Ashford Town (Middlesex) 3

Daventry Town 2

Evo-Stik League Southern, Division One Central
Robert Parker Stadium
1st December 2012

So often the league's slow starters, Ashford Town (Middlesex) were off to a flier against Daventry Town after Jack Mullan's opener had put the home team into a rare early position of command.

There was concern at Robert Parker Stadium that the team might struggle for goals as Dan Brown departed for Ryman League Premier Division team Wingate & Finchley.

Free-scoring midfielder Mark Bitmead was also consigned to the bench, but Mullan eased all doubts when he lashed Ed Thomas's cross into roof of the net.

Joe Bennett switched the play with a long ball to the left, which Ed Thomas collected well and burned past Liam Colman at right-back. He put in a low cross that Daventry failed to deal with, and Mullan came roaring in to give Ashford a lead which they maintained for the match.

Ashford fielded a small, speedy side which counter attacked effectively against Daventry's more physical approach. Alex Duffy started at LB with Thomas pushed up to midfield. Brown's replacement was Pietro Palladino, who stretched the Daventry defence with energetic running.

A resilient performance from Ashford ensured they went into half-time with a slender advantage, before the game exploded with a flurry of goals in the second half.

Bairoh Conteh was a trustworthy presence at centre-back, skilfully clearing a dangerous cross and making another vital challenge soon after when he nicked the ball off the feet of Nat Liburd.

Resolute Ashford defending ensured Daventry were largely consigned to bit chances in the first half. Despite Daventry having a large share of the play in Ashford territory, they were able to do little with it.

However, Linurd scored a well-taken equaliser for Daventry almost immediately after half-time. The striker sidestepped Darren Canderton brilliantly and applied an accurate finish.

As the game came to life, Bennett played a charming through ball to Lockhart-Adams but Richard Morris in goal for Daventry was quick off his line to collect. He couldn't stop Bennett's next contribution, however. Bennett carried the ball upfield and, sensing an invitation to shoot, thundered the ball past goalkeeper Richard Morris.

Ashford quickly doubled their lead through Mullan, who also doubled his tally. Lockhart-Adams provided the cross, and Mullan met the ball sweetly to head another unsaveable effort into the far corner.

The goals continued to rain in as Joshua Blake converted a penalty to make it just 3-2. But Ashford were determined to hold onto their lead; Kyle Merson saved a low shot as Ashford made their one goal advantage last.