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29/4/17 Rochester United Won 7-0

Match Report by Kevin Hall posted on 2nd May 2017

Ashford United lift league title in style after seven goal rout sees promotion gained.

Match Stats

Date: Sat 29 Apr 2017

Kick Off: 3.00pm

Match Type: Southern Counties East Football League

Venue: Homelands

Score (FT): 7-0

Score (HT): 2-0

Goalscorers (Ashford): Shaun Welford (17, 52, 83[pen]), Dan Stubbs (39), Jason Goodchild (70), Ryan Palmer (75, 90)

Referee: Alasdair King

Assistants: Jerry Annandale & Steven Tunnicliffe


Yellow Cards: Dan Stubbs (36), Shaun Welford (84)

Red Cards: None

Rochester United:
Yellow Cards: James Alderman (25), Aaron Burrett (30)

Red Cards: Aaron Burrett (51)


Ashford United

George Kamurasi
Stuart West
Frazer Walker
David Botterill
Richard Avery (off 71)
Pat Kingwell
Dan Stubbs (off 55)
Ben Davisson (off 76)
Shaun Welford
Jason Goodchild
Rory Hill


Luke Eldridge
Ryan Palmer (on 55)
Adrian Stone (on 76)
Joe Vines
George Savage (on 71)

Rochester United

Michael Elder
Dan Nash
Steve Rothery
Sam Parrish
Aaron Burrett
Tom Box
Alex Kendall (off 69)
James Alderman
Dan Gonzalez-Bello
Michael Hurcombe
Vince Collis (off 76)


Matt Hume (on 69)
Paul Porter (on 76)

Attendance: 807

Ashford United capped a wonderful season by being crowned deserved Southern Counties East League champions following a thumping 7-0 win over Rochester United at the Homelands.

It proved to be a fitting finale to a double winning season and a great way for Manager Danny Lye to celebrate his 100th match in charge as the title was at last lifted.

This after a third place finish last term, following the departure of Paul Chambers after just two matches of the season and after Chambers had guided the Nuts & Bolts to the runners-up spot in consecutive seasons of 2013-14 and 2014-15.

A record “United” competitive fixture crowd of 807 were royally entertained in the late April sunshine as promotion was gained to the Isthmian League, on a day which saw many other records attained in the process.

With 30 league victories, 119 league goals – overall 150 goals in all competitions – a goal difference of 80 and 92 points, few can argue against the Nuts & Bolts returning back where they belong.

Whilst of course there was the further sub-plot to proceedings which saw another Shaun Welford hat-trick taking him to 48 goals for the campaign, thus surpassing Stuart Zanone’s 47 of two seasons ago.

It has been a rocky ride at times since the demise of Ashford Town at the end of season 2009-10, but all was forgotten as the goals went in one by one as rampant United lifted the title in style, all under the watchful eye of a no doubt delighted owner Don Crosbie.

Rochester rarely threaten as Stuart West headed wide then David Botterill picked out Pat Kingwell with a great free-kick delivery only to see Michael Elder pull off a great save to tip Kingwell’s header over the crossbar.

However, Elder was at fault for the important opening goal in the 17th minute from the left foot of Welford which somehow squirmed under his body.

The chance created after Welford had been picked out by a long range pass down the right wing from the impressive Dan Stubbs, with the goal taking the leading scorer to 46 for the season, level with Alan Morton’s Town record and just one behind Zanone.

Ten minutes later a carbon copy move saw Welford this time let rip from just outside the box, only to be thwarted by the woodwork after a thunderous strike which rebounded back off the crossbar.

Botterill bent one wide of the left-hand post with the keeper routed to the spot, then shortly afterwards Stubbs fired a good chance wide, before picking up a yellow-card for abusive language.

But on 39 minutes Stubbs was on hand at the far post to nod home the second goal from a well worked Welford long throw routine, which saw Kingwell provide the important flick to Stubbs. Elder did his best to try and claw the ball back out, but the flag of the Assistant Referee deemed quite correctly that the ball had crossed the line.

The second-half continued with Ashford in the ascendancy spurred on by the bumper crowd, the likes of which hadn’t been since the wonderful seven Ashford Town seasons of the nineties under Neil Cugley. However on a day of celebration for Ashford the news filtered through of the sad loss of Cugley’s long term sidekick Dave Williams who passed away following illness at the age of 65.

Hungry for more goals Welford showed all his guile to set up Stubbs just three minutes after the re-start, but the shot was scuffed and went narrowly wide of the right-hand post.

The visitors were unable to cope with the pace of 37-year old Welford and it certainly proved all too much for Aaron Burrett who decided to bundle Welford over after being outpaced, as the referee had no option other than to award one of the most obvious spot-kicks you are ever likely to see.

To make matters worse, Burrett was dismissed after being shown his second yellow, following on from his card after 30 minutes after a clumsy challenge on Rory Hill.

Welford dusted himself down and in his normal fashion with his back to goal, turned and fired into the bottom left-hand corner to make it 3-0 and draw level with Zanone after 52 minutes.

With the visitors now down to ten-men and Ashford three goals to the good it was truly party time as Ryan Palmer was introduced to provide even more headaches for the shell-shocked Spartans.

Welford was denied by a good save from the overworked Elder, whilst one of the unsung heroes of the season Frazer Walker curled one just wide.

Elder though could no nothing to prevent a fourth which fairly rifled into the net from Jason Goodchild , who had flown past a tiring defence to fire home with 20 minutes remaining after an assist from the brilliant Welford.

Palmer then twisted and turned the mesmerised visitors and after looking to have delayed the shot too long promptly made it 5-0 from around 12-yards.

Then after 79 minutes George Kamurasi had his first real shot to save when he denied the visitors a consolation by comfortably saving Dan Nash’s free-kick.

The Zanone record went in the 83rd minute when Welford completed his hat-trick to set off wild celebrations as Lye came running down the touchline to join the team scrum which surrounded the prolific marksman. Welford then promptly got booked after stripping to the waist following the record breaking moment.

It was truly men against boys as Welford and Hill went close, before Palmer added his second to complete the 7-0 rout in the final minute of regulation time.

It would be fair to say that Rochester will be happy to see the back of Ashford, having conceded 15 goals following the 8-0 drubbing at Rochester back in October.

The overall record for Ashford over the Spartans in four SCEL seasons reading, played eight, won eight, with a goal tally of 38 for and only four against.

United though can now look forward with relish to challenges that lie ahead when they take their place in the Isthmian League South for season 2017-18, with no news yet of who is taking over from Ryman as the new sponsors for the next campaign.

Match Photo courtesy of Ian Scammell Oyster Bay Photography