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Littlehampton Town 6/12/14 Drew 3-3

Match Report by Kevin Hall posted on 6th December 2014

Pat Kingwell strikes to force replay after seeing United concede two goal lead in FA Vase tie as six goals are shared at Littlehampton

Match Stats

Date: Sat 6 Dec 2014

Kick Off: 3.00pm

Match Type: FA Vase

Venue: St Flora's Sportsfield

Score (FT): 3-3 (score @ 90 mins 2-2, extra-time played)

Score (HT): 1-0

Referee: Anthony Foster

Assistants: Sean Jenkins & Rudi Barton

Bookings:

Ashford:
Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

:
Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Teams: ASHFORD UNITED
Joe Mant
Adam Cuthbert
Charlie Dickens
Tom Scorer (off 75)
Liam Walsh (off 82)
Pat Kingwell
Gary Clarke
Keiran Byrne
Stuart Zanone
Darren Marsden
Gary Mickelborough (off 61)

Substitutes (used *)
Lee Winfield * (on 61)
James Everitt * (on 75)
Lee Pleau * (on 82)
Andy Irvine
Jordan Harris

LITTLEHAMPTON TOWN
Jon Hendrick
Shay Wiggins
Mitchell Hand
Dan Swain
Ross McKay (off 84)
Liam Humphreys (off 61)
Joe Shelley
Jamie Thompson
Kieron Pamment
George Landis
Michael Hendrick (off 65)

Substitutes (used *)
Ben Gray * (on 65)
David Herbert * (on 61)
Dan Simmonds
Josh Bates
George Gaskin * (on 84)



Attendance: 120

Ashford United snatched a dramatic equaliser in final minute of extra time, to force a replay from their FA Carlsberg Vase trip to Littlehampton Town. It was an afternoon of highs and lows for the Nuts & Bolts who had taken a two goal lead in the six goal thriller, only to see the Marigolds draw level in the final six minutes of regulation play.

The hosts then took full control of the match to go in front in the opening 45 seconds of extra-time, but Ashford deservedly struck back to earn a second bite of the cherry, when defender Pat Kingwell became the goal scoring hero and take the sides back to Homelands on Tuesday evening.

The stage was set for a high scoring encounter, Ashford having defeated Hassocks 7-0 in the previous round, whilst home side had progressed courtesy of 7-3 win in a midweek replay over Abingdon Town, following a 4-4 draw.

Chances throughout the first 45 minutes were mainly restricted to long range attempts and after 24 minutes the hosts forced an opening when George Landis was through on goal but a timely tackle by Liam Walsh ended the effort. Shortly afterwards Michael Hendricks failed to capitalise on a piece of slack defending by United.

The Marigolds certainly weren’t afraid to shoot, it was finding the target that was their problem as Jamie Thompson and Hendrick flashed efforts past the post then Joe Shelley missed the best chance by screwing the ball wide when it looked easier to score.

The best effort for the visitors fell to Tom Scorer, but his rising effort from 25 yards flew over the crossbar. However with half-time almost reached, United fashioned an opening and the opportunist Stuart Zanone pounced to make it 1-0 when deftly clipping the ball over the advancing goalkeeper Jon Hendrick. The ball travelled slowly towards the goal, but despite the efforts of two defenders tracking back and attempting to clear it, the ball had enough purchase on it to cross the line.

The lead was doubled six minutes after the re-start when the prolific Zanone added his second, thus taking his tally to nine goals in four matches, a ratio of scoring not seen since Dave Arter scored for fun for Ashford Town back in the nineties. The in-form striker reacting quickly to a neat through ball from Keiran Byrne to shimmy and transfer the ball to his right foot and curl the effort beyond the static keeper rooted to the edge of the six-yard box.

As the game progressed the home side rallied and started to force Ashford to defend and on 84 minutes pulled a goal back through George Landis, the same player having gone close with a volley moments earlier.

This galvanised Littlehampton and they sense that Ashford were starting to tire, it was a crucial blow to the Nuts & Bolts therefore to lose the impressive Walsh almost immediately after conceding the goal.

With the away goal now under siege, the home side pressed and as the match entered stoppage time, Landis fired home again from close range to force the tie into extra-time.

Less than a minute into the extra 30 minute period, the comeback was complete when a brilliant left foot strike by Keiron Pamment curled past the outstretched hand of Joe Mant, in his 100th appearance for United, to make it 3-2 to Littlehampton.

Having scored three times in the space of seven crazy minutes to completely turn the tie around, Littlehampton now went for the jugular, as substitutes David Herbert and George Gaskins flashed efforts narrowly past the post.

Ashford though started to respond once more as twice Darren Marsden saw shots blocked en route to goal. Then in a dramatic finale the visitors fashioned one final opening when the tireless Zanone screwed the ball back from a tight angle to find Kingwell. The big defender saw his shot blocked on the line, but reacted to pounce on the rebound to swivel and fire the ball with his left peg into the roof of the net to restore parity, with barely any more time left on the clock.

So back to the Homelands the sides go on Tuesday evening, with both reflecting on what might have been from a dramatic encounter on the West Sussex coast.

Match Reporter Kevin Hall