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Ashford United maintained their challenge for a play-off spot as they moved up to second place in the Isthmian South East League table, after securing a 2-1 win over Sevenoaks Town in front of 391 at a bright, sunny but cold Homelands.
The victory was secured thanks to a quickfire start which saw goals from Sam Corne & Trey Williams within nine minutes of the clash, as the Oaks slipped to their first defeat of 2019.
It was a match in which the hosts always looked in control of, however a second-half Oaks penalty gave the visitors a glimmer of hope, but ultimately proved little more than a nuisance to United who ran out worthy winners.
United raced out the blocks, with top scorer Corne grabbing his 15th goal of the season in the fifth minute, when he reacted quickest to a rebound back off goalkeeper Louie Catherall.
The lead was doubled just four minutes later, with this time Williams the gleeful recipient of some slack defending to fire home, after a lively burst down the left from Tom Carlse.
United continued to press forward, with the ever-dangerous Carlse almost catching out Catherall with a deep teasing cross, only to see the ball bounce out of play off the top of the crossbar.
United were totally dominant in midfield, with star player Corne once again excelling, with the visitors offering very little going forward until the half-hour mark when Sam Mott thwarted Frankie Sawyer on the edge of the penalty area.
Just before the end of the first 45 minutes Mott pulled off another good save, whilst Carlse fired wide from long range for the Nuts & Bolts.
In the opening minute of the second period Sawyer was prevented from scoring by a timely block by Toby Ajala, before United were denied a third goal by an offside flag from the assistant referee.
Still looking to add to the tally, Bode Anigugbe set up Danny Parish but Catherall was alert to task, before denying Williams who once again impressed and looks a fine acquisition to the side.
In the 62nd minute Oaks halved the deficit when referee Joe Stokes pointed to the spot, presumably for a push after Mott had comfortably gathered a harmless free-kick. To the crowd it seemed a strange one, with neither the visitors appealing or the hosts protesting about the awarding of the spot-kick.
Mott dived the right way but was unable to prevent former Hythe Town frontman Sawyer from finding the net, to give the Oaks hope of gaining something from a match in which they were clearly second best.
Williams then should have done better after beating the offside trap but was never able to control the ball as the opportunity went begging.
The remainder of the match passed by without further alarm for Ashford, despite over five minutes of injury time played when only three had been indicated.
Match Reporter Kevin Hall
Sam Mott Jerald Aboagye Tom Carlse Josh Wisson Afolabi Coker Mohamed Kamara Sam Corne Bode Anidugbe Danny Parish (off 88) Trey Williams (off 72) Toby Ajala
Clark Woodcock Stefan Cox * (on 88) Jay May * (on 72) Lea Dawson Lee Hook (gk)
Louie Catherall Fraser Walker Ryan Makhojini-Khayne Mikey Dalton Tom Ripley Josh Dorling Luke Holness (off 51) Alec Fiddes Tommy Whitnell Frankie Sawyer Ryan Fowler (off 59)
Kenny Pogue * (on 51) Ainsley Everett Osman Proni * (on 59) Jack Miles Daniel Cumber
We host the Oaks at Homelands this Saturday!
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