Please Note: We are currently working on a brand new website behind the scenes, so things may misbehave or not look quite right on the surface for now, but please bear with us - it'll be well worth it!

11/2/17 Canterbury City Won 3-0

Match Report by Kevin Hall posted on 12th February 2017

Super sub Stone stars in Senior Trophy semi success

Match Stats

Date: Sat 11 Feb 2017

Kick Off: 3.00pm

Match Type: Kent Senior Trophy

Venue: Homelands

Score (FT): 3-0

Score (HT): 0-0

Goalscorers (Ashford): Adrian Stone (83, 90+1, 90+2)

Referee: Christopher Myatt

Assistants: Jeremy Annondale & Nicholas Fruin

Bookings:

Ashford:
Yellow Cards: Rory Hill (16), Stuart West (55), Shaun Welford (76)

Red Cards: None

Canterbury City:
Yellow Cards: Patrick Nzuzi (13), Alfie Nunn (72)

Red Cards: Patrick Nzuzi (48)

Teams:

Ashford United

ASHFORD UNITED
George Kamurasi
George Savage (off 69)
Frazer Walker
David Botterill
Stuart West
Pat Kingwell
Ryan Palmer
Ben Davisson
Shaun Welford (off 88)
Jason Goodchild
Rory Hill



Substitutes

Danny Lye
Brett Ince
Adrian Stone (on 69)
Ryan James (on 88)
Clark Woodcock

Canterbury City

Nick Shaw
Chris Webber
Patrick Nzuzi
Gary Clarke
Laurence Harvey
Alfie Nunn
Sam Conlon (off 67)
Oliver Brown (off 86)
Dave Pilcher
Gary Mickelborough
Mikey Yome (off 58)



Substitutes

Matt Martin (on 67)
Rob Lawrence (on 86)
Charlie Hallett
Dan Whisker (on 58)
Joe Halford

Attendance: 231

As expected Ashford United progressed to the Kent Reliance Senior Trophy Final, after substitute Adrian Stone banged in a nine minute hat-trick, in the battle of landlords and tenants at the Homelands, as the hosts finally made their superiority count.

Rolling back the years, the late treble from the 34-year old veteran striker ended the stubborn resistance from the visitors who had managed to repel the onslaught from the Nuts & Bolts until the 83rd minute.

The goals continued the form of the much travelled rejuvenated marksman, to take his tally to six goals in three games and create a real selection headache for Manager Danny Lye. Whilst the hat-trick comes some 14 years and one month on from scoring five times in an 8-1 Ashford Town win (4 Jan 2003) over St Leonards, with some of the 231 attendance – including your match reporter – present at both games.

The visitors though did little to aid their cause when defender Patrick Nzuzi was shown a red card, early into the second-half, having already been booked after 13 minutes, for a poor tackle on chief tormentor Ryan Palmer, who was in inspired form throughout the afternoon.

With sleet in the air, the game started at a fast pace as Rory Hill saw an effort deflected out for a corner kick with 135 seconds on the clock. Shortly afterwards Canterbury went close as George Kamurasi did well to tip an effort past the post from Oliver Brown. Then City keeper Nick Shaw pulled off a routine save just under the crossbar, to prevent top scorer Shaun Welford from adding to his 31-goal season tally.

Palmer though was causing all sorts of problems for the visitors and despite their tactic of having three men on him he was always able to wriggle free with some wonderful touches. It proved too much for shell shocked left back Nzuzi who promptly upended the lively number seven to receive his first booking.

Midway through the first half, Welford latched onto a neat pass from Jason Goodchild, but the striker fired just over the bar, then moments later former Ashford favourite Sam Conlon wasted an opportunity for City at the other end.

Palmer weaved his magic to evade four defenders and set up Goodchild, whose header went narrowly wide. The latter then produced a timely block to prevent a City opener, after Dave Pilcher and Mikey Yome combined well on a counter-attack.

Just before the break Welford spurned a good chance, to send the sides back into the warmth of the changing rooms with Canterbury no doubt the happier of the two.

It was a case of one-way traffic during the second period, with the Nuts & Bolts taking full advantage of the visitors being reduced to ten men, just three minutes after the re-start.

Despite the heroic efforts of City goalkeeper Shaw, it looked like a case of when and not if Ashford would score, whilst it also called for some desperate defending at times with Laurence Harvey and Alfie Nunn also excelling.

Ashford racked up nine corners without reply in a dominant second half performance, as Shaw remained firm to deny Ben Davisson and Goodchild in quick succession, before Palmer was thwarted by a goal line block from Nunn.

The increasingly overworked Shaw was alert to frustrate Welford, but was almost caught out by a quickly taken free-kick from Palmer, which skidded low across the pitch to strike the post from 35-yards out.

Shaw had a moment of luck when he flapped at a cross from Hill which bounced off the top of the crossbar as the hosts continued in the ascendancy. George Savage then picked out Welford, whose well placed header looked destined for the top corner, only for Shaw to produce another top drawer smart fingertip save.

Welford screwed a shot wide of the target from a deep corner-kick at the far post, before the legs of Shaw denied Palmer. Then with seven minutes remaining the deadlock was broken by Stone’s header from a well delivered Palmer cross which evaded Shaw, to put the hosts into a deserved lead, which was United’s 100th goal of the season.

As the visitors searched for an equaliser, the defence was exposed as Palmer turned provided again for Stone to add two further goals inside the space 60 seconds of injury time and complete his quick fire hat-trick.

Stone however is not the first substitute to grab a hat-trick for United, as that honour fell to Michael Smissen, who came off the bench in 4-0 league win at Rochester United in season 2013-14.

City almost grabbed a consolation in the third added minute, but the ball bounced off the top of the bar to ensure another clean sheet for Kamurasi, as United extended their winning run to seven matches.

United will now hope it is third time lucky in the final, as they await the outcome of the postponed clash between Deal Town & Cray Valley Paper Mills.

Next up for United is a home league match against well supported Tunbridge Wells on Saturday.