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Guildford City 16/8/14 Won 2-0

Match Report by Kevin Hall posted on 16th August 2014

Two from Byrne and Ashford are off and running in the FA Cup

Match Stats

Date: Sat 16 Aug 2014

Kick Off: 3.00pm

Match Type: FA Cup

Venue: The Spectrum

Score (FT): 2-0

Score (HT): 0-0

Referee: Craig Simpson

Assistants: Nigel Bullen & Gerry Kehoe


Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Joe Mant
Luke Cuthbert
Liam Whiting (off 87)
Lee Winfield
Liam Walsh
Pat Kingwell
Gary Clarke
Adam Cuthbert
Keiran Byrne
Keelan Mooney (off 64)
Gary Mickelborough (off 76)

Substitutes (used *)
Ollie Finch * (on 76)
James Everitt * (on 64)
Tom Scorer
Lloyd Blackman
Harry Stow * (on 87)
Jordan Harris

Antony Hall
Elvis Defreitas
Liam Talbot
David Unwin (off 87)
Tom Penson
Ben Rayner (off 88)
Anthony Baker
Jack Guilford
Sam Spencer
Khari Oriogun
Jordan Taylor (off 57)

Substitutes (used *)
Bruce McPhail
Junior Alade
Ryan Wallis * (on 88)
Nuno Pereira
Tyler Chambers * (on 87)
Navid Zandi * (on 57)
Aaron Hennessy

Attendance: 112

Two early second-half strikes from Keiran Byrne saw Ashford United return victorious from Surrey after defeating Combined Counties League side Guildford City 2-0 in the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round.

It is some 41 years since the two former Southern League rivals last met, Ashford Town having come out on top 1-0 on that occasion in a Southern League Cup match at Essella Park in October 1973. Although their paths only briefly crossed in the league (seasons 1959-60 & 1969-70), they had previously met in both the FA Trophy and FA Cup.

Ashford progressing in the FA Cup after a replay during season 1966-67, whilst the only other encounter saw Guildford return from Essella Park 4-3 on 4 Nov 1972. However, that defeat was notable that one of the Ashford Town goals scored was by, the now England Manager Roy Hodgson.

Indeed Mr Hodgson would surely have been purring if he had witnessed the opening goal, which was a strike of pure class and good enough to grace any round of the most famous cup competition.

The playing surface was bumpy and within the confines of an athletics track, the stadium sadly lacked atmosphere and so was never likely to lend itself to a thrilling encounter, but Ashford did their best to provide the travelling support with something to shout about.

The visitors bossed the first period, but the closest they came was on 12 minutes, when newcomer Keelan Mooney struck the outside of the post. Frequently Ashford found space but failed to test Antony Hall in the home goal, as Gary Clarke, Mooney and then Gary Mickelborough all had chances to open the scoring.

Shots on target throughout were at a premium, but it was Joe Mant who was twice called into action as the half wore on to thwart Jack Guilford & then Khari Oriogun.

However just three minutes into the second-half, Byrne produced a moment of sheer brilliance, after flicking on the ball towards the penalty area, the Guildford defence cleared, only to see the ball return to the left foot of Byrne. He then looked up and seeing Hall just off his line, curled a shot into the top left corner from around 30 yards from goal for a strike of stunning class.

It was just the catalyst Ashford needed as they started to turn the screw on the home side as Mickelborough found Byrne, but a point blank save from Hall put the ball out for a corner. But just six minutes after the first goal, Byrne added his second with once again Mickelborough the provider, although this one was from just a few yards it was enough to complete the scoring and settle the tie.

Moments later a Byrne free-kick found Pat Kingwell who flicked the ball onto the onrushing Clarke only to see Hall alert and able prevent a third goal. The home side did rally but rarely found shots of any venom to trouble Mant in the Ashford goal, as a few speculative efforts headed towards the goalmouth, they were easy meat for the 19 year-old custodian.

The last twenty minutes were all a bit scrappy as frequently Ashford, particularly Mickelborough were frustrated by numerous off sides and with the usual rash of substitutions and a number of late yellow cards the game dwindle to a conclusion. The was a mini flashpoint almost on the final whistle when the third of Ashford’s yellow cards went to substitute Ollie Finch after a heavy challenge which also saw Guilford who perhaps frustrated by his sides display saw his name in the book for his reaction to the challenge.

FA Cup fund saw Ashford collect £1,500 for the win as they now await Isthmian League (Ryman) South side Chipstead in the Preliminary Round at the Homelands on Saturday 30 August.

Match Reporter Kevin Hall