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Sheppey United 10/4/16 Drew 0-0 (Lost 6-7 on penalties)

Match Report by Kevin Hall posted on 11th April 2016

Ashford suffer final loss after beaten in marathon penalty shoot-out

Match Stats

Date: Sun 10 Apr 2016

Kick Off: 2.00pm

Match Type: Kent Senior Trophy

Venue: Gallagher Stadium, Maidstone

Score (FT): 0-0

Score (HT): 0-0

Referee: Peter Cruise

Assistants: Ben Bowles, Chris Price & Fourth Official Louise Saunders


Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Teams: George Kamurasi
George Savage
Charlie Dickens
Luke Cuthbert
Ben Davisson
Pat Kingwell
Ryan Palmer
Michael Phillips (off 58)
Shaun Welford
Paul Booth
Tasar Hassan (off 74)

Substitutes (used *)
Josh Woolley
Tom Fagg * (on 74)
Dan Cook (gk)
Mikey Dalton
Chris Saunders * (on 58)

Dean Warford
Marvin Okundailaya
Joseph Fornah
Rob Saunders
Jon Ralph
James Huggins
Darren Marsden
Adam Williams (off 82)
Dave Abe
Ian Batten
Ben O’Neil (off 72)

Substitutes (used *)
George Batten
Carl Harold
Andrew Thompson
Tommy Wooldridge * (on 72)
Andrew Constable * (on 82)

Attendance: 870

There was Kent Senior Trophy final heartbreak for Ashford United for the second time in three seasons, when the side were beaten 6-7 on penalties, following a 0-0 draw with Sheppey United at the Gallagher Stadium, Maidstone.

20 years ago Ashford Town lifted the Kent Senior Cup with a 3-0 victory over Charlton Athletic, but in the pleasant April Sunday sunshine at Maidstone, even the most ardent of Nuts & Bolts fans would begrudge Sheppey the victory, having been the better side throughout the 90 minutes.

The Nuts & Bolts started well enough, enjoying the better of the opening exchanges, with Michael Phillips heading over the crossbar and Ryan Palmer hitting the base of the post in the seventh minute.

Promotion chasing Sheppey from the Kent Invicta League gradually grew into the game, with Ben O’Neil forcing George Kamurasi to deflect away a dangerous low hit pass after 15 minutes.

Kamurasi then gathered well from a crisply struck long range effort from the lively David Abe, before former Ashford player Darren Marsden wasted an opportunity from a free-kick, by drilling the ball over the bar.

As the half progressed the Ites squandered further chances, with Abe scuffing a shot wide, whilst O’Neil missed the target from 35-yards.

A neat move from Ashford ended with top scorer Shaun Welford looping a header narrowly over the crossbar and onto the roof of the net.

In the final minute of the first-half Tasar Hassan picked out Welford, but this time his header was downward and bounced up and over the bar.

Paul Booth almost put the Nuts & Bolts into the lead immediately from the re-start, but Dean Warford reacted well by diving to his right to keep out a fiercely struck low drive.

The Ites then had two opportunities in quick succession, with Abe pulling the ball wide of the target, whilst the busy Kamurasi was alert to deny O’Neil.

Ashford then had their best chance of the game, following a punt up field from Kamurasi, his opposite number Warford made a hash of trying to clear the ball under pressure from Welford, who then hurried his shot and blasted over the bar.

Booth fired wide of the mark for Ashford then Abe was denied by a goal line clearance from Luke Cuthbert.

Chances continued to come and go, but always Kamarusi was the busier of the two goalkeepers, reacting well to thwart Abe, although Ashford nearly snatched a late winner when Chris Saunders tested Warford from 18-yards.

With surprisingly no extra-time scheduled, the final tie went straight to a penalty shoot-out and what a marathon it proved to be, not being settled under the 20th spot-kick.

Sheppey missed the chance to lift the trophy after five kicks apiece when Tommy Woolridge struck the post, then Welford held his nerve to net and to make it 3-3 and take spot-kicks into sudden death.

Earlier Abe, Marsden and Joseph Fornah had scored for Sheppey, whilst Kamurasi saved the penalty from substitute Andy Constable. For Ashford, Booth and Palmer netted, but Warford kept out kicks from Pat Kingwell – in his 100th appearance – and from Tom Fagg.

Sudden death saw James Huggins, Marvin Okundailaya and Ian Batten score for Sheppey, with Ben Davisson, Charlie Dickens and Chris Saunders, doing likewise for the Nuts & Bolts to make it 6-6 after 16 penalties struck.

The drama unfolded when Rob Saunders saw his kick go wide of the post, only for George Savage to be denied by Warford, then Jon Ralph scored for the Ites and hero Warford with his fourth save in the shoot-out, dived low to his left to keep out Cuthbert.

It certainly wasn’t the most pulsating final ever witnessed, but Sheppey won’t care and should they gain promotion, will be an asset to the top division of the Southern Counties East League when they and the Invicta League merge.

Match Reporter Kevin Hal