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Littlehampton Town 9/12/14 Won 2-1

Match Report by Kevin Hall posted on 10th December 2014

Mickelborough and Zanone send United into last 32 of FA Vase

Match Stats

Date: Tue 9 Dec 2014

Kick Off: 7.45pm

Match Type: FA Vase

Venue: Homelands

Score (FT): 2-1

Score (HT): 2-1

Referee: Stuart Franklin

Assistants: Unknown


Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Joe Mant
Adam Cuthbert
Luke Cuthbert
Tom Scorer
Danny Lye
Pat Kingwell
Gary Clarke
Keiran Byrne (off 63)
Stuart Zanone
Darren Marsden (off 80)
Gary Mickelborough (off 86)

Substitutes (used *)
Liam Walsh * (on 63)
James Everitt * (on 86)
Charlie Dickens
Andy Irvine * (on 80)
Jordan Harris

Jon Hendrick
Shay Wiggins
Mitchell Hand
Dan Swain
Ross McKay (off 86)
Jamie Thompson
Joe Shelley
Kieron Pamment
David Herbert (off 46)
George Landais
Michael Hendrick (off 65)

Substitutes (used *)
Ben Gray * (on 65)
Lee Garnham
Liam Humphreys * (on 46)
Josh Bates
George Gaskin * (on 86)

Attendance: 123

Ashford United fought back from conceding first, with goals from Gary Mickelborough and Stuart Zanone, to progress to the last 32 of FA Carlsberg Vase, beating Littlehampton Town 2-1 in the re-played third round tie.

The match was a good advert for cup football, played at a fast pace, despite a gusty wind and squally showers falling throughout, which put off all bar 123 hardy souls who braved the elements, the majority however left the Homelands happy at the end of the 90 minutes of football played.

The United team was boosted by the surprise inclusion of former Ashford Town captain Danny Lye in the side, the versatile 33 year-old having announced his retirement from football at the start of the calendar year back in January, whilst on the books of Hythe Town.

He fitted in straight away alongside Pat Kingwell, the pair both enjoying a decent evening to thwart the attacking instincts of the opposition and on this form we may hear the terraces chant his name once more to the tune of the Boney M hit Daddy Cool.

No stranger to the Homelands, Lye made his debut for Town on 6 Mar 2004 in a 1-1 drawn Southern league match at Chatham Town, before going on to total 108 appearances (with 10 goals scored), the majority of which were in the last three seasons of the Town club before its demise at the end of season 2009-10.

When the match kicked off, the visitors who had the advantage of playing with the wind in their favour during the first half won a succession of early corners and Ashford did well to not concede. They had Luke Cuthbert to thank when he cleared off the line from a powerful header from one such corner that had curled in on the wind. Shortly afterwards, Cuthbert had to be alert again, putting in a great tackle, to deny the impressive Kieron Pamment, who looked the best player on show for the Marigolds.

Ashford though had plenty of attacking flair and once again Mickelborough was causing problems and he set up Darren Marsden on 18 minutes, but his shot lacked conviction and was easily gathered by visiting keeper Jon Hendricks.

Four minutes later, Ashford fell one behind, when David Herbert raced clear to shot across the goalmouth and into the far corner of the net. United responded well and restored parity seven minutes later when Mickelborough collected a delightful cross field ball from Tom Scorer, to rifle the ball low and hard, giving Hendricks no chance with an unstoppable shot.

Just moments after the equaliser, Ashford almost added a second, but an effort from Marsden was headed away en-route to goal, however it wasn’t long before the pressure told and the home side went in front.

What proved to be the winning goal came five minutes before the break when Zanone headed home from close range, after the ball found him at the far post from a well directed corner, which was glanced to
him via another header in the six-yard box.

The conditions deteriorated during the second-half but Ashford continued to press forward, looking the more likely side to add to the goal tally, visiting custodian Hendricks was a busy man to deny Zanone when he raced from his line although on this occasion the first touch from leading scorer perhaps let him down.

Just after the hour mark the visitors missed a gilt-edged chance when Liam Humphreys fluffed his lines, somehow managing to screw the ball wide of the mark with the goal at his mercy. Then it was the turn of goalie Hendricks to almost mess up, in making a clearance he fired straight at Mickelborough, but luckily for him the rebound went past the post.

The final chances of the match fell the way of substitute Andy Irvine who drilled one over the crossbar, as well as having an effort well headed away by the overworked Littlehampton defenders.

The win means United can now look forward to Welcoming Norwich United to the Homelands on Saturday 17 January 2015, as one of five sides still flying the flag for the Southern Counties East league in the competition.

Match Reporter Kevin Hall