Town beaten af­ter de­fen­sive howler

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Football -

A TRULY aw­ful goal set­tled this Kent derby at Home­lands to give Sit­ting­bourne the brag­ging rights over their for­mer man­ager Steve Lovell.

Al­though Ash­ford cre­ated the bet­ter chances over­all they were made to scrap all the way by a Sit­ting­bourne side clearly up for the bat­tle, winning most of the 50/50 chal­lenges and forc­ing Town into in­creas­ingly des­per­ate drives for­ward to try to res­cue a point.

The de­cid­ing mo­ment came five min­utes from the in­ter­val when Town were clearly un­happy when a cor­ner was given against them and Colin Rich­mond’s cross was per­fectly swung into the box.

Ash­ford wasted three chances to clear the ball which bobbed about invit­ingly in the area un­til Tom Brad­brooke stabbed it into the net.

It was a dis­as­trous mo­ment de­fen­sively and all the more so in that it proved decisive in the end. Sit­ting­bourne came into the clash pre­pared to bat­tle and Ash­ford’s tac­tic of leav­ing Claude Seanla on his own up front clearly wasn’t work­ing in the first half.

Town never had a shot on tar­get in the open­ing pe­riod but they were left to rue one of the best open­ings of the half.

A ter­rific sav­ing tackle by skip­per Sean Ray, ar­guably Town’s best player of the night, broke up a danger­ous Sit­ting­bourne at­tack and Town swept straight up­field where Mitchell Sher­wood found him­self with a clear shoot­ing op­por­tu­nity only to see his well struck ef­fort rocket back off the post.

Dis­ap­point­ingly Town’s only other danger­ous at­tack saw Seanla head over from a Sher­wood cross.

De­spite hav­ing two wide play­ers in Sher­wood and Tony Browne, Ash­ford per­sisted in play­ing too nar­row and ig­nor­ing the flanks and Sit­ting­bourne twice al­most em­bar­rassed them, get­ting in by­line crosses that were scram- bled away.

Town changed it again at half-time in­tro­duc­ing for­mer Bourne men Bradley Spice and Andy Do­err up front for Seanla with Daniel Brath­waite drop­ping back to re­place full-back Rob­bie Ryan in a more con­ven­tional 4: 4:2 set up.

They looked more comfortable right through the half and Spice could have been an in­stant hero.

His first touch was to force a good save from keeper Matt Reed but then wildly blasted over when the re­bound came straight back to him.

But Bourne were also still a threat, Jack Haver­son hav­ing a shot cleared off the line.

She­wood saw a glanc­ing header well saved by Reed but with Sit­ting­bourne com­mand­ing at the back they in vain re­sorted to push­ing Ray up front to boost the at­tack.

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