Slough Town

Slough Town 6

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Ashford Town (Middlesex) 1

Evo-Stik League Southern, Division One Central
Holloways Park, Beaconsfield
10th November 2012

Ashford Town (Middlesex) struggled with the physicality of opponents Slough Town, who were clinical and dispatched Ashford by 6-1.

Slow starts are becoming an unwelcome habit for Ashford. For the third match in a row they trailed by at least two goals at half-time. But a 0-2 midway scoreline turned out to be only the start of the rout.

Ollie Burgess sent Slough into an early lead, which they went on to extend without looking back. The timing of Slough's goals will have hurt Ashford, too. Danny Burnell's penalty was the last kick of the first half, and he added a second on 50 minutes to quash any chance Ashford had of getting anything from the game.

The on-form striker completed his hat-trick with a clever looped finish, after which he was substituted, having more than earned his rest.

Slough's opened the scoring with a bullet of a strike from right-midfielder Ollie Burgess. Burgess put his foot firmly through the ball, catching it sweetly on his laces, and the ball accelerated through goalkeeper Kyle Merson.

Ashford came close to equalising through Samad Kazi. Having earned his place in the starting lineup with two goals in consecutive games from off the bench, the winger nicked the ball from Slough and played in Kofi Lockhart-Adams. He found space to shoot but Slough keeper James Warrington got down well and pushed the ball out for a corner.

Ashford, somehow, failed to score when Kazi cut inside from the wing and played the ball across the box. The goalkeeper was beaten, but Slough defender Alex Brown cleared off the line.

At the other end of the pitch, Merson kept Ashford in contention with a strong hand on a long-range effort and did brilliantly to get back up to save the follow-up shot, although the linesman ruled for offside.

Russell Canderton must have thought he had scored for his team, but his fine volley from a corner whistled straight at a fortunately placed Slough defender.

Two handball shouts were turned down by the officials. The ball appeared to strike Natah Bowden-Haase's arm and Slough had an appeal of their own rejected when Kazi had showed tremendous spirit to help his side in defence. It would have been harsh, considering Kazi's effort, and he calmly carried the ball out to safety.

The match began to turn sour for Ashford at the end of the first half, when they picked up three bookings and conceded from a penalty. Ed Thomas, Canderton and Merson were the sinners; the latter two occuring before and after the pivotal penalty.

Canderton tripped Slough Town forward Danny Burnell as he bore down on goal, but was only given a yellow as Jim Mann was covering.

Burnell scored the penalty himself and Merson was booked for kicking the ball in frustration.

There was no magical comeback, despite there being cause for one after Ashford drew level after being behind against Thatcham and Uxbridge. But Samad Kazi was inches away from igniting one when Lockhart-Adams dummied the ball and Mark Bitmead drilled the ball across goal, almost to Kazi who very nearly made contact at the far post.

Slough punished Ashford for failing to take their chances. Burnell rounded Merson to make the score 3-0.

Burnell then completed his hat-trick when he jinked away from his marker and looped the ball into the corner.

The goals were flowing for Slough and they scored a fifth with a long-range strike that eluded Merson. He would have hoped to have done better with it, but by this stage the damage was done.

Burnell was keeping Ed Smith, Slough's second striker, in the shade but Smith waited patiently for his time to shine. He did so when he coolly took down a long cross into the box, and with excellent footwork, engineered enough space to chip in.

By this time Slough were dominant and merciless. Jake Parsons got to the byline and crossed for Ben Abbey who headed back across goal, but no one was there to poke in a seventh.

Ashford did score a late consolation goal through Dan Brown. The number nine took the ball down well, and shot on the turn. But it was very much too little, too late.