The FA Cup with BudweiserAshford reached the Second Qualifying Round of The FA Cup with Budweiser after a hard-earned 3-0 win over Dunstable Town at the Robert Parker Stadium but it took extra time before the Ash Trees secured their win.

Dunstable will probably feel aggrieved to have gone out of the Cup, having led into stoppage time at the end of the first game and then enjoyed a strong spell of possession during the second half.  However, Paul Burgess’ team showed great determination in keeping their visitors at bay and then utilised their fitness and discipline to change the game in extra time.

Regulation time did not produce a goal, although both sides had chances, particularly during an open first half.  However, the visitors started the second half well and created several chances before Ashford finished the 90 minutes strongly.

In the third minute of extra time, Ashford were handed a great opportunity to open the scoring when visiting goalkeeper Lewis Kidd raced from his goal in an effort to gather a corner and brought down Ashley Lodge.  Mark Bitmead’s penalty was emphatic and put the home side a goal up.

With five minutes remaining in the first period of extra time, Bitmead was felled just inside the penalty area by Graham Buchanan and another penalty was awarded.  Bitmead picked himself up to score for the second time.

Dunstable had to chase the game and this allowed Ashford to hit them on the break and Dan Brown curled an excellent shot home in the 112th minute after one particularly good attacking move.  That wrapped up the scoring and both sides were applauded from the field after 210 minutes of gripping FA Cup football.

Ashford will now face St Albans City on 22nd September, meaning the away match at Woodford United will be rearranged.