United ship five first half goals to slip to third league defeat

Match Report by Kevin Hall

Ashford United’s struggles continued when a very inexperienced line-up shipped five goals in the opening 35 minutes to slump to a heavy defeat at the Homelands, as VCD Athletic secured their first league points of the season.

The departure of successful Manager Danny Lye after only two games of the campaign followed by the loss of senior players has meant a real baptism of fire for caretaker boss Jason Whitmore, but clearly up for the challenge the atmosphere is still optimistically buoyant despite the heavy 2-5 defeat.

United had never previously lost three consecutive league matches, but having already been saved by the woodwork in the third minute when Steven Carvell went close, two goals inside three minutes from Kemo Darboe (13) and Omar Lawson (16) quickly deflated the Nuts & Bolts.

The hosts were again caught napping in the 23rd minute, when a quickly taken free-kick saw Darboe fire home past shell shocked stand-in keeper Aaron Lee-Wharton to put the Vickers three up.

Ashford though who battled bravely all afternoon were rewarded on 25 minutes when debutant substitute Connor Westney, having replaced Lee Shearer after 21 minutes, finished off a fine move by curling the ball past the outstretched left-hand of former Homelands keeper Joe Mant.

However Westney’s stay on the field was a brief one, as having become the 17th player to score on his debut for United, he limped off injured just eight minutes after doing so.

Any faint hopes of the start of an unlikely comeback were well and truly extinguished when Carvell lobbed Lee-Wharton after 34 minutes, then less than a minute later the outstanding Lawson added a fifth for the Vickers when he drilled the ball home from the edge of the box.

To their credit United didn’t wilt and reduced the deficit 45 seconds into the second-half as Tyrell Richardson–Brown opened his Ashford account when he poked the ball past Mant at the third attempt.

Although it would be fair to say the visitors did drop down a gear, they did still manage to strike the post through Lawson, whilst Lee-Wharton pulled off good saves to deny Ola Bankole and the pesky Lawson as the game wore on.

It was though a breath of fresh air to watch a game with barely a bad tackle with Kieren Bull the only recipient of a yellow-card 20 minutes from time.

There is much to ponder for the club in the forthcoming weeks after all the upheaval but the young lads will certainly give it a good go and hopefully will be rewarded with some points on the board sooner rather than later.

Match Stats

  • Date: Sat 26 Aug 2017
  • Kick Off: 3.00pm
  • Match Type: Isthmian League South
  • Venue: Homelands
  • Attendance: 264
  • Score (FT): 2-5
  • Score (FT): 1-5
  • Goalscorers (Ashford): Connor Westney (25) Tyrell Richardson-Brown (46)
  • Goalscorers (VCD Athletic): Kemo Darboe (13, 23) Omar Lawson (16, 35) Steven Carvell (34)
  • Referee: John Pike
  • Assistants: Charles Bowen & Patrick O'Reilly
  • Bookings:

    Ashford
    Yellow Cards: Kieren Bull (70)

    Red Cards: None

    VCD Athletic
    Yellow Cards: None

    Red Cards: None
  • Teams:

    Ashford United

    Aaron Lee-Wharton
    Levi Loyza
    Charlie Sharp
    Jon Difford
    Lee Shearer (off 21)
    Kieren Bull
    Brandon Williams
    Harry Lavender
    Trinnhallen Brisley
    Matt Day (off 58)
    Tyrell Richardson-Brown

    Substitutes

    Callum Howland * (on 58)
    Michael Owusu Jesse
    Clark Woodcock * (on 31)
    Connor Westney * (on 21, off 31)

    VCD Athletic

    Joe Mant
    George Lutaaya
    Omar Lawson
    Junior Baker
    Jeffrey Imudia
    Ricardo Joseph
    Siao Blackwood
    Derek Duncan
    Kemo Darboe (off 58)
    Steven Carvell (off 78)
    Aymun El-Moyhalbel (off 60)

    Substitutes

    Emmanual Osei * (on 58)
    Marc Gorbell * (on 78)
    Alastair Gordon
    Kamarl Duncan
    Ola Bankole * (on 61)