Ashford Town (Middlesex)


Sutton United


Ryman League Premier Division,
Short Lane Stadium
27th February 2010

A goal in the 47th minute was enough to decide this closely fought match that could, in all honesty, have gone either way. Ashford started well, forcing 2 corners in the first minute, but the visitors gradually got into the game and had a decent chance of their own in the 9th minute when Sonny Cobbs ran onto a good ball from the right and shot across Paul Burgess but wide of the Ashford keeper’s left hand post.

A foul on Cobbs gave the visitors another chance but James Hawes free kick was cleared before Brett Cooper was found by Paul Johnson and he surged into the Sutton penalty box before dragging his cross-shot wide of the far post.

The burgeoning partnership between Femi Ilesanmi and Jermaine McGlashan (pictured) on the left was evident soon after as Femi fed the Ashford winger, inviting him to leave the Sutton right back Karim El-Salahi in his wake before delivering a cross which was cleared.

Burgess was on hand to pluck a Steve Watts header out of the air, then Watts fired a long range free kick wide before Sam Gargan played a neat one-two with Watts but, under pressure from Russ Canderton, went to ground in the penalty box, but referee Mr Kirkbride was singularly unimpressed and waved away the penalty claims then, at the other end, Kevin Scriven, in the United goal, was obliged to dive to save Jamie England’s driven shot after the midfielder had been set up by Paul Johnson.

Watts blazed another effort high after being set up by Cobbs then a Hawes free kick was headed wide by Goodliffe as Sutton responded.

Just before the break, James Hawes managed to get away from Ilesanmi on the Sutton right and into the Ashford penalty box but a superbly timed tackle from Davis Haule cleared the danger.

Two minutes into the second half the deadlock was broken when Watts ran on to a ball from midfield, rounded Burgess and slotted the ball into the empty net.

Ashford replied with some pressure of their own as Brett Cooper and Warren Harris both had shots blocked, then Brian Haule flicked the ball into the arms of Scriven from a Harris cross.

Ashford skipper Paul Johnson drove a free kick just wide before McGlashan burst past El-Salahi and Francis Quarm to deliver another dangerous cross which was just cleared by the head of the very impressive Jason Goodliffe.

Brian Haule was replaced by Jones Awuah on the hour and, ten minutes later, was joined by his brother Davis who succumbed to a knock, Scott Harris joining the action in his place.

The home side went close with eight minutes of normal time remaining with McGlashan again the architect of the move. McGlashan’s run and cross eluded Scriven but Scott Harris and Johnson just could not force the ball over the goal line, then the young winger sped past three defenders to send over a cross that was just missed by Warren Harris and substitute Jamie Lawrence, on for Jamie England.

As if to emphasize that this was not going to be Ashford’s day, Awuah won the ball on the right then curled a shot round Scriven that came back out off the inside of the Sutton post.

Although their general play was inventive with McGlashan outstanding, far too many passes went astray, something Jamie Lawrence will be looking to address before Ashford’s visit to Aveley next Saturday.