Ashford battled to a well earned point on a hot and bothered away trip to South Park.
It was definitely a spicy afternoon at King Georges Field with nearly every decision going against the Tangerines. That’s what happens when you are at the bottom though it seems, and Ashford didnt help their cause by giving away far too many set pieces in the first half, allowing South Park to keep piling on the pressure in a hotly contested first half.
Continuing from Tuesday’s game against Chertsey, Ashford looked to get forward but couldn’t create anything to get that breakthrough. South Park took the lead on 17 minutes, surprisingly through a good build up rather than a set piece, Hayden Skerry firing in a follow up in to the open goal after a good block with his legs by Sam Mason. Ashford did look to answer straight back, responding well and getting at South Park. They got their reward after a few opportunities in the 21st minute, Dan Brown on the end of a superbly placed free-kick from Aaron Petch. That’s now three in three for Dan Brown. With half time looking South Park put pressure back on the Tangerine defence, getting another corner in stoppage time, from which Hayden Skerry grabbed his second of the afternoon heading the home side back in to the lead.
The second half started very differently. Much more bitty and scrappy, with lots of niggly fouls turning the game in to a stop start affair. Ashford made a change on 57 minutes, bringing on Kelvin Adjei up front, looking to add pace and physicality to pressure the South Park defence. This did ruffle the hosts but it was they who struck again in the 60th minute. A great run at the heart of the Ashford defence saw them square the ball just outside the six-yard box for Louie Downey to pass in to the empty net. Ashford showed great character again though and looked to get straight back from the re-start. They netted a second after just a couple of minutes when the South Park defence failed to deal with a long throw in from the left wing, and the scuffed clearance fell to Tommy Brunton who hit a great low shot just inside the far right hand post. This lifted the Tangerine spirits even more, sensing that they could get something out of the game.
South Park responded by looking to kill the game at every opportunity and wind down the clock. Their physio may well have been the busiest person on the pitch for a good spell. This would prove to be their undoing though as Ashford got amongst their defence again in the third of six added minutes. A clearance from a long ball fell to Max Webb who passed inside to Dan Brown, and his great chip put Kelvin Adjei in on the angle to shoot across goal. The keeper could only parry this out for substitute Harrison Okwu-Ndubuisi to run on to the loose ball and hit home hard and low with possibly his first touch as an Ashford player! All round it was great to see such attitude and desire from every Ashford player to come back and grab the draw.
Full stats, info, and a highlights video are available on the Football Web Pages match link here.