United want striker Smis­sen

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Www.kentonline.co.uk/sport -

Buster Smis­sen looks set to join Ash­ford United as they pre­pare for the South­ern Coun­ties East League sea­son which starts next month.

The pro­lific striker, who lists Can­ter­bury City and Whit­stable among his most re­cent clubs, helped Hythe Town clinch pro­mo­tion to the Ry­man League and has also had spells with Dover, Chatham and Sit­ting­bourne.

School­teacher Smis­sen turned out for United in their 2-1 de­feat in a friendly against Gilling­ham at Home­lands on Satur­day

Boss Paul Cham­bers said: “We went look­ing for him. He is a good lad and the sort of per­son we would like to have here.”

Smis­sen could be the ideal re­place­ment for last sea­son’s top marks­man Mo Takaloo who has joined Ry­man League Whit­stable.

For­ward Damien Abel, who joined United last March, is likely to be un­avail­able as he con­cen­trates on start­ing a new es­tate agency busi­ness based in Folke­stone.

Ex­pe­ri­enced Deal defender Ian Wal­lace was an­other new face in the Ash­ford line-up in a squad of 19 play­ers used by Cham­bers, who was de­lighted with the af­ter­noon.

Left-back Liam Whit­ing’s long-range strike the pick of the goals, in front of a crowd of nearly 450.

Cham­bers said: “It was a good fit­ness test and run-out for us and I was im­pressed with what ev­ery player did in the game.

“No­body has signed yet, there is no first team or re­serves, the team that started on Satur­day won’t be the one I be­gin the sea­son with. There are places for ev­ery­body to chase.”

For­mer Gills boss Andy Hessen­thaler watched his son Jake from the ter­races at Home­lands with present day man­ager Martin Allen field­ing two dif­fer­ent teams in each half, both a mix­ture of youth and ex­pe­ri­ence.

Young­ster Ai­den Blan­chard put the League 1 side ahead af­ter only three min­utes, fir­ing across Joe Mant into the far cor­ner, con­vert­ing Myles We­ston’s cross.

United lev­elled on the half-hour thanks to Whit­ing’s ter­rific strike, the ball drop­ping to him 30 yards out and his first-time ef­fort flew in.

We­ston was again in­volved in the build-up for Gills’ sec­ond four min­utes be­fore the break – a short cor­ner was played to the far post by We­ston for defender Leon Legge to head home. United’s next friendly is against Mar­gate on Tues­day (7.45pm)

Pic­tures: Barry Good­win

CHASE IS ON: Left, Ash­ford pur­sue defender Leon Legge at Home­lands. Above, Gills’ Amine Lin­ganzi makes progress down the flank

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