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Beckenham Town v Ashford United FC

Match Report by Denise Peach posted on 26th October 2014

All Finishes Even At Beckenham

Match Stats

Date: Sat 25 Oct 2014

Kick Off: 3.00pm

Match Type: Southern Counties East Football League

Venue: away

Score (FT): 1-1

Score (HT): 1-1

Referee: Unknown

Assistants: Unknown

Bookings:

Ashford:
Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

:
Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Teams: n/a

Attendance: 123

BECKENHAM TOWN 1 ASHFORD UNITED 1
Southern Counties East League
Saturday 25th October 2014
by John Pease.

Ashford chalked up yet another draw to fall further behind the league leaders but, it must be said, unlike other drawn games this was one they did well not to lose.
After events last season I’m sure that I was not the only one to approach this fixture with a certain amount of trepidation especially as my wife decided to come along. I need not have worried. We watched a thoroughly entertaining match and were made most welcome by our hosts. I think I can safely say that any bad feeling between the two clubs has been well and truly buried.
Although a few supporters opted to miss this fixture there was still a healthy turn out from the Ashford faithful. I have not visited this ground for nearly twenty years and was most impressed with the current set up. There is a decent club house with a small beer garden for those who want a cigarette. There are small stands on either side of the ground which slopes from one touchline to the other but the pitch itself was in pristine condition. The whole ground is properly and fully enclosed resting, as it does, in the shadow of the railway line to and from Hayes.
Ashford mounted the first serious attack when a move started by Tom Scorer was finished by him firing just over the bar. Beckenham (Becks) responded with Jamie Humphries shaving the crossbar with a free kick. There was little to choose between the two sides but Becks took the lead with 12 minutes gone. They won a couple of corners the second of which was not properly cleared. It fell at the feet of defender Jamie Turner who let fly from 25 yards giving Joe Mant no chance. Becks were starting to look the sharper of the sides but their lead only lasted four minutes. A great cross field pass found the galloping Gary Mickelborough who took it to the goal line before crossing to STUART ZANONE to stab the ball home.
Both teams were playing decent football but Becks were making better use of the flanks and creating more openings but the Ashford defence looked sound despite the absence through injury of Pat Kingwell. Ashford’s best efforts stemmed from Tom Scorer who was beating opponents and finding team mates with superb passes. In the run up to the break Joe Mant made a good stop from Eddie Walker.
The high standard of play and entertainment continued in the second half with Mant making an early save from Humphries. There were early substitutions for Ashford’s Gary Mickelborough (suffering bronchitis) and Stuart Zanone (swollen knee) and this allowed the home side to mount more attacks but the Ashford defence proved equal to the task. With 78 minutes on the clock Beck’s Humphries headed over when it looked easier to score and the home side went far to close for comfort in the 79th and 81st minutes. Ashford were finding it hard to counter attack well organised opponents but at least they were playing some good on the ground football and the Becks players knew they could not afford to be careless. On the balance of play the home side looked the more likely to pinch the points and appeared to have done so in the 92nd minute only for Joe Mant to make two world class saves. So a superb game came to a close with honours even and handshakes all round.
Thinking there might be some trouble, the SCEL put up a hand picked team of officials. I thought the referee was weak and missed the chance to stamp his authority on the game at an early stage. One of the linos seemed to struggle to keep up with play and missed a few offsides. It turned out my thoughts were endorsed by several players after the match. In fact, but for the very best behaviour of both teams the match could have taken a very different turn.
The Ashford team was as follows:-
Joe Mant, Adam Cuthbert, Luke Cuthbert, Lee Winfield, Liam Walsh, James Everitt, Gary Clarke, Tom Scorer, Stuart Zanone (Lloyd Blackman – 72 mins), Connor Coyne, Gary Mickelborough (Harry Priddle – 64 mins)
Subs not used = Jordan Harris, Kieran Byrne and Tony Allen.
M.O.M? = Several candidates. Tom Scorer was superb in the first half and kept trying to launch attacks in the second. Liam Walsh was a tower of strength and Joe Mant robbed Beckenham of a win at the death but my vote goes to Lee Winfield who was outstanding over the whole ninety minutes.

P.S. Our injury list seems to be getting bigger every week. Is there something in the water in Ashford?