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Lingfield 3/4/15 Won 2-1

Match Report by Kevin Hall posted on 3rd April 2015

Late drama as 10 man Ashford come from behind to bag three points

Match Stats

Date: Fri 3 Apr 2015

Kick Off: 3.00pm

Match Type: Southern Counties East Football League

Venue: Homelands

Score (FT): 2-1

Score (HT): 0-0

Referee: Kane Dempster

Assistants: Leo Goodchild & Mike O'Bree

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 (off 77)
Liam Walsh
Pat Kingwell
Gary Clarke
Liam Whiting
Michael Smissen (off 75)
Darren Marsden (off 51)
Gary Mickelborough

Substitutes (used *)
Keiran Byrne * (on 77)
Lee Winfield * (on 75)
Jordan Harris
Tom Scorer * (on 51)
Lloyd Blackman

LINGFIELD
Lewis Lockyer
Connor Leech
Tony Langridge
Shaun Johnson
Marco Mwanza
Aden Kendirli
Matthew Warren
Chan Quan
Simon Wallace (off 80)
Jake Rose
Harry Sintim (off 90+2)

Substitutes (used *)
Sammy Clements * (on 80)
Joel Amos * (on 90+2


Attendance: 185

There was plenty of late drama at the Homelands with Ashford fighting back from going a goal behind in the 81st minute, as goals from Tom Scorer and Gary Mickelborough saw them defeat Lingfield 2-1, despite being reduced to 10 men midway through the second-half.

The visitors certainly do blow hot and cold and there are normally plenty of goals around when they play, as in the 31 league games before kick-off, they had a record of goals for 66, goals against 106, a 0-0 draw therefore seemed most unlikely.

The Surrey team perhaps still smarting from the Stuart Zanone seven goal demolition 10 days ago, were clearly up for a contest and as early as the second minute showed their attacking intent through the dangerous Harry Sintim, causing home keeper Joe Mant to advance quickly from his line to avert the danger.

Sintim will of course have fond memories of the Homelands, having bagged a brace- including a stunning volley – in the 3-1 FA Cup victory over United in August 2012 and again he was to prove a menace all afternoon.

Then just three minutes later Liam Walsh conceded a free-kick just a few inches outside the edge of the 18 yard-box, but the resultant dead ball strike was woeful and hit softly into the wall.

Ashford showed more purpose in the final third than in the 1-1 draw versus Erith Town in midweek, as Michael Smissen – in only his second full start of the season- saw an effort blocked, then Liam Whiting tried his luck, but his bobbling shot was deflected wide.

It was end to end stuff, as the visitors went close through Simon Wallace, then Smissen was thwarted by the legs of visiting custodian Lewis Lockyer, before Whiting again let rip but the effort sailed just over the crossbar.

Somehow it remained scoreless at the half-time interval, United thankful to Mant just before the break, when he produced two fine saves, the best of which denied Matthew Warren.

Two minutes into the second period, Whiting was perhaps a touch unfortunate to see his name taken for a challenge on Sintim and as events unfolded this was to prove costly.

The tireless Smissen worked the keeper after a neat turn and shot then Pat Kingwell combined with Darren Marsden to set up Mickelborough, as Ashford again went close to an opener.

Things took a turn for the worse in the 70th minute after Kingwell surged forward with a great run, the ball fell to Whiting who let fly from 25 yards out, the shot beat Lockyer but cannoned back off the underside of the crossbar and down before spinning back into play.

Despite appeals that the ball had crossed the line, Referee Kane Dempster waved away all Ashford protests, but Whiting was clearly enraged by the injustice, venting his anger towards Mr Demspter. It resulted in him receiving his marching orders for the second time this season – following his dismissal at Greenwich Borough in February- after being shown his second yellow card of the afternoon and so the Nuts & Bolts were down to 10 men for the remainder of the match.

Despite being a man down, United still showed plenty going forward, Jamie Collado threaded a pass through to Smissen, who with one touch controlled the ball only to be thwarted by a brilliant point-blank save by Lockyer.

Then with nine minutes remaining the visitors took the lead when Sintim on the half-volley from 15- yards converted a neat cross to stun the Homelands faithful.

The riposte was swift, as within a minute parity was restored when Scorer did well to fire home with his left peg, controlling well an awkward bouncing high ball from around 12-yards out.

Neither team looked content to settle for just a point, the visitors saw a free header missed by Joel Amos when left completely unmarked, he contrived to put the ball wide of the goal.

As the clocked reached 90 minutes, Ashford bagged the three points when Mickelborough stabbed home from close range, following a header from Scorer which had pinged back off the crossbar from a well drifted in Lee Winfield free-kick near the halfway line.

It was perhaps cruel luck on the gallant visitors, but maybe the winning goal had a touch of irony having comeback down from the crossbar, only this time United had someone on hand to make certain it had crossed the line.

The Nuts & Bolts play their fourth home game in 10 days when Woodstock Sports visit the Homelands on Monday looking for another win, before the difficult trip to unbeaten leaders Phoenix Sports on Saturday 11th April.

This match also marked the 100th appearance for United for Captain Gary Clarke, who returned to Ashford in January 2013, having previously made another 72 appearances for the Town side. He was just 16 when he first debuted for Town, featuring as a substitute in a 1-1 league draw at Chatham Town on Easter Monday 21 April 2003. Since his return to United, the midfielder has missed only four of the matches played during his spell back with the club.

Match Reporter Kevin Hall