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Tunbridge Wells 6/9/14 Won 2-0

Match Report by Kevin Hall posted on 6th September 2014

Good day out at the Wells as Ashford ease to victory

Match Stats

Date: Sat 6 Sep 2014

Kick Off: 3.00pm

Match Type: Southern Counties East Football League

Venue: Culverden Stadium

Score (FT): 2-0

Score (HT): 0-0

Referee: Oliver Fyfe

Assistants: Harry Wager & Danny Swannell


Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Joe Mant
Luke Cuthbert
Liam Whiting
Lee Winfield
Liam Walsh
Pat Kingwell
Gary Clarke
Adam Cuthbert
Stuart Zanone (off 90)
Tom Scorer (off 75)
Keiran Byrne (off 70)

Substitutes (used *)
Gary Mickelborough * (on 90)
Michael Smissen * (on 70)
Harry Priddle
Jordan Hill
Ollie Finch * (on 75)

Steve Lawrence
Jason Bourne
Tom Bryant
Aaron Lacy
Nick Davis
George Benner
Nick Barnes (off 58)
Joe Fuller
Harry Smith (off 70)
Brendon Cass
Jake Beecroft

Substitutes (used *)
Lee Radford * (on 58)
Ian Parsons
Richard Sinden
Perry Spackman * (on 70)

Attendance: 421

After two home draws and an unlucky exit in the FA Cup, Ashford United returned to winning ways at Tunbridge Wells as they eased to a 2-0 victory, continuing to hold sway in fixtures versus their rivals, in front of a bumper attendance of 421 at the Culverden Stadium.

The deserved win was achieved, thanks to second-half strikes from Keiran Byrne and debutant Stuart Zanone, which made it five straight wins in a row for Ashford over the Wells.

Ashford were much the better side throughout the 90 minutes, looking resolute in defence, dominate in midfield and with new signing Zanone leading the line up front, proved too much for the home side and they could have little complaint in the end over the result.

The home side looked too square and nervous at the back and did well to remain on level terms at the break as Ashford went close through efforts from Adam Cuthbert, Tom Scorer and Byrne whose powerful right foot shot was turned round for a corner by goalkeeper Steve Lawrence.

The hosts offered little of note going forward until a late rally in the opening period saw the former Ashford Town duo of Nick Barnes and Joe Fuller flash shots wide of the target in the closing couple of minutes.

The attacking threat from Ashford was aided by the surging runs forward by full backs Luke Cuthbert and Liam Whiting. And in the first minute of the second-half, it was Whiting who let rip with a shot which had venomous late swerve and Lawrence who looked decidedly nervous as the game progressed was grateful to grab the ball at the second attempt.

The work rate from Ashford was typified by the returning Whiting who within seconds of his shot at goal made a great tackle in his own box, to thwart a breakaway move from the home side.
On 49 minutes, Ashford found the net when Zanone, converted a Byrne cross over the line via his chest only to look up and see the Assistant Referee flag for offside.

However the opening goal followed just two minutes later, courtesy of well placed header from Byrne for his fifth goal of the season, who leapt like a salmon, to nod home into the top right hand corner of the goal from a great deep cross from Luke Cuthbert.

Ashford continued to pressure the static home defence, Whiting causing panic as again Lawrence fumbled a shot which the tireless Gary Clarke couldn’t quite follow up and then on the hour mark, Zanone fired just inches over the crossbar.

Joe Mant whose handing was in sharp contrast to the home custodian Lawrence, was called into action to save well with his feet from the generally disappointing debutant Harry Smith and then shortly afterwards he tipped another effort past the post as Wells enjoyed a spell of pressure. Wells substitute Perry Spackman then looped a header over the bar, before Jake Beecroft worked Mant with 10 minutes of the contest remaining.

The visitors made it 2-0 on 83 minutes, when substitute Michael Smissen evaded the defence to collect a loose ball and with a well placed pass across the box, picked out Zanone who finished coolly from 10 yards out, much to delight of the travelling support.

The Wells then tried to press forward, but with Pat Kingwell and the ever improving Liam Walsh outstanding, found it hard to get going and indeed nearly conceded a third as a breakaway saw Clarke, who with a rising shot came close to adding to the home sides’ misery.

In the third minute of stoppage time Mant ensured that it would be a clean sheet for the Nuts & Bolts to save well from a curling free-kick from Tom Bryant.

Match Reporter Kevin Hall