Greenbacks hold off Tangerines
Zamaretto League, Central Division
| Ashford player/manager Jamie Lawrence elected to sit this one out in favour of starting with the side that finished so strongly the previous Monday, that meant Luke Hickie retaining his place in the holding midfield role.
The visitors, though, were undone by two goals in as many minutes in the first half, but had enough of the game to get something out of it, indeed, had they converted half the chances they had in the second half they would have won with ease.
There is no denying that Bedworth started the stronger, in the first minute Doug Greenway found Ben Twigger in space, Twigger shot first time forcing a good save out of Lee Pearce, in the Ashford goal. Twigger attempted to turn provider soon after, cutting the ball back for Jai Stanley but Pearce came to the rescue again with a block.
Jones Awuah combined well with Rico Morris to set up a difficult chance for Kane Louis but the ball seemed to bobble as the Ashford striker struck it and it sailed high over Tom Farmer’s goal.
Ashford were taking their time to settle and, at times. struggled to cope with Bedworth’s more direct approach illustrated perfectly in the 14th minute when Jacob Blyth ran onto a long ball out of defence and took one touch before sliding the ball past Pearce to give the home side the lead.
Two minutes later Bedworth doubled their advantage. A free kick on the Bedworth right was mis-headed out to the unmarked Luke Williams on the left who played the ball first time back into the middle where Blyth reacted the quickest to flick the ball past Pearce for his second of the game.
A caution for Ryan Scott followed his robust challenge, from behind, on Awuah before the Ashford striker pulled a goal back for the visitors. A good cross from Jordan Kiffin found Chamal Fenelon on the left who played a superb ball across the face of the Bedworth goal to give Awuah the simplest of tap-ins.
Ashford were forced into making a change when Jim Mann sustained a head injury that left him seeing double, Rob Curtis came on and went to right back with Guy Hollis moving to the centre of defence along side Russ Canderton.
As the visitors finally got to grips with the long ball game employed by their hosts, they started to push up and make chances of their own, Canderton had a shot blocked then Awuah was just beaten to a long ball by Farmer who raced off his line to clear.
On the half hour, Williams escaped the attentions of Curtis to cross to the far post where Twigger forced another good stop from Pearce then, in the last minute of the half, Awuah broke through and found himself one on one with Farmer but the Bedworth keeper just got a toe to Awuah’s shot to deflect the ball just wide.
Jamie Lawrence’s men could have found themselves with a two goal deficit again early in the second half when Blyth stole the ball from an indecisive defence and warmed Pearce’s hands with a shot.
Ashford, by this time, were playing some very attractive football and starting to dominate the proceedings, Scott Weight had a shot saved then Fenelon received the ball from Morris on the left and sent a vicious shot goalwards that Farmer saved at the second attempt but that was the last action that the big striker would be involved in as he was forced off with a groin strain to be replaced by Kabuye Arafat, affectionally known as Yassa.
Yassa was immediately into the action providing a cross for Weight whose weak shot was saved then, shortly after, the diminutive winger cut in from the right where Farmer was obliged to defend his right hand post at the cost of a corner.
Arafat, once again, sent over a dangerous cross, this time with his left foot causing Farmer to arch backwards to spectacularly tip Louis looping header over, Weight headed wide from the resulting corner.
Scott Weight, pushing up from midfield, had another chance go wide from another Arafat cross after good work from the impressive Hickie then, in time added, Farmer, again, kept his side in poll position by saving a well struck long range effort from ‘man of the match’ Jordan Kiffin.