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Croydon 31/1/15 Won 4-0

Match Report by Kevin Hall posted on 1st February 2015

Trams derailed as United ease to comfortable victory

Match Stats

Date: Sat 31 Jan 2015

Kick Off: 3.00pm

Match Type: Southern Counties East Football League

Venue: Homelands

Score (FT): 4-0

Score (HT): 2-0

Referee: Michael Marsh

Assistants: Matt McCaughan & Jak Hill


Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Joe Mant
Adam Cuthbert
Luke Cuthbert (off 74)
Lee Winfield
Liam Walsh
Pat Kingwell
Gary Clarke
Tom Scorer
Stuart Zanone (off 79)
Darren Marsden
Andy Irvine (off 76)

Substitutes (used *)
Sam Callender * (on 76)
Michael Smissen * (on 79)
Jordan Harris * (on 74)
Lee Blackman
Paul Chambers

Francis Ameyaw
Leandro Amaro (off 64)
Matthew Gardner
Adam Allen
Michael Craveiro
Rob Curtis
Matteo Badckham (off 74)
Leigh Wise (off 25)
Tristan Toney
Karl Douglin
James Fray

Substitutes (used *)
Rhys Martin * (on 74)
Hamid Bangura * (off 64)
Aleaxander Afful * (on 25)
Bryon Levin (gk)

Attendance: 178

Ashford proved far too strong for Croydon in the Southern Counties East League and had it not been for a number of fine saves from visiting goalkeeper Francis Ameyaw, the 4-0 victory margin could have been much greater.

Goal poacher extraordinaire Stuart Zanone opened the scoring in the 13th minute, stabbing the ball home after an initial shot from Andy Irvine had rolled across the six-yard box after hitting the foot of the post. It wasn’t the cleanest strike the ace marksman had ever struck, but it just about had the required purchase on it to put United one up.

From this moment the result never looked in doubt, against a struggling South London side, bereft of attacking idea and barely able to muster shot on target throughout the 90 minutes.

The Croydon goal came under serious attack, Zanone found the net again after a knockdown by Gary Clarke, but the Assistant Referee deemed the top scorer in an offside position. Clarke then scuffed a shot wide of the post, shortly afterwards Tom Scorer went close, before Ameyaw thwarted Zanone with two good saves.

Two minutes before the interval Referee Michael Marsh awarded United a penalty after a push in the box, which Darren Marsden duly converted. Then right on the stroke of half-time, Irvine had a chance to increase the lead but fired over the crossbar from close range.

The second period continued in the same vein, with Ashford in the ascendancy, as did the snow which was now falling steadily with the conditions underfoot deteriorating.

On 50 Minutes Marsden floated a shot just off target, before Ameyaw used his big frame to bravely save at the feet of Zanone, then Scorer hit a rising shot over the bar.

Ameyaw then produced a brilliant finger tip save to deny Marsden his second of the afternoon, but could do nothing to prevent Zanone from making it 3-0 after 62 minutes.

Alert as ever, he pounced on an errant back pass to neatly slide the ball home, despite the presence of three defenders in close proximity to bag his 26th goal of the season.

Ameyaw once again prevented a Zanone hat-trick with another good save, whilst Pat Kingwell with a marauding run into the box saw a crisp shot deflected wide of the mark.

The fourth and final goal came on 72 minutes, courtesy of an own goal, when Rob Curtis stuck out a leg to try and clear a low pass from Zanone on the edge of the six-yard box, but all he could do was divert the ball into the net.

No further goals were forthcoming, although Michael Smissen moments after coming on as substitute forced yet another good low down save from Ameyaw.

Played in rain and then snow on a heavily sanded Homelands pitch, much credit should go to both teams and to the officials for allowing the game to flow with minimum of incident.

Match Reporter Kevin Hall