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Cray Valley Paper Mills 28/3/15 Lost 0-1

Match Report by Kevin Hall posted on 28th March 2015

Single goal enough to end 13 match winning streak at windswept Homelands

Match Stats

Date: Sat 28 Mar 2015

Kick Off: 3.00pm

Match Type: Southern Counties East Football League

Venue: Homelands

Score (FT): 0-1

Score (HT): 0-0

Referee: Tom Marshall

Assistants: Glen Childs & Ollie Smith


Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Joe Mant
Adam Cuthbert
Luke Cuthbert
Jamie Collado (off 82)
Danny Lye
Pat Kingwell
Gary Clarke
Michael Phillips
Stuart Zanone
Liam Whiting (off 77)
Gary Mickelborough (off 60)

Substitutes (used *)
Ollie Finch
Michael Smissen * (on 82)
Tom Scorer * (on 77)
Lee Winfield * (on 60)
Liam Walsh

Bradley Morgan
Tommy Osborne
Adam Gross
Jimmy Rogers
Joe Matthews
Ronnie Vint
Uche Ibemere
Jamie Miller
Laurent Hamici
Alwayne Jones (off 82)
James Doherty

Substitutes (used *)
Max Williams
Connor Dobson * (on 82)
Ryan Sawyer
Paul Gross

Attendance: 222

Ashford United’s first of four home matches inside 10 days saw an end to their winning run, when Cray Valley Paper Mills completed the double over them at a windswept Homelands, with the only goal of the game coming midway through the second-half.

Having won 13 on the trot since the 2-3 defeat to the Millers in early in November, Ashford had hoped to consolidate their second spot in the Southern Counties East League, but Cray Valley were organised and resolute in defence and did a job on them, thanks to the strike from Alwayne Jones after 65 minutes.

Ashford started brightly as Michael Phillips drifted in a free-kick which found the head of the prolific Stuart Zanone, but goalkeeper Bradley Morgan did well to push the ball out for a corner in the fifth minute.

Morgan was in action almost immediately to again thwart Ashford as the home side enjoyed a succession of corner-kicks, the young visiting keeper proving a worthy replacement for suspended first choice goalie Stevie Sutton.

The conditions were certainly never going to make for a pretty game, the visitors though had done their homework, defending deep and always seemingly having two men marking Zanone, thereby giving him few opportunities to add to his 43-goal tally, in his final game before holidaying in the USA.

Adam Gross went close for the Millers then Morgan was on hand after an error from Tommy Osborne almost fell the way of Zanone, but once again the stand-in keeper was equal to the task to deny his header.

Just before the break Liam Whiting unleashed a rasping shot which was too hot to handle for Morgan, but aided by his defence the ball was cleared away and so it remained goalless at half-time.

After the break, Gary Mickelborough saw a header go over the crossbar, then moments later just failing to get anything on a teasing powerful low cross from Whiting which flew into the danger area.

With United pressing forward a move broke down which resulted in a swift counter attack and although Joe Mant saved well with his feet to thwart Laurent Hamici, Jones was on hand to slot away the rebound into an open net for 1-0.

The game then became stretched as United searched in vain to get something out of it, Manager Paul Chambers pushed Pat Kingwell into attack, this almost brought instant rewards but a glancing header from him went just wide of the post.

Jamie Collado having been set up by Zanone headed narrowly wide, the latter then finally found some space to get a shot in, only to see it deflected away for a corner via the leg of Osborne.

Ashford were almost caught out at the back again and Adam Cuthbert was called into action to twice deny Hamici with timely tackles, as well as being in the right place at the right time to block a shot from James Doherty.

It was a frustrating afternoon for the Nuts and Bolts which saw yellow cards late on for Kingwell and Adam Cuthbert, but when the final whistle blew few home fans could deny Cray Valley a hard fought victory.

The defeat although disappointing still keeps United second in the table, after Erith & Belvedere were held to a 1-1 draw at bottom of the table Erith Town who are fighting to avoid relegation and it is they who Ashford next welcome to the Homelands on Tuesday night.

Match Reporter Kevin Hall