Surrey Senior Cup Second Round,
Following Saturday’s loss, defeat against CCL side Banstead would have really twisted the knife but it was never to be as Ashford quickly established a grip on a match that saw them dominate possession for much of it.
Banstead had their own problems with caretaker manager Graham Banyard having had to create virtually a new side within the space of a fortnight, following the departure of Dave Leworthy and most of the team.
Mark Butler, unsurprisingly, played virtually all his first side, with only Gavin Bamford missing from the squad. Billy Jeffreys returned from suspension, leaving Ricardo Joseph to drop to the bench for the first time. Scott Harris partnered Scott Todd up front, with Byron Harrison and Gavin Smith joining Ricardo and Paul Johnson on the bench. Adam Logie also started and was prominent throughout.
Right from the start Ashford found themselves able to stroke the ball around, and any early nerves were smoothed after just six minutes when SCOTT HARRIS edged in Ricky Wellard’s low cross.
Despite having virtually all the play, Ashford were unable to extend their lead in the opening 45. Their greatest threat was coming from Warren Harris on the right flank but no-one seemed quite able to get on the end of his crosses.
Banstead were rarely able to threaten even though Craig Ross was called into action occasionally. Fortunately the custodian looked to have put Saturday behind him, dealing confidently with the limited threat from the home side.
It did not take too long in the second half for the visitors to double the lead. A crisp five man movement saw Brett Cooper crossing the ball for SCOTT TODD to sweep it home. That was the signal for Ashford to enjoy their best period and it was soon three, as Paul Johnson, on for the injured Wes Goggin, latched on to a poor clearance from the generally capable Steve Windegaard in the Banstead goal. Johnson’s astute pass sent SCOTT HARRIS (pictured) clear and the striker slotted home via the post.
Six minutes later it was four as Ashford scored their best goal of the night, following an impressive movement involving a number of players. The ball was eventually swept out to Johnson on the left flank and his deep cross was headed back by Warren Harris for GAVIN SMITH, on for Todd, to tap home.
Just a minute later it was SMITH again. Having re-gained possession almost from the kick-off, Warren Harris embarked upon yet another right wing run and facing a tired defence he was able to get right to the bye line before squaring it back to SMITH, who scored easily.
To their credit, Banstead never stopped trying but the result was by now a forgone conclusion and whilst Ashford could not be said to back to their best, it was something of a relief to be able to record a decisive victory, even allowing for the fact that their opponents play at a lower level. Ashford will now go on to entertain either Beckenham Town or Metropolitan Police, who play on 25 November, in the 3rd Round in the New Year. The only blot on the evening was an injury to Wes Goggin who had to be carried off the field early in the second half.