Heybridge Swifts 0
Ashford Town (Middlesex) 1

Ryman League Premier Division,
Scraley Road, Heybridge
2nd September 2008

An entertaining match saw both keepers on top of their form in an end to end game. 

Ashford made one change with Gavin Smith coming in for the unavailable Scott Harris, to partner Byron Harrison up front.  Scott Todd stepped up to the bench.

The visitors made a whirlwind start and it came as no surprise when they took the lead after just six minutes when ADAM LOGIE, fed by Ricky Wellard (pictured, versus Canvey Island), smashed an unstoppable effort into the net.

For a little while Ashford  threatened to break loose and Logie almost replicated his earlier goal but this time an exceedingly brave block from a beleaguered defender denied him.  A cross cum shot from Ricardo Joseph then crept along the bar before falling to safety, but Heybridge were nothing less than spirited and by half-time they were very much back in the match, with Paul Burgess having pulled off two athletic stops and then, when he was beaten, Paul Johnson was on hand to clear another goal bound effort from the line.

Heybridge came out even more determined in the second period and forced Ashford back for long periods.  Burgess continued in “hero” mode though as he made smart saves from both Reggie Savage and Neil Cousins whilst the Ashford defence had to be in their meanest mood to keep out numerous other efforts.

The normally bright Ashford passing game was tending to let them down rather too often but it was not all one way traffic and home custodian Ollie Sanders emulated Burgess with some very competent keeping of his own, notably to keep out a pile driver from Brett Cooper.  He could do nothing about a delightful free kick soon afterwards from skipper Paul Johnson but was saved by the woodwork.

As the match edged towards its conclusion, play became ever more frenetic and a goal for either side would not have been a surprise but it was not to be and Ashford made the long journey back home with all three points in the bag.  Heybridge will doubtless be disappointed not to have taken at least a point from the game but their performance suggested that they will not be lingering near the foot of the league for too long if they can repeat the effort shown in this game which arguably turned out to be Ashford’s toughest test so far..