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Ashford United extended their streak without a win in all competitions to eight matches, after slipping to a 2-4 defeat at home to struggling Three Bridges.
It was another poor display by the hosts which followed on from a disappointing midweek exit in the FA Cup replay at Haywards Heath, as they took their tally to 11 goals conceded in three matches inside the space of eight days
Having picked up just two Isthmian League points since defeating Faversham Town in late August, United went behind in the 11th minute when Ibby Akanbi powerfully headed home from a well delivered cross from Bradley Peters deep into the box.
Struggling to find any cohesion early on Ashford didn’t have a shot on target until the 28th minute, when Stefan Cox fired in a well struck effort, but Giovanni Porciatti got down well to save.
The lead was doubled when a quick counter attack by the visitors ended with Tom Carlse sliding the ball into his own net, after he attempted to intercept a ball into the penalty area from Mason Doughty after 35 minutes.
Within two minutes Ashford fans were given some cheer when Sam Corne fired home from close range, this despite protests from the opponents for handball. An error from goalkeeper Porciatti almost led to Josh Wisson restoring parity, but the ball bounced wide of the target.
Then in added time at the end of the first-half Sam Mott did well to divert a bobbling shot from Akanbi beyond the post.
United were once again guilty of poor play from free-kicks, with Fidan Fejzi blasting over the crossbar from a set piece in the 58th minute.
Bridges were grateful to Porciatti when he saved well from Cox before Harry Ottaway saw a goal bound effort blocked, then the keeper showed good reactions to deny Lanre Azeez. Then with Ashford enjoying their best spell of the match, Wisson rose well to head towards goal only for Porciatti to pull off a great diving save.
Ambrose Gnhahore then blazed another good free-kick opportunity high wide and handsome, before Ashford were made to pay for the inability to convert when Doughty fired home from the edge of box to once again restore the two-goal cushion in the 80th minute.
The misery for the Nuts & Bolts was compounded when Bridges added a fourth through livewire Akanbi who danced into the box to find the net in the 89th minute.
United enjoyed some late cheer when a spectacular volley from Corne ended the scoring in the third minute of injury time, although by this time many home fans had already departed through the turnstiles.
The defeat sees Ashford slip another couple of places to 10th in the table, whilst Three Bridges rose from 19th to 16th spot after the win.
Next up for United is a trip to Sevenoaks on Saturday 20th October, followed by a visit to Greenwich Borough the following week, although this fixture will depend on whether the Borough progress in the FA Trophy next Saturday. United have only three home matches before the turn of the New Year.
Match Reporter Kevin Hall
Sam Mott Siao Blackwood Tom Carlse Fidan Fejzi (off 65) Ollie Rowe Josh Wisson Sam Corne Lea Dawson Harry Ottaway (off 84) Stefan Cox (off 65) Lanre Azeez
Ambrose Gnahore * (on 65) Clark Woodcock * (on 84) Matt Day * (on 65) Brandon Williams Charlie Wealands (gk)
Giovanni Porciatti Bradley Peters Nathan Simpson Lee Hall Ibby Akanbi (14) (off 90+4) Olumide Oluwatimilehin (15) Antone Douglas (18) Jensen Grant Connor French (off 74) Mason Doughty (off 90+1) Joe Tennant (20)
Tyrone Berry * (on 90+1) John Lansdale (11) Omar Folkes (13) * (on 74) Kelvin Adjei * (on 90+4) Ami Glloga
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