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Ashford United earned themselves a hard-fought point against fourth-placed Whyteleafe to extend their unbeaten run to five matches after finishing goalless, in atrocious conditions at the Homelands.
Very much a rarity, it was United’s first home goalless league match since Phoenix Sports visited in April 2015. But with few notable chances, the match will be best remembered for the driving rain throughout, which was never likely to aid free-flowing football.
The only real action in the opening half seemed to revolve around the five yellow cards shown by the referee, which ultimately led to the visitors ending with ten men for the last 13 minutes of the match.
The Leafe just about shaded the opening 45 minutes, after winning a number of free-kicks, but Ashford held firm, with credit marks to Tom Carlse for a brilliant header to prevent a goal-scoring opportunity. Sam Mott also advanced well from his line to dive bravely at the feet of Lauris Chin late in the half, whilst for the hosts Danny Parish curled a free-kick narrowly wide.
If anything, the conditions worsened in the second-half as the rain swept sideways across the pitch as both sides did their best to entertain the 218 hardy souls witnessing the stalemate.
In the second-half, Ashford were mainly restricted to half chances as Josh Wisson and Harry Ottaway tried their luck, whilst Parish was harshly flagged for off-side after appearing to time his run perfectly.
In the 77th minute Whyteleafe were down to 10-men when Jason Holder halted Parish as United surged forward, so having been booked in the 42nd minute, he was shown a second yellow card.
In stoppage time both sides looked to snatch a late winner, Carlse almost finding the net from an acute angle, before Mott reacted well to push the ball out for a corner-kick from a wicked deflection.
In the end though with both defences very much on top throughout the cagey affair, a point apiece was probably a fair reflection, with neither side really doing enough to secure all three points.
The match also saw a couple of new signings appearing off the bench, with Liam Gillies appearing before himself being replaced by Afolabi Coker late on.
Against one of the likely promotion candidates new Manager Tommy Warrilow will no doubt be pleased with the attitude and endeavour of his players, even if the game perhaps won’t live long in the memory.
Match Reporter Kevin Hall
Sam Mott Jerald Aboagye Tom Carlse Josh Wisson Ollie Rowe Mohamed Kamara Clark Woodcock (off 77) Sam Corne (off 52) Harry Ottaway Danny Parish Toby Ajala
Matt Day Afolabi Coker * (on 87) Liam Gillies * (on 52 off 87) Lea Dawson * (on 77) Charlie Wealands (gk)
Tyler McCarthy Bradley Wilson Matthew O’Donoghue Nathan Campbell Ricardo Thompson Corey Holder Harrison Carnegie Emmanuel Maja Lauris Chin (off 59) Marvin Armstrong Arif Hattabi (off 85)
Harvey Bland Nicholas Akoto * (on 85) David Owusu-Akyeaw * (on 59) Valentino Carpene Kyew Nicholas
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