Win could be priceless
VITAL VICTORY: Smith’s goal-line stop proves the game’s pivotal moment as Handley hits winner Hockey
ASHFORD boosted their survival hopes in South Premier League Division 2 with a crucial victory at Epsom.
They started the game confidently and created a number of chances but Epsom’s tricky forward line were also linking well and they took the lead through a close-range volley.
Epsom’s defence, however, were struggling to cope with the speed of Sam Handley and Rob Playford’s skilfull touches and Ashford equalised 10 minutes before half-time when Chris Pearce finished a fine move involving both Handley and Playford.
The second half was a tight affair full of drama, and Ashford made their task harder by having Playford, Toby Clifton-Holt and Handley sin-binned at various stages.
But Chris Smith put in a great shift in the centre and his goal-line stop was a big moment in the game.
Ashford also survived three short corners thanks to good work by keeper Keir Starley and they secured a priceless victory when Handley capitalised on a defensive error to grab the winner.
Ashford must now make the most of their three remaining home games, starting with Saturday’s match against league leaders Wimbledon. ASHFORD under-11s reached the regional round semi-finals of the Yazoo National Hockey Championships at King’s Canterbury.
Scarlet Carter, Isabelle Norris, Olivia Richards and Livy Palmer were on target during their wins over Folkestone and Loose Primary, and their draw with Herne Bay, before the team bowed out to Canterbury in the last four.
THE under-13s took third place in their group at the same competition, played at Kent College, Canterbury.
The team won two of the four games played, despite losing their goalkeeper to injury after the first match.
Philippa Hemphrey and Jemma Luckhurst scored the goals.
Jon Stiff fires home a short corner during the second team’s 2-1 win over Burnt Ash Saturday
Folkestone 2nd (blue)
take on Holcombe at Cheriton Road