Town suffer major play-off setback
ASHFORD Town’s Ryman League Division 1 South play-off hopes all but ended on Saturday as they lost 3-2 at home to fellow promotion hopefuls Fleet Town.
All the goals came in a thrilling second half, as Ashford, who had Shawn Beveney sent-off before the interval, came from two goals down, only to concede the winner with seven minutes left. A bumper Homelands crowd were treated to a tight first half, with Stanley Muguo’s effort the closest either side came to scoring.
Striker Beveney’s scuffle with visiting captain Steve Noakes led to the Guyana international’s red card on 40 minutes and 13 minutes into the second half, Fleet were 2-0 ahead.
Steve Hemmings and Nathan Smart were the scorers, with goals that looked like ending Ashford’s hopes.
The hosts had other ideas, though, and mounted a spirited fightback. With 11 minutes left, substitute Tony Browne crossed and visiting defender Michael Dougles sliced his clearance into the net, giving goalkeeper David Smalley no chance.
Three minutes later, Ashford were level when Charlie Glyde’s corner was converted by Craig Wilkins.
The equaliser sparked wild celebrations among the home contingent but they were shortlived as Wilkins turned from hero to villain, missing a clearance to allow Jamie McClurg to score the winner.