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Hollands & Blair 28/3/16 Won 2-0

Match Report by Kevin Hall posted on 28th March 2016

Welford Easter Monday double dents Hollands & Blair title hopes

Match Stats

Date: Mon 28 Mar 2016

Kick Off: 3.00pm

Match Type: Southern Counties East Football League

Venue: Homelands

Score (FT): 2-0

Score (HT): 1-0

Referee: Harry Wager

Assistants: Bo Wang & Glen Childs

Bookings:

Ashford:
Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

:
Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Teams: ASHFORD UNITED
George Kamurasi
George Savage
Charlie Dickens
Luke Cuthbert
Danny Lye
Pat Kingwell
Ryan Palmer
Chris Saunders
Shaun Welford
Ben Davisson
Tasar Hassan (off 72)

Substitutes (used *)
Josh Woolley
Mikey Dalton
Paul Booth * (on 72)
Tom Fagg
Michael Phillips

HOLLANDS & BLAIR
Dan Ellis
Sam Welch
Bryan Greenfield (off 62)
Louis Valencia
Lewis Taylor
Steve Dampier
Justin Ascheri (off 67)
Tom Michelson
James McDonald
Rob Denness
Brett Ince

Substitutes (used *)
Jordan Gallagher * (on 67)
Luke Fewsdale * (on 62 – off 75)
Steve Hafner
George Blake * (on 75)
Sam Gutridge


Attendance: 263

Ashford United completed the double over title challengers Hollands & Blair thanks to another brace from Shaun Welford, as the Nuts & Bolts continued their fine run of form, at a bright but windswept Homelands on Easter Monday.

Storm Katie had caused havoc throughout the South East in the past 24 hours, which had brought down the electronic scoreboard along with several parts of the surrounding wall. The wind although not as strong, was still blustery when the match kicked-off at 3.15 p.m, following the late arrival of one of the assistant referees.

With just 11 seconds on the clock, it was evident that the elements were going to play a part in proceedings, when visiting keeper Dan Ellis almost misjudged a cross from the left side by Ryan Palmer. The former Rochester United shot-stopper though just about did enough, after awkwardly catching the swirling ball under the crossbar.

Card happy referee Harry Wager, set a precedent as early as the seventh minute, when United left-back Charlie Dickens became the first player to be shown a yellow card, after what appeared to be a routine challenge on former Ashford Town player Rob Denness.

Denness ( five goals in 28 appearances for Ashford Town), is much improved from his time at the Homelands during season 2007-08, who alongside James McDonald forms a potent forward line for the Blair. The pair between them having banged a combined total of 201 goals prior to kick-off, with the latter having scored an incredible 126 in 94 appearances.

Strangely though McDonald had a very quiet afternoon and was decidedly off colour, Pat Kingwell seemingly having the prolific striker in his pocket. Denness the much livelier of the two, forced George Kamurasi into a neat save with 13 minutes on the stopwatch.

Almost at once, Tasar Hassan pounced on some hesitant defending, the ball made its way to Welford who took a couple of touches before firing low and hard with his left-foot hard, to find the net for the eighth consecutive league game.

Further yellow cards followed when Danny Lye and Welford found their names in the book for the hosts, whilst Tom Michelson and Bryan Greenfield followed for the visitors. The first three perhaps seemed harsh, but Scottish left-back Greenfield can have little complaint, after picking up his 12th of the season following a nasty challenge on George Savage.

In between the flurry of cards, Kamurasi kept the visitors at bay with further saves whilst Lewis Taylor tried his luck with a speculative long range effort in the 32nd minute, before Welford tried to volley, but missed the ball after good work again by Hassan.

As the half drew to a close, Ben Davisson teed up Palmer, but the lively home number seven fired narrowly wide from just outside the box.

Ashford clearly up for the contest doubled the lead inside the third minute of the second-half, when Welford rose majestically beating Ellis to the ball, to nod home from an inch perfect cross from Palmer.

In a rich vein of form Welford now 36, has bagged three braces in as many games, having notched in his scoring run of eight straight league matches a total of 12 goals, thus taking his season tally to 34.

With the momentum behind them, Davisson strode forward for the Nuts & Bolts before pulling a shot wide. Dickens danced into the box, but then got a touch of the jitters and not really knowing what to do next was unable to find a shot at goal.

Michelson then missed the most clear cut chance of the afternoon for the Blair, blasting over the bar from close range, before United broke away as Davisson had a shout for handball inside the box turned down by Mr Wager.

With Ashford now in full flow, not surprisingly veteran defender Greenfield was replaced by Luke Fewsdale in the 62nd minute, but he limped off 13 minutes later.

Welford, looking for his first hat-trick for the Nuts & Bolts tested Ellis after being fed by Palmer, but the visiting custodian was equal to the task.

In the 66th minute Palmer picked up what was to prove a costly booking, when continuing to play on and shooting after being flagged offside.

Substitute Paul Booth just moments after his introduction laid the ball off to Davisson, but the former Charlton Athletic Academy player cleared the crossbar.

Louis Valencia then hooked the ball wide as another half-chance for the Blair went begging, before United were then reduced to 10 men with seven minutes remaining.

Palmer felled Jordan Gallagher near the halfway line, but the fans favourite was aghast to see the referee show him his second yellow-card of the afternoon, to spoil an otherwise perfect afternoon for the home side.

Needless to say there were further bookings in the match, when Brett Ince and Chris Saunders clashed, the challenge by Ince sparked some unrest and the referee appeared to show cards to the pair as well as to Kamurasi.

In stoppage time, Kamurasi ensured his second clean sheet of the Easter weekend, palming away a crisp effort from George Blake, before Welford fired over the top and Ince shot wide for the visitors in the last action of the afternoon.

United were good value for the win, Blair though have enjoyed a wonderful first season at this level and could yet lift the title, especially as big spending Greenwich Borough have to visit the Homelands on the final day of the season.

Match Reporter Kevin Hall