Cuthbert maintains his perfect record
Adam Cuthbert converted his fifth penalty of the season as Ashford United recorded their ninth successive Southern Counties East League win at Homelands on Saturday.
However not for the first time this season, they came up against an in-form goalkeeper, with Alex Hyde producing an outstanding display between the posts for the Bromley-based visitors.
The Dalers were forced to play all but the first 29 minutes with 10 men after Zak Henry was sentoff by Dartford referee Chris Myatt. Henry was shown a straight red for swinging a leg out against Michael Smissen, after the Ashford striker was felled in the area.
Cuthbert made no mistake from the spot, maintaining his ASHFORD HOLMESDALE impressive 100% record from 12 yards to score his 11th goal of the season, putting him top of the club scoring charts.
Team captain Gary Clarke scored the second two minutes from time as Paul Chambers’ side bounced back quickly from last Tuesday’s 1-0 League Cup reverse against Erith – the manager’s 100th game in charge of the re-formed club
Smissen, Gary Mickelborough and Tom Scorer proved a lively trio up front, with Hyde standing between United and early lead.
He saved twice from Smissen, before Cuthbert broke the deadlock, with Tom Scorer and Mickelborough going close afterwards.
Holmesdale suffered another blow when player- assistant manager, and ex-Ashford Town player John-Paul Collier limped off before half-time.
Liam Whiting blasted an effort against the crossbar a minute after the restart, before Hyde produced one of his best saves of the afternoon to keep out Sam Fisher’s strike, which looked destined for the top corner. Chambers sent on Jimmy Dryden, Sam Conlon, and Kieran Byrne around the hour mark to refresh United’s attacking threat. A header from Clarke was tipped away by Hyde, and then Byrne’s run into the box ended with his effort blocked.
United keeper Joe Mant, a spectator for most of the game, had to react quickly to deny Holmesdale substitute Nick Whybrow. However, United kept pressing for a second as Scorer went close twice, while Dryden saw another effort go wide.
United’s second goal finally came two minutes from time.
Ben Jordan’s ball into the box picked out Dryden who headed the ball down for Clarke to score his sixth of the season and his first since the 4-2 win at the same opponents in November.
Information supplied by Kevin Hall.
ON THE RUN: Ashford United’s Tom Scorer powers forward against Holmesdale on Saturday. Right, United’s Michael Smissen under pressure