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Crowborough Athletic 19/12/15 Drew 1-1

Match Report by Kevin Hall posted on 19th December 2015

Goalkeeping hero Welford helps secure a hard fought point as Ashford end with nine players

Match Stats

Date: Sat 19 Dec 2015

Kick Off: 3.00pm

Match Type: Southern Counties East Football League

Venue: Crowborough Community Stadium

Score (FT): 1-1

Score (HT): 0-1

Referee: Alex Stacchini

Assistants: Joe Neanor & Jordan Whotworth

Bookings:

Ashford:
Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

:
Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Teams: ASHFORD UNITED
George Kamurasi
Adam Cuthbert
Luke Cuthbert
Nick Humphrey
Jack Healey
Mikey Dalton
Ryan Palmer (off 77)
Michael Phillips
Shaun Welford
Paul Booth (off 73)
Dan Stubbs (off 46)

Substitutes (used *)
Josh Woolley * (on 73)
Tom Fagg
Danny Lye * (on 77)
Ellis Green
Sebastian Schoburgh * (on 46)

CROWBOROUGH ATHLETIC
Adam Faith
Dan Tear
Jimmy Matthews
Kevin Everest
Will Jagger
Ryan Waterman
Wayne Clarke
Callum Ridley
Josh Biddlecombe
Ronnie Conlon
John Shea (off 88)

Substitutes (used *)
Tom Boddy
Jack Funnel * (on 88)
Ryan Hinkson
Paul Butler
Dan Smith (gk)


Attendance: 147

This clash between Crowborough Athletic and Ashford United may have ended all square at 1-1, but this wasn’t just another routine Southern Counties East drawn match to consign to the history books to be forgotten about.

Indeed not, as it was a pulsating affair in the Sussex countryside full of blood-and-guts, entertainment, determination, high-drama and no little controversy from the kick-off until the final whistle.

The match totally summed up what the passion of non-league football is all about and also one that visitors Ashford ended with nine men, after goalkeeper George Kamurasi was dismissed at the midway point of the first-half. Then after battling for so long in the face of adversity, the visitors saw defender Nick Humphrey sent off after a second yellow-card in the 75th minute.

The dismissal of Kamurasi was a major blow to the Nuts & Bolts as a re-shuffle saw striker Shaun Welford forced to take over in goal, after no substitute keeper was on the bench.

The 36-year old with 17 goals to his name thus far was to prove a real goalkeeping hero, after pulling off a number of fine saves in a quite superb display between the sticks for such a long period of the match.

The home side on the back of a fine 5-4 victory at Cray Valley last week were quickly out of the blocks as Kamurasi pulled off a good save to deny Ronnie Conlon in the second minute. Then just a minute later Kamurasi was well beaten by a 25-yard lob from Josh Biddlecomble, but luckily for the big keeper the shot bounced back off the crossbar.

Referee Alex Stacchini , had already shown yellow cards to Wayne Clarke for the home side and Dan Stubbs before Kamurasi’s afternoon ended early with a red card in the 23rd minute. The visiting keeper could though have little complaint about the sending off, after diving in legs first to try and thwart the lively Conlon who had burst through on goal.

Biddlecomle duly fired in the penalty to put the hosts in front, but not before Welford had donned the goalkeeper’s jersey, due in part to regular substitute goalkeeper Nick Luen being given a game in the reserve side and therefore not named in the Ashford line-up

Welford though was quite fantastic immediately pulling off two good saves and as well as having good handling, he then showed good speed to advance off his line and thwart John Shea.

Not surprisingly the Crows were in the ascendancy in the opening period but missed a number of opportunities to double the lead. Welford though was assisted by some good defending as Jack Healey somehow hooked the ball out, before Wayne Clarke slipped when shooting as another effort went begging.

As the half drew to a close Welford denied Biddlecombe, but the home number nine should have at least hit the target moments later but fired a golden chance wide.

At the half-time break Sebastian Schoburgh was introduced to add some pace to the side, as despite being down to 10-men Ashford sensed that they could maybe still get something from the game.

Welford though was once again busy, smothering at the feet of Clarke, then the disappointing Biddlecombe, whose compass was clearly off the radar, shot once more over the top.

Mr Stacchini was now starting to wave yellow-cards like there was no tomorrow, as Humphrey saw his name taken for protesting in the 50th minute, before Adam Cuthbert was carded for a foul on Conlon two minutes later.

Ashford were holding firm in defence, whilst they always looked dangerous on the counter-attack and when Ryan Palmer was taken out in full flow down the left wing, Callum Ridley for the Crows added to the card tally.

From the resultant free-kick, the 10-man visitors drew level, when substitute Schoburgh slid the ball home after Michael Phillips had floated a teasing cross deep into the box. The Crows couldn’t deal with the cross after a knock down by Healey which fell to Schoburgh for his fourth of the campaign after 56 minutes.

As the game wore on the home side started to look desperate as despite a lot of possession the shooting started to become increasingly off-target, with the players seemingly taking it in turns to see who could fire nearest the corner-flag rather than the goal.

It is unsure who won this particular little challenge, but Ridley, Clarke and Dan Tear all wasted opportunities with dreadful efforts. Luke Cuthbert though was in the right place to produce a fine goal-line clearance after a ricochet off Clarke almost found its way into the net.

With 15 minutes remaining Humphrey was deemed the last man after a challenge and was duly shown a second yellow-card, the decision riled Ashford, particularly as the referee had waved play on after an identical challenge on Welford in the opening minute of the game. Not surprisingly Ridley continued the shooting theme by drilling the resultant free-kick way over the crossbar, much to the chagrin of the home management.

There were many heroes for the Nuts & Bolts, Welford deserves great credit for his assured performance in goal which helped secure the point, but Lye thought he had made it three points in the second minute of injury time only to see his effort controversially disallowed.

As the late-drama unfolded Phillips delivered another free-kick deep into the box, which was hooked back, the ball appeared to loop off a home defender as Lye rose to nod home from close range. But as Ashford turned away to celebrate, the assistant referee raised his flag for offside, despite the presence of the goalkeeper and at least one defender on the goal-line.

It would be fair to say that Mr Stacchini will probably not be sent a Christmas card by Nuts & Bolts player-manager Lye.

Match Reporter Kevin Hall