25/3/17 Sevenoaks Town Lost 0-4

Early goals costly as United slip to heavy defeat

Match Stats

Date: Sat 25 Mar 2017

Kick Off: 3.00pm

Match Type: Southern Counties East Football League

Venue: Greatness Park

Score (FT): 0-4

Score (HT): 0-3

Goalscorers: Sevenoaks Town
Kieron McCann (1)
Joe Bingham (9, 80p)
Harrison Carnegie (11)


Referee: Joe Kasper

Assistants: Matt Williams & Harry Graham

Bookings:
Ashford United
Jason Goodchild (37)
Ryan Palmer (79)
Adam Highsted (80)
Ben Davisson (89)

SENT OFF
Ben Davisson (90+3) – 2nd yellow card

Sevenoaks Town
Joe Bingham (7)
Chris Edwards (41)
Keiron McCann (57)
Byron Walker (90+2)


Teams:
ASHFORD UNITED
Adam Highsted
George Savage (off 60)
Frazer Walker
Richard Avery
Joe Vines
Pat Kingwell
Ryan Palmer
Ben Davisson
Shaun Welford
Adrian Stone
Jason Goodchild

Substitutes (used *)
Luke Eldridge * (on 60)
Callum Howland
Danny Lye
David Botterill
Aaron Lee-Wharton (gk)

SEVENOAKS TOWN
Rob French
Chris Edwards
Sheriff Babatunde (off 71)
Stephen Camacho
Tom Ripley
Corey Holder
Harrison Carnegie
Yacine Gnahore (off 71)
Andrew Irvine (off 56)
Joe Bingham
Kieron McCann

Substitutes (used *)
Jimmy Rodgers * (on 71)
Jack Richards
Francisco Mbela * (on 71)
Byron Walker * (on 56)
Marvin Okundalaye


Attendance: 166

League leaders Ashford United’s title chances suffered another big blow when they slumped to a 0-4 defeat at the hands of third placed Sevenoaks Town, who are now very much back in the title race as United and Crowborough continue to falter.

United – in a horror start to the important top of the table clash – never recovered after conceding in the opening 47 seconds following a catalogue of errors which presented Kieron McCann with a simple tap-in for the first goal.

McCann’s strike though isn’t the quickest league goal conceded by United, as James McDonald has that honour when he found the net for Woodstock Sports after only 15 seconds back in August 2013.

On that occasion United struck back to win the away match 3-2, but alas today there was no repeat as things only got worse for the Nuts & Bolts with two further goals following inside 11 minutes.

Goals from Joe Bingham after nine minutes, followed by Harrison Carnegie’s strike in the 11th minute meant the visitors really were staring into the abyss, as the Oaks took full advantage of the strong first-half wind in their favour.

Recent big money signing for the hosts Andrew Irvine then somehow contrived to miss the target when it seemed easier to score, but although United re-grouped the result was never in doubt.

Perhaps things might have been different if Shaun Welford’s 29th minute header had not struck the woodwork, or had Adrian Stone not miscued a volley from close range over the crossbar. Or indeed if only someone could have got a touch on Ryan Palmer’s low cross which evaded everyone as the ball pinged across the six-yard box.

However goalkeeper Adam Highsted – on loan from Canvey Island and covering for the suspended George Kamurasi – could not be blamed for any of the first three goals conceded.

The much travelled keeper whose career started at Welling United and has also played for the likes of Bromley, Lordswood, Chatham Town, Cray Wanderers, Whyteleafe, Ramsgate and Fisher. Whilst before Joining Canvey Island in February he has had spells with Hythe Town, Erith Town, Beckenham Town during the current campaign.

But he was exposed all too often Joe Vines with a weak back header tried optimistically to find him, but the lively Carnegie was first to the ball before firing wide. Highsted then had to rush from his line to prevent Bingham from adding to the misery, it is fair to say therefore that he was much busier than his counterpart Rob French at the other end.

With top scorer Welford and Stone only having scraps to feed off in the first-half, United made little headway playing into strong wind, whilst the very bumpy playing was never going to be conducive for good flowing football.

With the wind now in their favour the visiting fans hoped for a response in the second period and indeed for a few minutes United briefly threatened. French preventing Welford with a terrific finger-tip save two minutes after the re-start, then Vines was unlucky to see a great strike deflected for a corner-kick.

On the hour mark Luke Eldridge was introduced in the place of George Savage, whilst Pat Kingwell was pushed forward as Ashford briefly went three at the back in a bid to get a foothold in the match.

This though only left United exposed in defence, Carnegie neatly setting up substitute Francisco Mbela, but this time United were saved by the woodwork.

Then with 10 minutes remaining Byron Walker – who had replaced the injured Irvine after 56 minutes – was upended by Highsted , but the keeper somehow escaped with only a yellow card when all watching were sure a red would be shown.

Bingham duly blasted home the spot-kick to complete the rout, then in stoppage time Highsted dived at the feet of Walker, to prevent a heaviest ever league reverse for United.

But to cap a really poor afternoon off, the red-card malaise struck once again when one of the better players on the day, Ben Davisson was shown two yellow cards in the dying embers, meaning yet again another player suspension.

Despite the sixth league defeat of the campaign – which is twice as many when runners-up two seasons ago to Phoenix Sports – United are still in contention, but they can ill afford many more bad days at the office.

United have a quick chance for revenge when they face the Oaks for a second time in four days, at the Homelands on Tuesday night in Semi-Final 2nd leg of the Macron League Cup, with the tie evenly poised after a 1st leg 1-1 draw.

A bumper support for the team as they continue their treble bid would be most welcome, particularly as this is the first match at home since the return of ownership back to the club.

Match Reporter Kevin Hall