Hot shot striker Seanla stars on debut
RESERVES striker Claude Seanla almost became an instant hero on his debut for Ashford inspiring an amazing fightback for 10-man Town at Homelands on Tuesday night.
A very poor first half display by Town saw them looking down and out, trailing 3-0 after two goals from lively frontman Danny Oakins and one from strike partner Dominic O’Shea.
But boss Steve Lovell went for Plan B in the second half introducing Jimmy Bottle, Andy Doerr and Lee Hockey at the interval and going to a threeman back line.
Town were lucky when Nathan Campbell headed wide unchallenged at the back post.
That quickly went to Plan C as on the hour Bottle was carried off with a head injury and Town were down to 10 men.
Amazingly the changes seem to affect Chipstead worse as Town’s new striker, starting in place of the unwell Paul Jones, inspired a terrific fightback with two goals in as many minutes.
On 68 minutes he rose to a Danny Lye cross to send a glancing header into the corner of the net.
And Chipstead were definitely rocking when two minutes later he took another Lye cross to turn and fire home his second.
With Town now totally committed to saving the game, inevitably there were openings for Chipstead to wrap it up. Jamie Riley saved well from Mark Wardell and substitute Alec Brown squandering a free shot.
But defensively Chipstead were all over the shop as they struggled to cope with a resurgent Seanla and Town’s three-man attack.
Seanla, who was on Tottenham’s books as a youngster and had a spell at Watford, was only denied a fine hat-trick by an excellent James Wastell save and Town blitzed the visitors’ goal for the last 10 minutes.
Sean Ray pushed up to add weight to the attack and had two shots blocked on the line.
It was a gutsy response by Town after their dismal first half. Ashford: Riley, Elford (Hockey 45), Ryan (Doerr 45), Brathwaite, Ray, Briggs, Browne (Bottle 45), Lye, Spice, Seanla, Sherwood. Attendance: 237.