The Tangerines didn’t get what they deserved after another good performance against Harlow on Saturday.
Ashford burst out of the blocks in the first half and were ahead almost immediately when Dan Brown struck a fierce shot from just inside the box in the second minute. It was past the keeper before he even saw it! Unfortunately, it only took Harlow 5 minutes to get back on level terms when Oliver Gnandi headed home from a corner on 7 minutes.
The game then settled a bit, with both teams looking to get on the attack when possible. Harlow pushed on and had a good spell just before the half hour mark, forcing a penalty in the 29th minute. The resulting kick was saved well by Sam Mason, low to his left, and he was up quickly for the rebound which then hit the post. With this opportunity lost the half was then seen out with both teams level.
Harlow kicked off for the restart and the second half was fairly even, with Ashford shading the attacking play in the early part. A few good attacking moves culminated with a fantastic shot from Kelvin Adjei just outside the box which he hit strongly between two defenders and crashed on to the underside of the bar, unfortunately bouncing out from the line. The play and shot really did deserve a goal, as did Ashford’s work rate throughout the game. Harlow had as good a chance shortly after but Sam Mason was on hand again to push over the bar.
The game then descended into a bit of chaos and confusion. In the final moments Joe Noakes was felled while defending an attack which went out for a Harlow corner. After receiving treatment he was made to leave the pitch leaving the Tangerines a man short to defend the corner, which was headed down in to the six-yard box and forced home from amongst a crowd of players. The goal was given to Matthew Rush, but it was hard to see from most angles who had the last touch. With tempers running high Ashford went on the attack in added time and were awarded a free-kick just outside the Harlow penalty area. The actions around the foul resulted in a clash involving both sets of players and amidst lots of confusion two red cards were shown. At the time of writing it is still unclear as to which players were actually carded and sent off (it is recorded on Football Web Pages as Scott Weight for Ashford, and Syrus Gordon for Harlow). Ashford then finished the game with a last chance corner as the final whistle went with the ball in the air, much to the confusion and astonishment of the players and supporters. A chaotic and confusing end to an otherwise good game.
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