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Fisher 24/3/14 Drew 2-2

Match Report by Kevin Hall posted on 27th March 2014

Fisher grab late equalising goal as heavy schedule starts to take its toll

Match Stats

Date: Mon 24 Mar 2014

Kick Off: 7.45pm

Match Type: Southern Counties East Football League

Venue: Champion Hill Stadium

Score (FT): 2-2

Score (HT): 1-0

Referee: Valentine Anekwe

Assistants: Loiuse Saunders & Matt Sell

Bookings:

Ashford:
Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

:
Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Teams: ASHFORD UNITED
Joe Mant
Tom Scorer (off 61)
Dan Scorer
Gary Clarke
Ben Jordan
Pat Kingwell
Dave Cook
Adam Cuthbert
James Dryden
Sam Fisher (off 70)
Ollie Finch

Substitutes (used *)
Ian Wallace
Sam Conlon * (on 61)
Luke Cuthbert
Gary Mickelborough * (on 70)
Paul Chambers

FISHER
Oshane Brown
Piers Hanifan
Ashley Henry-Brown
Leighton Francis
Tom Carr
Billy Walton
Keiron Campbell
Harry Draper (off 46)
Junior James (off 90)
Danny Maquire (off 76)

Substitutes (used *)

Stephen Ita * (on 46)
Aaron Searles * (on 90)
Michael Daramola * (on 76)
Charles Headley




Attendance: 67

Ashford United assistant manager John Ovard refused to blame tiredness after slipping up in the Southern Counties East Football League title race with ten games to go.

Paul Chambers’ side – playing their fifth game in ten gruelling days – missed a third minute penalty; threw away a 2-0 lead; before conceding an injury time equaliser against a Fisher side that played with ten men for 39 minutes to keep Whyteleafe in the driving seat.

Fisher went into the game on the back of a 7-2 defeat away to league leaders Whyteleafe at the weekend and manager Billy Walton made four changes tonight. Ashford United made five changes to the side that fought back from being 2-0 down to win 3-2 at third-placed Tunbridge Wells at the weekend.

Pat Kingwell placed his penalty wide of the right-hand post, before Fisher central defender Tom Carr headed into his own net to hand Ashford United the lead. Fisher lost left-back Ashley Henry-Brown to a second yellow card after 51 minutes and they faced an uphill struggle when Ashford United skipper Gary Clarke clipped a volley into the far corner to score his tenth-goal of the season. But a fine solo run was finished off by Fisher striker Junior James for his eighth-goal of the season, before Bermondsey boy Danny Maguire volleyed home his tenth of the season at the death to leave Ashford United six points behind Whyteleafe, who travel to Dartford’s Princes Park Stadium to play Greenwich Borough on Tuesday night.

When asked whether his players are feeling tired due to their gruelling schedule, Ovard replied: “I don’t think it’s easy for the players at all because physically you’re asking the lads to play (often) – they’re not full-time professionals. “It’s a ridiculous amount of games! We’re playing every other day at the minute it feels like. It is very difficult because we play a high intensity game of football but we’ve still got enough in the group. We’ve still got enough squad for us to put in better performances than that so I don’t really like to use that as an excuse.”

A deep cross from left-back Dan Scorer resulted in Henry-Brown being booked for tripping Dave Cook inside the box after referee Valentine Anekwe pointed to the spot. But former Hythe Town defender Kingwell stepped up and placed his right-footed penalty past the right-hand post with two and a half minutes on the clock.

Ashford United called shaky Fisher keeper Oshane Brown into action inside eight minutes. Full-back Tom Scorer cut in from the right to float in a cross towards the far post where striker James Dryden hooked his shot towards goal from an acute angle and the young keeper caught the ball to his left. Fisher created their first opening just 55 seconds later when Henry-Brown played the ball into Harry Draper – who was forced off with a shoulder injury at the interval – but James’ left-footed shot on the turn bounced into Joe Mant’s gloves for a comfortable save. Clarke rolled the ball through Dryden’s legs for Adam Cuthbert to crack a left-footed drive, which sailed wide of the left-hand post from 30-yards, before Fisher went close during a frenetic end-to-end first half.

But Ashford United drew first blood, scoring in the 21st minute. Dan Scorer sent a deep cross towards the far post where Dryden was left unmarked and he headed the ball across goal but Carr headed the ball into the bottom right-hand corner of his own net from six-yards as he attempted to get across to the near post to clear the danger.

Fisher striker Jay Garrick lacked composure when he was released through on goal and dwelled on the ball for too long, but moments later he drilled a right-footed half-volley towards goal from 30-yards, which bounced into Mant’s hands for a comfortable save. An Ashford move involving Finch and Clarke resulted in Dryden unleashing his right-footed volley sailing harmlessly wide of the right-hand post from 25-yards.

Fisher were denied an equaliser in the 32nd minute when Maguire cut a corner back to Campbell, who drilled a deflected shot, which looped up and Ashford’s central defender Ben Jordan cleared the ball off the line.
Ashford, were denied a second goal when Finch cracked a powerful right-footed drive from 30-yards, which Brown did well to pluck out of the air above his head.

Fisher faced a struggle when Henry-Brown was shown his second yellow card (followed by a red) for an innocuous tackle on Cuthbert on the half-way line after 51 minutes. Ashford United took full advantage and seemingly won the game in the 55th minute. Dryden threw the ball in from the left, the ball was flicked on at the near post by Dan Scorer and an unmarked Clarke clipped his right-footed volley across Brown into the far corner from 12-yards.

But Fisher, lurking in the bottom four with 19 points from 24 games, grabbed a lifeline and pulled a goal back just 155 seconds later. James picked the ball up on the half-way line and penetrated the Ashford defence before keeping composed to roll his left-footed shot across Mant into the bottom right-hand corner from sixteen-yards.

Fisher created the next chance in the 69th minute when Carr launched a long throw into the penalty area, which was punched away by Mant under pressure and Leighton Francis came up from the back to clip his left-footed half-volley back into Mant’s gloves from 20-yards. Fisher continued to press as it appeared that Ashford United were content to sit back and protect their slender lead.

Ashford United created a rare chance when substitute Gary Mickleborough cut in from the left touchline to drill a powerful right-footed drive, which screamed wide of the left-hand post from 35-yards. Mant used his chest to block Pier Hanifan’s right-footed drive from 30-yards, before the keeper gathered Campbell’s shot, which deflected off Dan Scorer.

However, Fisher grabbed a deserved equaliser, 2 minutes and 15 seconds into injury time. Carr launched a long throw into the penalty area, which Ashford failed to deal with and Maguire looped his right-footed volley into the bottom right-hand corner from 15-yards.

Report courtesy of extracts taken from Stephen McCartney (Kentish Football Website)