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Ashford Town (Middlesex) 3

Uxbridge

Uxbridge 5

Evo-Stik League Southern, Division One Central
Robert Parker Stadium, Stanwell
6th November 2012

Chris Moore sealed a late hat-trick for Uxbridge to devastate Ashford Town Middlesex, who had roared back from an adverse 0-3 half-time scoreline.

Samad Kazi started on the bench despite impressing as a substitute against Thatcham Town on Saturday. The only change Ashford made saw Jack Mullan brought in to tighten midfield with Alex Duffy pushed out to left-wing.

A poor first half cost Ashford any points against Thatcham, and they were in even deeper trouble at the same stage against Uxbridge. Despite it being a closely-fought half, three goals put a gulf between the teams; the difference being Uxbridge's deadliness in attack.

Shaun Lucien fired Uxbridge into an early lead as his cross-shot from the right deceived Kyle Merson, who was unaware the ball was destined for the far corner.

The visitors doubled their lead around 20 minutes. Chris Moore's header was returned after Russell Canderton had covered to clear off the line valiantly, and the striker was able to squeeze the ball in after following its return path.

Moore's partner in attack Craig Tomkins came inches away from instantly increasing his team's lead when he cut inside and thundered a shot at the crossbar.

Only goal-line technology would have proven it had crossed the line, yet when the shot fell awkwardly to Moore the Uxbridge striker was unable to finish with the goal at his mercy.

Ashford responded with purpose; Canderton at the far post came close to converting from a corner and Kofi Lockhart-Adams almost reached Duffy's dangerous cross but was the ball was cleared.

It was a quiet performance from Mark Bitmead, who had scored in four of Ashford Town's last five matches. A tough tackle was deemed dangerous by the referee and he found himself booked.

Uxbridge had most success down Ashford's right; Moore and Tomkins were combing well and exploiting gaps in behind defence. A move constructed by the two saw Tomkins flash the ball across the six-yard both for Kevin Warner to apply a sliding finish, and the away team were flying.

Despite having little to do first half, Matthew Elston-Bull in the Uxbridge goal was alert to Dan Brown's stinging outside-of-the-boot effort to tip the ball over.

Manager Paul Burgess was clearly unsatisfied with the performance and wasted no time in making a triple half-time substitution. Ed Thomas, Jack Mullan and Alex Duffy were replaced by Chris Robinson, Bennett and Kazi.

An improbable fightback was initiated when Bennett applied enough pressure on Mark Dennis to force the Uxbridge defender into turning Bitmead's cross into his own net.

Bitmead then took the bull firmly by the horns, crashing in a brilliant goal from far on the left.

IKyle Merson made a vital safe to a Tomkins shot before Ashford's remarkable comeback was complete. Lockhart-Adams span away from his defender, aimed a shot at the far post that was deflected high into the air and Kazi, poaching, nodded in.

Uxbridge's defence was in disarray and Ashford were slicing through it at will. But as soon as the match was levelled, Moore tapped in his second after Danny Julienne's shot hit the inside of the post and Uxbridge held the lead again.

With Ashford desperate to save the game, Moore then raced onto a cleared corner and finished under an onrushing Merson to complete his hat-trick.

Ashford's fighting spirit was commendable; Bennett and Harry Knock flashed dangerous balls from the right but it was too late for another miracle.  

 

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