Ashford Town (Middlesex)


Badshot Lea


Badshot Lea

FA Cup Sponsored by E.ON, 2nd Qualifying Round,
Short Lane Stadium
26th September 2009

Ten goals, two sendings off and a host of strange refereeing decisions and non-decisions marked this match as Ashford eased past their Combined Counties opponents to take their place in the hat for Monday’s 3rd Qualifying round draw in this season’s FA Cup. 

A personal triumph for strike partners Byron Harrison and Brian Haule, Harrison netting four including a hattrick in the last ten minutes while Haule scored for the first time for his new club since arriving from Hendon.

Badshot Lea arrived at Short Lane confident that they could provide an upset and, for the first 20 minutes competed well, despite being a goal down for most of that period, but as Ashford turned the screw the extra strength, speed, touch and fitness became obvious and the visitors were reduced to trying a more physical approach. 

The goal-fest started as early as the third minute when, man-of-the-match, Byron Harrison received the ball on the left of the Badshot Lea penalty area where he twisted and turned in an effort to find an opening but finally laid the ball back to the in-coming Hone Fowler and the Kiwi made no mistake from the edge of the box.

Referee Mr Scott did not endear himself to the Ashford supporters when, in the space of five minutes, he waved away a stone-dead penalty appeal when Brian Haule was blatantly brought down in the Badshot Lea penalty area, then failed to even acknowledge a hand ball which occurred right in front of his nose, but when a dangerous two footed challenge from behind by Badshot’s Andrew Grace on Davis Haule went unpunished things looked like they might boil over. 

FA Cup logoBadshot’s skirmishes into the Ashford half produced a good effort from Adam Prentice who sent a decent shot goalwards but too straight allowing Craig Ross to gather safely, then a free kick for a push by Billy Jeffreys was played short to Paul Andrews but his cross was curled in too high for his waiting forwards.

The home team doubled their lead in the 22nd minute. After two good runs down the right by Warren Harris ended with his crosses being cleared, it became third time lucky as another mazy run took him past Andrews and this time his low cross was turned in by Byron Harrison. 

Goal number three arrived three minutes later courtesy of a long throw from Adam Logie. The ball was helped on by the head of Harrison to where Brian Haule was loitering and he headed home from close range.  Haule was unlucky minutes later when he ran on to Vinnie O’Sullivan’s astute pass, took one touch to steady the ball and fired goal-wards only to see his shot deflected for a corner.

His second of the game, however, was not long in coming, six minutes to be precise, and arrived as Harrison cut in to fire a good low shot which came back off Matt Watson, the Badshot keeper, Haule sliding the ball into the net whilst under pressure from Barry McCoy. 

Badshot had a chance to reduce the deficit in the 33rd minute but Rob Westell’s free kick went for a goal kick then, at the other end, Russ Canderton did well to relieve Prentice of the ball and find Warren Harris who combined well with Harrison to force a corner. The corner produced a second corner where Harris and Haule worked the ball to give the former a chance to test Watson with a vicious shot that just went wide of the far post.

Early in the second half Harris flashed a shot across Watson that carried past the far post after good work by Harrison and Brian Haule, but it was Haule’s last action of the afternoon as he limped off to be replaced by Scott Harris. 

Badshot right back Grace was not enjoying a particularly successful afternoon at the hands of Ivo Ginev whose tricky footwork led to him being fouled on several occasions and it was from one of these free kicks, where yet again Grace, unable to secure the ball, had clogged the Bulgarian winger, that Ashford scored their fifth. Warren Harris swung a dangerous free kick into the penalty area where Adam Logie climbed highest to head powerfully past Watson.

Eight minutes later, in the 59th minute, it was six. Warren Harris won a corner on the Ashford right and curled an out-swinger into the penalty box where brother Scott accepted the chance and headed home, then, two minutes later, a controversial incident saw Ashford grab their seventh of the afternoon. Scott Harris chased a ball down the middle of the pitch and just beat the advancing Watson to the ball but was unable to find the target and collided with the Badshot keeper. Referee Scott awarded a soft penalty and sent Watson off, McCoy followed for using foul and abusive language to the man in black and Vinnie O’Sullivan, renowned goal-scorer, dispatched the penalty. 

With nine men on the park and seven goals down, it would have been easy to just give up but all credit to Badshot Lea, they carried on fighting though the odds against them were mighty. With two extra men on the pitch, more gaps appeared in the Badshot side which were clinically exploited by the Ryman Premier League team. Harrison showed his amazing first touch when he bought down a Billy Jeffreys header with one touch and stroked the ball into the net without breaking his stride to score the eighth in the 80th minute and was unlucky not to score four minutes later but his shot was deflected onto the bar.

Harrison’s hattrick goal came 3 minutes later, however, a deep cross from the right by O’Sullivan picked out Scott Harris at the far post and he unselfishly nodded the ball into the path of Harrison who finished with aplomb to make it 9 – 0.

The tenth and final goal arrived in the 90th minute. Joseph was the recipient of a well weighted pass from Logie and wasted no time in delivering a low cross into the Badshot penalty area where Harrison was waiting to nonchalantly flick the ball into the net for his 4th of the game.