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The road to Wembley in the Emirates FA Cup was a short lived one for Ashford United after they limped tamely out of the competition, courtesy of a shock 0-2 home defeat to Horsham YMCA.
Gary Alexander’s unbeaten Nuts & Bolts had previously performed well in their opening three matches to date, but they were dumped out of the competition after two goals within the space of three second-half minutes.
United started brightly enough with Ambrose Gnahore striking the crossbar from distance in the sixth minute, before scuffing a shot wide a few minutes later.
After 15 minutes Ashley Dugdale squandered a golden opportunity for the lower ranked Southern Combination side, but his effort went wide of the target with only Sam Mott to beat.
Ashford despite plenty of endeavour struggled to breakdown a solid YMCA defence, this was typified by Ollie Gill when he did well to block Sam Corne within sight of the goal.
Harry Ottaway spun and turned well only to see his shot go narrowly beyond the post, later Aaron Jeal saved bravely to deny Gnahore. Then in first-half stoppage time, left-back Tom Carsle cut in down the left flank, but his shot was right footed and was comfortably gathered by Jeal.
Just before the hour mark the stalemate of the turgid affair was broken with a piece of skill quite out of context with the match thus far. Dan Mobsby connecting beautifully with a lob volley from the edge of the box, which sailed over Mott to give the visitors the lead.
The lead was quickly doubled just three minutes later when a breakaway ended with Sam Schaff needing just the simplest of touches to find the net from just inside the six-yard box.
At two down a fightback never really looked on the cards, Ashford huffed and puffed but poor service to the front men with a succession of overhit and heavy passes did little to aid the cause.
Jordan Johnson-Palmer was wasteful with a free-kick on the edge of the 18-yard box and was immediately subbed as Alexander searched for something different. Then Antonio Simeone needlessly talked his way into the Referee’s notebook nine minutes from time, which sort of summed up Ashford’s lacklustre afternoon.
The Nuts & Bolts will need to re-group quickly before they host Faversham Town in the Bank Holiday clash on Monday afternoon.
The visitors will be in buoyant mood fresh from their 4-1 victory in the FA Cup, the local derby will most likely see a quick return to the Homelands for Dean Grant, whilst the Lilywhites also include former Ashford Town goalkeeper Simon Overland amongst their number.
Match Reporter Kevin Hall
Sam Mott Siao Blackwood Tom Carlse Jordan Johnson-Palmer (off 66) Antonio Simeone Luis Morrison Sam Corne Lea Dawson Harry Ottaway Lanre Azeez (off 83) Ambrose Gnahore (off 66)
Will Thomas Aaron Lee-Wharton (gk) Josh Wisson Matt Day * (on 66) Fidan Fejzi Clark Woodcock * (on 83) Brandon Williams * (on 66)
Aaron Jeal Dean Carden Guy Harding Tom Gilbert Ollie Gill Ollie Moore (off 65) Luke Donaldson Ashley Dugdale Sam Schaff (off 74) Dan Mobsby Alex Barbary
Callum Donaghey * (on 74) Mark Cave * (on 65) Dean Brown Jack Frankland Liam Hunter Dan Evans Dave Brown
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