Town fail to cash in against strugglers
TOWN’S inconsistent start to Ryman League Division 1 South continued on Saturday as they were held at home by basement boys Croydon Athletic.
Swapping the chaotic surroundings of Folkestone Invicta for more settled conditions at Homelands, new signing Craig Wilkins made his debut and loan striker Claude Seanla scored again but Daniel Waldren’s first-half leveller for Croydon left the Nuts and Bolts with just one win in their last eight games.
Seanla and Paul Jones linked up well in the early stages, although a goal eluded them.
Charlie Glyde’s shot was pushed away by visiting keeper Michael Lidbury and from the rebound, Mitchell Sherwood hit the post.
Jones then tested Lidbury again, before a mistake by the keeper allowed Seanla to give Ashford the lead in the 25th minute.
The Londoners were level within seven minutes, however, as Waldren lashed home after the Town defence had failed to clear.
Looking to take a lead into the break, Sean Ray and Jones both had chances before Croydon’s Richard Blackwell powered a header home, only for it to be disallowed for a foul.
The visitors had another chance to take the lead soon after the break but Sam Clayton blasted over.
Anthony Hogg’s effort was bravely blocked by Blackwell, as Ashford tried to fight back but Croydon’s impressive counterattacking almost caught the home side cold.
Waldren fed Clayton, only for the forward to drag his shot wide and recalled keeper Josh Willis then had to be alert to divert a Jeremiah Olusanta cross around the post.
Substitute Joel Greaves wasted another chance for Croydon, before Lidbury saved the day, producing a wonder stop low down from a Jones header, before stopping a Tony Browne shot.
There was still time for Croydon to miss one more chance, as Tom Bolarwinwa’s volley was superbly tipped over by Willis, preserving Ashford’s point.
Claude Seanla celebrates his opener with supporters at Homelands on Saturday