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Phoenix Sports 21/4/15 Drew 0-0

Match Report by Kevin Hall posted on 22nd April 2015

Honours even as top two share the points in final home game

Match Stats

Date: Tue 21 Apr 2015

Kick Off: 7.45pm

Match Type: Southern Counties East Football League

Venue: Homelands

Score (FT): 0-0

Score (HT): 0-0

Referee: Peter Cruise

Assistants: Bo Wang & Oliver Smith

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
Danny Lye
Pat Kingwell
Gary Clarke
Michael Phillips
Stuart Zanone
Tom Scorer (off 80)
Gary Mickelborough (off 81)

Substitutes (used *)
Ollie Finch * (on 80)
Jordan Harris
Lloyd Blackman * (on 81)
Paul Chambers
Michael Smissen

PHOENIX SPORTS
Steve Phillips
Myles Keizer-Burrows
George King
Russell Bedford (off 53)
Danny Moore
Chris Hill
Harrison Carnegie
Peter Smith
Carl Cornell (off 74)
Yacine Gnahore
Aaron Jeffrey (off 63)

Substitutes (used *)
Jack White * (on 53)
James Brown
Ryan Andrews *(on 63)
Andy Constable * (on 74)
Danny Kemp


Attendance: 214

An entertaining final home at the Homelands for season 2014-15 saw the top two, battle out a competitive 0-0 draw, as for the second midweek game running, United were kept at bay by an impressive display from a visiting goalkeeper.

Last Tuesday had seen Richard Stroud of Sevenoaks Town perform well to deny Ashford victory, this time Steve Phillips of champions Phoenix Sports excelled between the sticks, cleanly catching and gathering the ball, to show great command of his goal area whenever United pressed.

In a keenly fought contest, home keeper Joe Mant gathered well from the Yacine Gnahore as the visitors fashioned the opening chance. Moments later a long thrown-in from Myles Keizer-Burrows caused confusion and ended with Carl Cornell screwing a shot wide.

Mant, who initially was the busier of the two keepers, stood firm to pull of a fine save and deny Aaron Jeffrey, then Harrison Carnegie cut inside Luke Cuthbert, but his curling left foot shot went wide of the post, as the champions continued the stronger of the two sides.

Gradually the Nuts & Bolts grew into the game to create some openings with Tom Scorer firing narrowly wide from long range, Cornell responded with another wide effort for Phoenix.

In between the first yellow card of the evening was shown to the visitors number 11 Jeffrey, who after a succession of fouls found his name in the notebook.

The second-half certainly belonged to Ashford as numerous chances were created, but once again the dead-ball situations, particularly corner-kicks were wasted all too often.

Adam Cuthbert with a low cross found Gary Mickelborough whose flick caused confusion, before eventually the ball was cleared away. Stuart Zanone found himself one-on-one with the keeper, who although out of his box, showed great skill to head the ball three times before clearing the danger.

Mickelborough then drifted in from the right wing before pulling a shot wide of the post, whilst Scorer picked out Zanone, but the 45-goal top scorer – looking to emulate Alan Morton’s 46 goal Ashford Town record – shot too high.

An off colour Cornell missed a good chance for Phoenix, whilst Zanone did likewise for the Nuts & Bolts, Luke Cuthbert then picked out Scorer, who connected well with his head but slightly off target.

Substitute Andy Constable poked the ball wide for Phoenix, whilst Mant was on hand to divert the ball away for a corner as Gnahore missed a glorious chance for the visitors to steal the points.

There were few anxious moments after that, so in the end the sides had to settle for one point each in front of a healthy 214 crowd, which included Folkestone Invicta Manager Neil Cugley.

Since having had their colours lowered for the only time by United 10 days ago Phoenix had made sure of the title and promotion to the Isthmian League, but the point a piece ensured that Ashford had collected more points against them than any other team this season in the league.

The healthy four season rivalry between the two ends for now, as Phoenix deservedly take their place at the next level for 2015-16, whilst United will be keen to challenge again on the promised artificial pitch next term.

The final game of the season takes place on Saturday, when United travel to Champion Hill Stadium, the home of Dulwich Hamlet, to take on Fisher.

Match Reporter Kevin Hall