Nuts & Bolts.

In desperation in stoppage time keeper Ellis made his way into the box as Crowborough won a couple of late corner-kicks.

But Ashford remained resolute today with good performances throughout and with the returning Botterill and Dan Stubbs solid in midfield the visitors could have few complaints about the result.

It was the East Sussex’s side first away defeat of the campaign, as United now lead by three points, although the Crows do have the benefit of a game in hand.

But with a superior goal difference Ashford’s destiny and their dream of Isthmian League football next term is once again in their own hands.

However the chance to strengthen the position at top is by no means an easy task as a difficult trip to fifth placed Whitstable Town follows on Tuesday evening.

It is then a break from the league until Easter as next Sunday, United are in action in the Kent Reliance Kent Senior Trophy Final at Maidstone against Cray Valley Paper Mills.

Match Reporter Kevin Hall