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Beckenham Town 8/4/14 Won 3-0

Match Report by Kevin Hall posted on 9th April 2014

That'll do Ron Ron, as Dolan sets ton up Ashford back to the top of the table

Match Stats

Date: Tue 8 Apr 2014

Kick Off: 7.45pm

Match Type: Southern Counties East Football League

Venue: Homelands

Score (FT): 3-0

Score (HT): 2-0

Referee: Richard Joss

Assistants: M McCaughan & Gary Bourne


Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

1 Joe Mant
2 Luke Cuthbert
3 Liam Whiting
4 Ollie Finch (off 27)
5 Jordan Miller
6 Ben Jordan
7 Dave Cook
8 Adam Cuthbert
9 Pat Kingwell
10 Gary Mickelborough (off 85)
11 Ronnie Dolan (off 75)

Substitutes (used *)
12 Sam Conlon * (on 75)
14 Sam Fisher * (on 27)
15 Tom Scorer
16 Michael Smissen
17 Ira Jackson * (on 85)

Rilwan Adibaba
Dan Wise (off 66)
Steve McNamara
Adam Wadmore
Paul Nathan
Joe Jackson
Jamie Taylor
Thomas Ngegba
Alex Wilks
Alfie Nunn (off 70)
Travis Gregory

Substitutes (used *)
Jake Britnell

Jason Clews * (on 66)
Jamie Williams * (on 70)

Attendance: 200

A first goal in Ashford colours by Ronnie Dolan, set the team en route to a 3-0 win over Beckenham Town at the Homelands in the dress rehearsal for Sunday’s Kent Senior Trophy Final. But with Becks being reduced to nine men during the second half, it is difficult to gauge as to what might happen when the pair clash once again at Longmead Stadium in five days time.

On a night of round figures, which saw Ben Jordan and Liam Whiting notch up 100 appearances for the Nuts & Bolts, a crowd of exactly 200 left delighted when news came through that Corinthian had beaten Whyteleafe 1-0 to send United back to the top of the table for the fourth time. Whilst when Dolan set the ball rolling with the opening strike, it marked a ton of goals for the season, in all competitions for promotion hopefuls United.

Only the top three in the table have scored more than the free scoring visitors with 64 league goals and having whopped up Holmesdale 6-0 at the weekend they started brightly enough. Indeed for the opening 25 minutes, chances were evenly shared, Joe Mant had to be alert to pull of a fine save to deny Alex Wilks on 14 minutes, whilst some accurate crosses from Steve McNamara teased the defence, Luke Cuthbert in the right place to head off the goal line shortly afterwards. Ashford chances falling to Gary Mickelborough and Whiting with long range off target strikes, but Dave Cook should have done better with a free header in the best opportunity of the early exchanges, when the net looked set to bulge.

However it all changed on 26 minutes and was a route one goal of the highest order which saw Ashford go in front followed a punt up field from Goalkeeper Mant. The delivery eluded all but Dolan who latched onto the bouncing ball, controlling it well and finishing with some relish. Moments later, Mickelborough forced Rilwan Adibaba into a good save which denied his stinging short, whilst at the other end Mant dived to his left and despite a little bobble did well to keep out the ball to thwart Thomas Ngegba.

Around the half-hour mark Adam Cuthbert went on a great run to square the ball to Mickelborough and Adibaba had to react well to prevent to the score being added to. Then on 33 minutes, the first signs started to appear that the Referee was going to become a busy man for the remainder of the contest, the catalyst being when McNamara fell to the ground with Whiting in close proximity, but after feigning injury it was the Beckenham number three who found his name in the Refs note book.

The lead was then doubled when Kingwell powered home a 42nd minute header from Dolan’s pin point cross into the six-yard box, the goal capping off a great move down the right side by Ashford. The second goal was just the tonic for the home support, as news filtered through at half-time that Whyteleafe were behind in their match.

The second-half with so many cards being brandished was a much scrappier affair than the opening 45 minutes and despite a lot of effort and the majority of possession, Ashford couldn’t quite kill the match off.

On 54 minutes, Mickelborough was clean through on goal and having been pulled back, Adam Wadmore received his marching orders, perhaps though the red card was a little harsh bearing in mind that other defenders were around him. However from that moment, the visitors really did start to lose the plot, committing a serious of fouls in and around their own penalty area, as yellow cards were produced to Joe Jackson and Alfie Nunn before the hour mark.

Despite a number of good free-kick opportunities, Ashford once again wasteful in this department and this must be of some concern to the Management. Then with 20 minutes left, ten became nine after an agricultural challenge by Jamie Taylor took out Sam Fisher, so having been carded early in the match, he knew what was coming and quickly departed the scene of the crime as first a yellow and a red card was waved under his nose.

The disparity of numbers was clear to see with Ashford in complete control and surely another goal would come, but it wasn’t until late in the match that the third goal did follow. Mickelborough who is on a good run of form of late was unlucky on two occasions not to get on the score sheet as Anibaba started to become very overworked in the Becks goal.

A rare attacking sortie by Beckenham saw a howler of a miss from Travis Gregory after a defensive slip almost spoilt things for the home side. The outcome though was sealed with two minutes remaining when Anibaba produced a point blank save to deny Cook, but the rebound fell to Conlon who pounced to stab home for his 15th goal of the season to complete the 3-0 score.

There was still time for the young fresh legs of Ira Jackson to run at the weary visiting defence, but if only he could have found his way to goal, that would have been the icing on the cake to round a great night off.

Match Reporter Kevin Hall