Wise head vi­tal to victory


Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

ASH­FORD moved up to fourth in South Premier League Divi­sion 2 af­ter se­cur­ing their third away victory of the cam­paign.

The vis­i­tors were full of con­fi­dence af­ter beat­ing ti­tle con­tenders East­bourne last week and their de­fence worked hard to con­tain the free-scor­ing Ox­ford at­tack.

With Chris Smith back in cen­tral mid­field, Ash­ford started quickly with the for­wards link­ing up and at­tack­ing with their usual speed and ath­let­icsm.

Rob Play­ford looked par­tic­u­larly busy up front, earn­ing a penalty cor­ner from which Paul Cheap sent the Ox­ford keeper the wrong way with a pow­er­ful drag flick.

Ash­ford quickly added a sec­ond through the im­pres­sive Andy Hill, who claimed his sixth goal of the sea­son.

Keeper Keir Star­ley kept out a drag flick div­ing to his right but with Ox­ford on top ap­proach­ing the break, their pres­sure fi­nally told when Tim Martin pounced on a re­bound from a short cor­ner.

The sec­ond half was end to end in the open­ing 10min­utes and the in­tro­duc­tion of vet­eran striker Stu­art Wise changed the dy­nam­ics of the for­ward line, bring­ing a slower con­trolled style of play at times.

He was re­warded when a fine move down the left cre­ated by Sam Han­d­ley was rounded off by Wise at the back post.

That goal was slightly against the run of play and Ash­ford spent the next 15 min­utes de­fend­ing

Star­ley did well to save a de­flec­tion from the top cor­ner and again with a close range re­verse stick ef­fort from ex-Ash­ford for­ward Steve Col­lier but oth­er­wise the back line, led by Dan Wells, stood firm.

Ash­ford face their tough­est test of the sea­son on Satur­day when they en­ter­tain leaders Gore Court (1pm start).

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