Doerr strikes for steely Town
ASHFORD TOWN produced a gutsy display to end the Metropolitan Police’s unbeaten start to the season as Andy Doerr struck late-on to collect a valuable three points for the Nuts and Bolts.
The substitute struck eight minutes from time to steal the points after Scott Forrester had earlier cancelled out a Ryan Briggs opener. The win takes Town up into the play-off places and just five points behind league leaders Kingstonian.
Steve Lovell named the same starting XI for the fourth match running. With nearly a full-strength side to choose from, as long-term casualty Mark Lovell being the only absentee, manager Lovell is beginning to reap the benefits of having a settled side as Town looked to go four league games unbeaten.
The Imber Court encounter proved to be a tough one as both sides struggled to create many clear-cut chances in the first-half. The dangerous Met Police striker Forrester shot straight at Jamie Riley in the Town goal after 18 minutes and Sean Ray headed a Daniel Brathwaite free-kick wide four minutes later.
Forrester was again involved in the clearest chance of the half. The striker latched on to a weak Riley clearance, but the big keeper redeemed himself after pulling off a smart save down by his feet.
Riley, clearly getting back to his best, produced another wonderful save just before the interval again denying a Forrester header with a fantastic one-handed diving save. There was just enough time before the break for Paul Jones to come close to opening the scoring, but Mo Maan tipped his effort around the post. Honours were even at the break.
The game opened up more in the second-half and it was the visitors who took the lead from a rare Briggs goal.
After a great deal of head tennis in the home box, Briggs capitalised by hooking a looping shot beyond Maan and into the far corner.
It was the midfielder’s first of the season as Town got their noses in front. However, their lead only lasted nine minutes and it was Forrester who got the goal he deserved.
Craig Carley caused all the problems and after his initial shot was blocked Forrester was on hand to roll the ball into the net from six-yards out. The game was nicely balanced going into the final 30 minutes.
Before the winner Tommy Moorhouse was denied for the home side, again by Riley and Bradley Spice couldn’t find the target after a fine run by Mitchell Sherwood for Town. With 12 minutes to go Steve Lovell made the decisive change.
Doerr, still on the road to recovery from a broken leg, replaced Spice and within four minutes of his introduction the striker duly grabbed the winner.
The impressive Robbie Ryan delivered a low free-kick into the feet of Doerr deep in the Police penalty area and in an instant, the striker turned his marker and his low, left-footed shot nestled in the far corner. An inspired substitution by Lovell was rewarded by an excellent finish by Doerr.
Town managed to hold on to the hard-fought victory despite a late scare when Police midfielder Sam Robinson saw his header roll across the goal-line before Ryan hoofed it to safety.
A vital three points for Town as they stretch their unbeaten run to four league games.
Wye Juniors FC U11’s in the new kit sponsored by Premier Foods, Ashford