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Crowborough Athletic 18/4/15 Won 2-0

Match Report by Kevin Hall posted on 18th April 2015

Zanone brace easies Ashford to victory to consolidate second spot

Match Stats

Date: Sat 18 Apr 2015

Kick Off: 3.00pm

Match Type: Southern Counties East Football League

Venue: Homelands

Score (FT): 2-0

Score (HT): 1-0

Referee: Wally James

Assistants: Simon Jackson & Joe Fox

Bookings:

Ashford:
Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

:
Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Teams: ASHFORD UNITED
Joe Mant
Adam Cuthbert
Luke Cuthbert
Jamie Collado
Ollie Finch
Pat Kingwell
Gary Clarke
Michael Phillips
Stuart Zanone
Tom Scorer (off 89)
Gary Mickelborough (off 71)

Substitutes (used *)
Jordan Harris * (on 89)
Michael Smissen * (on 71)
Lloyd Blackman
Keiran Byrne
Lee Winfield

CROWBOROUGH ATHLETIC
Nick Collick
Tom Cameron
Ryan Hinkson
Tom Boddy
Jon Trotter
Will Jagger
Wayne Clarke
Callum Ridley
Sam Carrington (off 70)
Ryan Waterman (off 61)
Alfie Baitup (off 54)

Substitutes (used *)
Jason Barton * (on 70)
Michael Death * (on 61)
Jack Funnell * (on 54)
Paul Butler
Connor Charlton


Attendance: 188

Ashford United consolidated second spot in the Southern Counties East League with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Crowborough Athletic, with both goals coming from prolific Stuart Zanone who took his tally to 45 for the season.

The match was played in bright sunshine, but conditions weren’t that easy on the dry and bumpy playing surface, with a stiff breeze also blowing across the Homelands pitch. That said, United never looked like conceding once Zanone had volleyed home the opener five minutes before the interval.

Conditions certainly didn’t make for an entertaining first-half, but United always looked dangerous with Tom Scorer and Gary Mickelborough once again excelling, especially down the right hand side.

There were few chances of note, Zanone fired over from long range after five minutes, whilst Scorer cut inside his man to fizz a ball across the danger area, but no one was on hand to connect. Adam Cuthbert and Mickelborough then combined to create an opening for Jamie Collado who hit a decent strike.

In between Crowborough saw Callum Ridley shoot optimistically from an acute angle, whilst Ryan Waterman was fed by Sam Carrington, but the ball bobbled and he handballed when in on goal, then Wayne Clarke wasted a free-kick opportunity hitting the ball softly into the Ashford defensive wall.

Generally though the visitors, who despite coming into the match on the back of a seven match unbeaten run posed little threat to Joe Mant, who has certainly had busier days in goal.

Then in the 40th minute, Zanone fired the Nuts & Bolts into 1-0 lead after a clean finish, to end his three- match run without a goal, after Mickelborough and Scorer had set up the chance.

Two minutes after the break the lead was doubled, the goal though was all down to Mickelborough who with a burst of pace, set off down the right-wing, his teasing cross-come-shot swerved and dipped, to hit the far post but Zanone was on hand to tap home from close range.

It was pretty much all Ashford from then on and the visitors did well not to concede a third, Mickelborough was always a threat, with number three Danny Moore looking bamboozled by his fast pace.

Mickelborough deserved a goal for his efforts, Collado found him with the pass of the day, but under pressure he blasted the ball over the bar.

Scorer scuffed a shot wide of the target then Zanone almost curled one in after a great piece of vision, whilst substitute Michael Smissen was through on goal, but a wickedly bouncing ball never settled enough for a clean strike.

The prolific Zanone, was mighty unlucky not to make it 46 for the season when a powerful header thundered against the post late in the game from a good delivered Smissen corner-kick, to deny him his fifth hat-trick in United colours.

The Crows fluffed an opportunity for a late consolation goal completely messing up a free-kick, after Mant had picked up a back-pass, which pretty much summed up their day.

It was a deserved three points for United in front of a 188 attendance for the penultimate home game of the 2014-15 Season, there is just the little matter of a visit from champions Phoenix Sports to the Homelands on Tuesday evening, before the final match next Saturday with a visit to Fisher Athletic.

There is much talk nowadays regarding attendance figures, but it is interesting to note that when Ashford Town and Athletic last clashed in Ryman League (13 Dec 2008) that a much similar crowd figure of 182 saw Ashford win 3-1 that day, times therefore haven’t changed much.

Match Reporter Kevin Hall