Match Date: 13 September 2016
Match Report by Allan Hefferon
On the back of recent disappointing results and missing two key defenders out injured, the prospect coming into this game was very daunting. However in typical Bearsted fashion they took up the challenge and ultimately, this same spirit rewarded them with a well deserved win. Full credit must go to their committed defending, but special mention must be given to goalkeeper Scott Andrews for producing a whole range of fine saves throughout the game. However, it would be fair to say that Ashford, from the start were to seemingly be dominating most of the first half, with several headed chances falling to front man Shaun Welford and the wing trickery of Ryan Palmer causing particular concern. Indeed the wingman should have done better on two occasions blazing wide after finding himself in great goal scoring positions. In addition to this saw another clear opportunity falling to Ben Davission firing low forcing an outstanding save from Andrews. As time wore on, so the visitors were to come more into the game with their midfield now enjoying more of the ball, which in turn, was the platform for several goal scoring opportunities of their own, exploiting the home backline which at times looked very vulnerable, particular dealing with both the presence of Andy Irvine and the pace of the returning Peter Williams with good chances falling for both players. In between seeing a very confident penalty appeal being turned down and Andy Hart arriving to head narrowly wide at the far post from a left wing cross.
Immediately following the half time break, with the game now hanging in the balance, Welford broke clear away down the left to run on goal, only for him to be denied once more, by his nemesis on the night keeper Andrews, saving with an outstretched leg at the near post. With the home side now buoyed by their fan’s singing behind the visitor’s end, so came a series of attacks on goal, one of which seeing Andrews producing a remarkable save from another Welford header. However, although under pressure at times, Bearsted’s defence remained resolute as they built a series of counter attacks, but it was from a Keelan Money free kick from the right, that Williams headed so narrowly wide of the target. Entering the final stages and with the game still swinging both ways, so it was the Bears who made the break-through after 82 minutes, when a corner from the left by Mooney hit the near post for the ball to come out to Sam Flisher to send the ball back into the net from 12 yards. With Ashford now having no option but to push forward in search of an equaliser, so several opportunities arose for them, whilst at the same time they were very nearly punished further on the break when a run and shot on goal by Callum West went narrowly wide. However, eventually came the sound of the final whistle, leaving the home choristers with no choice but to trudge off home in silence presumably after the conductor’s baton had been dropped.
Team: S.Andrews, T. Brown , A.Foster, A.Hart, Fairweather, S.Flisher, M.Garner, A.Irvine (C.West) K.Mooney, (M.Gust) P.Williams, B.Webb (S.Grant)
Subs: B. Donnelly