Denly double rubs it in
LOVELL’S MEN SLIDE BACK TO SECOND FROM BOTTOM AS WHITSTABLE EASE THEIR WORRIES
ASHFORD Town slumped to within a point of the Ryman League Division 1 South basement after they were totally outplayed by Kent rivals Whitstable Town on Saturday.
The Oystermen, who moved two points above Town as a result of the victory, cruised to victory with Sam Denly helping himself to a couple of goals before former Nuts and Bolts’ Joe Hitchings condemned Steve Lovell’s side to their sixth defeat in their last nine matches.
Lovell made one enforced change from the side that battled to a point at Burgess Hill last week.
Top scorer Joe Fuller missed out with a foot injury and he was replaced by Danny Lye.
The hosts had the better of the opening exchanges and Tom Parker fired a Dan Wisker cross over before Darren Ibrahim had to be alert to deny Ben Smith.
At the other end, Ashford struggled to create much with Lee Hockey’s mis-directed header the closest they came.
The opening goal came on 22 minutes when Denly timed his jump well to powerfully head home Gareth Cornhill’s corner.
Mark Munday’s men were in total control and were on the hunt for their second goal which came just before the interval.
Again Ashford failed to deal with a corner as a Tom Parker delivery fell to Denly and he made no mistake.
The visitors had been totally outplayed in the first-half and the trend continued into the second half despite Steve Springett heading just over and Nick Smith being denied by keeper Kevin Fewell
Whitstable’s third goal came on the hour mark. The lively David Cory was again involved, holding the ball up well before playing in Hitchings who slotted past Ibrahim.
Lovell responded by making a triple change, sending on youngsters Matt Newman, Dan Scorer and Sam Conlon and for the final 20 minutes, Ashford played with a little more passion but rarely threatened Fewell in the home goal.
Things could have been worse for Town but Ibrahim pulled off a superb diving save to deny Hitchings his second.
Ashford were denied a late consolation when Mark Lovell had a header cleared off the line but in the end it was a stroll in the park for the home side.