ISC fall at final hurdle
Ashford Saturday League
A QUALITY late strike from AFC Ocean’s Billy Somerville brought heartbreak for underdogs Ashford ISC in the Ashford & District Saturday League Cup final at Homelands.
With the score at 1-1 and extra time just minutes away, Somerville burst into the box and swept aside the challenge of the covering defender before coolly beating Ashford keeper Antony Wilson.
Not even a booking for removing his shirt in celebration could not dampen Somerville’s celebrations, nor Ocean’s, for whom the trophy was their second of the campaign.
Last Tuesday’s final brought together the league’s two divisional champions, but on an unseasonably cold night and a difficult pitch the game failed to live up to expectations.
First division Ashford were missing four players from the side which had lifted the Kent Junior Cup 10 days before, but they were given a great start when Josh Smith’s cross was headed over his own keeper by Ocean full-back Ryan Archer in the opening quarter-hour.
Two minutes after the restart Ocean levelled when Somerville’s corner was met with a firm downward header by Connor Bourne.
Bourne’s long throws were a useful weapon for the Premier Division champions but, led by centre-half Steve Wilson, Ashford looked to have weathered the worst until Somerville struck with four minutes remaining.
Many of the Ashford players were playing their seventh game in 10 days and any chance of a lastgasp reprieve was ended in the dying moments when Gary Gibbs was sent off after collecting two yellow cards.
AFC Ocean, orange, grabbed a late winner to defeat Ashford ISC in the League Cup final for their second trophy of the season