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5/11/16 Croydon Won 3-2

Match Report by Kevin Hall posted on 5th November 2016

Ashford comeback to remain top after thrilling and controversial five goal encounter derails Trams

Match Stats

Date: Sat 5 Nov 2016

Kick Off: 3.00pm

Match Type: Southern Counties East Football League

Venue: Homelands

Score (FT): 3-2

Score (HT): 0-0

Goalscorers (Ashford): Brett Ince (77), Ryan James (79), Rory Hill (90+5)

Goalscorers (Croydon): Andrew Mott (49), Jeff Duah-Kessie (75)

Referee: Peter Conn

Assistants: Andrew Burns & Jerry Annandale

Bookings:

Ashford:
Yellow Cards: Ben Davisson (17) George Savage (42) Rory Hill (52)

Red Cards: Danny Lye (52 Manager dismissed from dugout)

Croydon:
Yellow Cards: Ben Seymour (81)

Red Cards: None

Teams:

Ashford United

ASHFORD UNITED
Nic Taylor
George Savage
Ryan James
David Botterill
Stuart West
Pat Kingwell
Luke Miller
Ben Davisson
Adrian Stone (off 58)
Luke Eldridge (off 59)
Rory Hill



Substitutes

Ryan Palmer (on 59)
Brett Ince (on 58)
Danny Lye
Owen Mcleod (gk)

Croydon

Francis Ameyaw
Ben Seymour (off 82)
Jason Wyatt
Adam Allen
Tristan Toney
Max Rothwell
Michael Craveiro
Andrew Mott
Jeff Duah-Kessie
Karl Douglin
Lauris Chin



Substitutes

Gerald Akosa
Rohann Howell
Danny Carpanini (gk)
Chan Quan (on 82)

Attendance: 217

Rory Hill crashed home a 95th minute winner, as league leaders Ashford United came from behind to defeat Croydon 3-2 in a thrilling and controversial encounter at the Homelands, which saw United Manager Danny Lye ejected from the dug out shortly after the Trams took the lead.

United then went further behind when a counter attack saw the visitors double the lead through Jeff Duah-Kessie with 15 minutes remaining.

The response though from the hosts was quite superb, drawing level through Brett Ince and Ryan James within the next four minutes, before the last gasp winner from Hill followed.

The first-half was one of the most one sided halves you are ever likely to see, with the visitors repelling a sustained period of pressure from the Nuts & Bolts. But despite racking up a double figure corner count, it somehow remained goalless at the break, although at times perhaps more by luck than judgement.

Trams goalkeeper Francis Ameyaw saved his side with a number of good saves, the pick of the bunch denying Luke Miller when he tipped over a rasping rising shot from the 17-year old Greenwich Borough loanee in the 33rd minute.

David Botterill saw a corner-kick bounce off the crossbar, a block on the line thwarted Pat Kingwell, whilst Ameyaw was alert to tip a Hill effort wide as well as denying James with a fine save.

Then just before the break, Hill threaded a great pass through to Miller, but Jason Wyatt managed to clear the ball out for yet another corner, whilst a well placed defender cleared off the line as the half drew to a close.

Things quickly changed as the second-half commenced as Duah-Kessie had already blasted over the crossbar, before totally against the run of play Andrew Mott opened the scoring as the visitors took the lead in controversial circumstances.

The manner of Croydon’s opening goal however left a bitter taste in the mouth, after the referee had allowed play to carry on following the Assistant Referee raising his flag to signal offside.

So having been outplayed by the hosts in the first-half, Croydon could hardly believe their luck when Mott slotted the ball home in the 49th minute, after the Nuts & Bolts had understandably stopped playing after seeing the flag raised.

A yellow card quickly followed for Hill, whilst Lye having been spoken to by the referee for his protests was duly sent from the dug out, all under watchful eye of a Referee Assessor in the stand.

Hill then fired narrowly wide, before James saw a decent effort saved again by the overworked Ameyaw, but as Ashford searched for an equaliser the game became more open, with the visitors starting to show some threat on the counter attack.

Karl Douglin found space but dwelt too long on the ball, then Taylor saved low to his left, thus preventing Lauris Chin from making it two.

A second goal came though with 15 minutes remaining, when Duah-Kessie evaded Kingwell, before rounding Taylor and slotting home to add a second for the Trams.

But United have a habit of striking back in the face of adversity and less than two minutes later, substitutes Ryan Palmer and Brett Ince combined to halve the deficit. The former finding Ince with a neat pass, who then guided the ball home with the aid of the right-hand post for his third goal of the season.

Croydon just had no answer to the pace and trickery of an inspired Palmer, who was heavily involved in the goal that drew the scores level within four minutes of going two behind.

Having won a free-kick just outside the penalty area, Palmer initially fired into the wall, but reacted quickest to pick out James with a pin-point cross, who rose well to head home.

In a pulsating finale the game became stretched as both sides looked for a winner, Ashford nearly got caught out at the back, but much to amusement of the crowd the visitors found the net in the 87th minute, only for the effort this time to be ruled out for offside.

Shortly afterwards Miller flashed a shot just wide for the hosts, Michael Craveiro wasted a free-kick opportunity for the visitors, whilst Taylor reacted well to clutch a bobbling effort from Duah-Kessie.

Then just as the stop watched ticked into the 95th minute, Hill reacted quickest to a knock down, to blast home from 12-yards for his eighth goal in five matches, to spark off wild celebrations.

The late winner was enough to keep United at the top of the table which will keep the side in buoyant mood, before they head to East Sussex on Saturday 12th November, to play Eastbourne Town in the Buildbase FA Vase Second Round tie.