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AFC Croydon Athletic 8/3/16 Lost 3-4

Match Report by Kevin Hall posted on 9th March 2016

Errors prove costly for United in seven goal thriller at the Homelands

Match Stats

Date: Tue 8 Mar 2016

Kick Off: 7.45pm

Match Type: Southern Counties East Football League

Venue: Homelands

Score (FT): 3-4

Score (HT): 2-0

Referee: Jack Fagg

Assistants: A Overbury & T Chivilo


Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

George Kamurasi
Adam Cuthbert
Luke Cuthbert
Mikey Dalton (off 74)
Jack Healey
Pat Kingwell
Ryan Palmer
Ben Davisson (off 62)
Shaun Welford
Chris Saunders
Tasar Hassan (off 74)

Substitutes (used *)
Jon Pilbeam * (on 74)
Gary Clarke * (on 74)
Paul Booth * (on 62)
Daren Hawkes (gk)
Josh Woolley

Daniel Burnett
Danny Cumber
Jamie Pearson
Fred Fleming (off 52)
Liam Harwood
Jordan Martin
Joshua Smith (off 82)
Jack Higgins
Lee Jansen (off 66)
Bradley Wilson
Raheem Sterling-Parker

Substitutes (used *)
Louis Blake * (on 52)
Haydn McLean-Hayles * (on 66)
Callum Maclean * (on 82)

Attendance: 153

Ashford United had their colours lowered in the Southern Counties East League for the first time since the 3rd October, after letting slip a two goal half-time lead in a seven goal thriller at the Homelands.

Visitors AFC Croydon Athletic could hardly believe their luck, after an error strewn second-half by the Nuts & Bolts which could prove costly to their promotion aspirations. With the Rams making them rue a plethora of missed chances, in a match that should have been put to bed in the first 45 minutes by the hosts.

United have only once before conceded four goals in a home league match, that occasions being on 12 Jan 2013 when they drew 4-4 with Rusthall in the Kent Invicta League.

Shaun Welford who had a host of chances throughout the 90 minutes, had two shots blocked by an alert Athletic defence in the 12th minute, before he was denied by the foot of the post after a fine strike.

The visitors came close through Raheem Sterling-Parker and Lee Jansen, before a brace of goals by Ryan Palmer in the space of 90 seconds put Ashford two up.

The opener – United’s 100th of the season – came after 27 minutes, when the lively Palmer collected a loose ball in the centre circle, before a burst of speed saw him finish well past the advancing Rams goalkeeper Daniel Burnett.

The second goal was virtually a carbon copy of the first after Palmer received the ball slightly closer to goal from Welford, to again show great composure and take his tally to 14 for the season.

Welford tried his luck with an acrobatic effort late in the first half, before being denied by a good save by Burnett.

Quite what happened at the interval remains a mystery, but the visitors started to grow into the game and should have halved the deficit on 58 minutes, but a penalty by Sterling-Parker struck the crossbar.

Then in the space of eight minutes, United fell behind after conceding two goals from set pieces in the 65th and 70th minutes of the match.

On both occasions free-kicks were pumped into the box by Jordan Martin, with Danny Cumber heading home the first, before Jack Higgins levelled things also with his head.

Then three minutes later, Sterling-Parker made the most of a hesitant home defence to coolly finish and put the visitors in front.

United were given false hope when Welford neatly finished after good work by Jon Pilbeam after 78 minutes, only to concede another penalty when goalkeeper George Kamurasi took out Sterling-Parker.

This time the Rams striker made no mistake from the spot for the seventh goal of a topsy-turvy evening at the Homelands, which ultimately sealed the points for the visitors.

United had chances late on with Paul Booth, Welford , Palmer and Jack Healey all squandering opportunities to grab a point from the game.

The untimely defeat means Danny Lye’s team missed the chance to claw back points on the top two, Greenwich Borough and Hollands & Blair, before a difficult trip to Corinthian on Saturday.

Match Reporter Kevin Hall