Ryman League Premier Division,
|Twenty minutes of madness at the start of this match cost Ashford the opportunity to ease their relegation fears, while the hosts gained a modicum of revenge for their 7-0 defeat at Short Lane in August.
The Terrors took the lead in the opening minute when a right-sided corner was swept home by striker Paul Vines. Three minutes later, Ashford’s task was made harder when a shot from Byron Harrison was blocked and cleared, United hit the Tangerines on the break and Dean McDonald was left with a straightforward finish.
Ashford were struggling to stay in the match and Vines missed the target with a free header in the ninth minute. However, his side did go three goals ahead in the twentieth minute when Aaron Goode curled a free kick into Craig Ross’ net from 25 yards.
Mark Butler’s side regrouped and a good spell of pressure created a chance for Byron Harrison, who sliced his shot wide. However, on the half-hour, the club’s top scorer did get on the scoresheet when he intercepted a poor back pass and poked the ball past home ‘keeper Dave King.
Both sides had chances to score before the interval, but the score remained 3-1 at the break.
The hosts had four opportunities to make it 4-1 in the opening minute of the second half, but found Craig Ross in impressive form. Roared on by their travelling support, Ashford came right back at their hosts and were awarded a penalty in the 54th minute, when Harrison attempted to lift the ball over a defender who handled the ball. Harrison took the penalty himself and sent King the wrong way with a low strike.
Ricky Wellard had two opportunities to level the match, while Anthony Joseph had a shot deflected wide, before he went off injured to be replaced by Warren Harris. Jimmy Brazil also came on for Nick Hardy at the same time.
The Tangerines were on top by now, with Scott Harris going close with two late efforts and Harrison and Brazil both missing the target as the Terrors held on for the points.