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Deal Town 1/11/14 Lost 2-3

Match Report by Kevin Hall posted on 2nd November 2014

Ashford stunned by Deal comeback as they bow out of league cup

Match Stats

Date: Sat 1 Nov 2014

Kick Off: 3.00pm

Match Type: League Cup

Venue: Homelands

Score (FT): 2-3

Score (HT): 2-1

Referee: Ivan Gelov

Assistants: M Ingram & A Waters

Bookings:

Ashford:
Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

:
Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Teams: ASHFORD UNITED
Joe Mant
Adam Cuthbert
Charlie Dickens (off 73)
Harry Priddle (off 46)
Luke Cuthbert
Pat Kingwell
Gary Clarke
James Everitt
Stuart Zanone
Tom Scorer (off 30)
Gary Mickelborough

Substitutes (used *)
Keiran Byrne * (on 30)
Lee Winfield * (on 46)
Liam Walsh
Andy Irvine * (on 73)
Jordan Harris

DEAL TOWN
Chris Waymark
Luke Biggington
Dan Smith
Alex Coyne (off 45+1)
Grant Bagley
Kristin Gregory
Warren Smith (off 77)
Andy Miller
Chris Walsh (off 90)
Martin Austin
Ryan Moore

Substitutes (used *)
Ben Munday
Paul Egan * (on 90)
Lloyd Taylor * (on 77)
Jack Tanner * (on 45+1)
Sam Short


Attendance: 233

The script was written, that hosts Ashford United would comfortably defeat bottom placed Deal Town in the 1st Round of the Southern Counties League Challenge Cup. But football can be a funny old game and clearly the visitors hadn’t read the script, to fight back from conceding two goals in the opening 16 minutes and deservedly progress the next round of the competition.

For the neutral supporter, it was a cracking and pulsating fast paced end to end match with chances aplenty, but for the home side looking for a win it wasn’t quite what the doctor ordered, despite having the perfect start to the encounter by taking an early two goal lead.

The opener came after 10 minutes and was a sweet timed volley from Tom Scorer, his sixth of the season, who moments earlier had been denied by keeper Chris Waymark, but from the resultant corner, the visiting custodian stood little chance from the powerful shot.

Ashford looked dangerous going forward, with the best player on show Gary Mickelborough, causing all sorts of problems for the left back Dan Smith and he was instrumental in playing a part in the second goal after another burst of pace down the right wing. His darting run set up James Everitt who was upended inside the box by Alex Coyne, it was a clear penalty with no complaints and allowed Adam Cuthbert to double the lead after 16 minutes, sending the keeper the wrong way, although the ball needed the aid of the post before finding the back of the net.

Barely a minute later, Deal had pulled a goal back from a free-kick 30 yards out and it was a great strike from Andy Miller which looked in from the moment he struck it.

As the first-half wore on, both sides had further chances, but it was home keeper Joe Mant who was the busier of the two, as going forward United seemed to struggle to find the target, this was typified when Stuart Zanone blasted over the bar when the better option should have been a pass into the box.

On 37 minutes Mant pulled off a top drawer save to tip the ball out for a corner to deny Ryan Moore and right on the stroke of half-time, he did well with another great save to keep the slender lead intact.

The second-half followed in the same attacking vein, with Waymark gathering well from Mickelborough on 51 minutes, then a typical mazy run from Keiran Byrne, saw him waltz into the box, only to drag his shot inches wide.

It was a good clean game and well refereed by Ivan Gelov, having to show only one yellow card to the visitors number seven Warren Smith, who took out home debutant Charlie Dickens with an agricultural challenge after 55 minutes.

Mant then had to be alert with a fantastic double save to thwart Miller and although he initially spilt the ball from the shot, he was on hand to deny the onrushing Moore to deflect it away for a corner. The resultant corner was well delivered by Smith and looked to be heading into the goal at the far post, but Mant was outstanding again to scoop it away for another corner as Deal continued to pressurise.

Mickelborough was then denied by Waymark and Zanone had a shot blocked as the Deal defence held firm. But Ashford paid the price for their indecision in front of goal, when the visitors found an equaliser with 78 minutes on the stopwatch.

It was however a complete comedy of errors and must have sent Manager Paul Chambers to boiling point. It is probably best not to dwell over the events which led to the easiest of goals for substitute Jack Tanner, but Pat Kingwell and Mant won’t want to recall it for too long, after a misunderstanding between the pair caused the chaos.

As both sides pressed for a winner, Andy Irvine with a poor effort really should have done better, then moments later Zanone was denied by a terrific block, then Deal surged forward but Martin Austin fluffed his lines dragging the ball woefully wide of the target.

However with two minutes remaining the visitors completed the comeback, when a ball pumped into the box, found the net and with a posse of players in the air, it deflected in off a head. The league web site has credited the final touch to the unlucky Everitt, in truth it was pretty hard to tell, although Deal Town’s web site has given the goal to their striker Charlie Walsh.

Deal looked a good side, too good to remain at the bottom, maybe Ashford were too open and let them play, but even the most ardent of home fans would be hard pressed to say that in the end it wasn’t a fair result over the course of the 90 minutes.

Match Reporter Kevin Hall