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Beckenham Town 7/3/15 Won 2-1

Match Report by Kevin Hall posted on 7th March 2015

United make it nine consecutive league wins to just about outwit Beckenham

Match Stats

Date: Sat 7 Mar 2015

Kick Off: 3.00pm

Match Type: Southern Counties East Football League

Venue: Homelands

Score (FT): 2-1

Score (HT): 2-0

Referee: Peter Cruise

Assistants: Gary Bourne & Jak Hill

Bookings:

Ashford:
Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

:
Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Teams: ASHFORD UNITED
Joe Mant
Adam Cuthbert
Luke Cuthbert (off 78)
Tom Scorer (off 38)
Danny Lye
Pat Kingwell
Gary Clarke
Michael Phillips
Stuart Zanone
Darren Marsden
Gary Mickelborough (off 69)

Substitutes (used *)
Ollie Finch * (on 69)
Michael Smissen
Liam Walsh * (on 78)
Keiran Byrne * (on 38)
Jordan Harris

BECKENHAM TOWN
Kristian Mole
Jamie Turner
Adam Wadmore
Cedric Abrahams
Nathan Paul
Alfie Nunn (off 65)
Hassan Jalloh
James Marshall (off 57)
Chris Hubbard (off 52)
Jamie Humphries
Damian Ramsamy

Substitutes (used *)
Tyrone Gutherie * (on 65)
Travis Gregory * (on 52)
Taylor * (on 57)
Harry Draper


Attendance: 191

It was hard fought three points that saw Ashford United extend their winning run in the Southern Counties East League to nine matches, after a tough battle which eventually saw them just about outwit Beckenham Town by a margin of 2-1 at the Homelands.

The hosts reached the interval looking fairly comfortable after leading 2-0, but in the end they did well to weather the onslaught from the visitors and were pretty relieved when the final whistle blew, especially when Darren Marsden saw red nine minutes from time.

Joe Mant did well on seven minutes to thwart the dangerous Jamie Humphries who with a quick breakaway almost gave the visitors an early lead, the number 10 had two bites at the cherry but couldn’t convert.

This early opportunity perhaps seemed to sum up proceedings for the visitors who had numerous chances and the inability to make them count in the end cost them at least a share of the spoils.

But United too squandered a chance to go in front on 22 minutes, when 33-goal top scorer Stuart Zanone, looking to score for the 12th consecutive league game, proved he is human after all when Kristian Mole – and clearly not Rilwan Anibaba who was announced as keeper over the PA – saved a penalty from him on 22 minutes.

Four minutes later however Captain Gary Clarke found the back of the net from just outside the box, to strike for his fifth goal of the season, after pouncing onto a loose ball, which this time gave Mole no chance in the Becks goal.

Ashford then looked likely to increase the lead when Michael Phillips and Gary Mickelborough both were denied. The latter was then hacked down by Adam Wadmore after a burst of speed saw the left back chasing shadows.

The free-kick drifted into the box and Zanone or possibly Marsden was upended and Referee Peter Cruise had little hesitation in awarding Ashford a second penalty of the afternoon.

This time Marsden placed the ball on the spot and coolly fired home to give Ashford a two goal cushion in the third minute of stoppage time at the end of the first 45 minutes.

The second period saw Becks almost score within seconds of the re-start but a combination of Mant and Pat Kingwell saw the two goal lead stay intact.

There were chances aplenty for the visitors but some of the shooting was of schoolboy standard as Damian Ramsamy and then Hasson Jalloh contrived to miss the target when it seemed easier to score.

Ashford then enjoyed a spell of pressure and Clarke was unlucky when his goal bound shot was blocked whilst Keiran Byrne looked dangerous setting up a number of opportunities.

The lead was duly halved on 67 minutes when substitute Travis Gegory found the net and moments later it really should have been level, but this time Humphries drilled the ball across the six-yard box.

It was all getting a bit nervy for the home faithful and this was not helped in the 81st minute when Marsden reacted to a challenge and was shown a red card, Mr Cruise though failed to spot the late tackle on Marsden which clearly incensed him.

It wasn’t pretty but United were resolute enough in the end to secure the points much to the relief of the 191 crowd, watching a match played in sunny and dry weather for quite some considerable time.

Next up for Ashford a visit from well supported Tunbridge Wells, it promises to be another tough encounter as United look to equal the 10 consecutive league wins they recorded last season.

Match Reporter Kevin Hall