Men hit rivals Court for six
Sam Handley and Kiagh Bridges both scored twice as Ashford Men’s 1sts enjoyed another big win, beating county rivals Gore Court 6-0 in Kent/Sussex Regional 1 on Saturday.
They followed up the 9-0 win at Worthing the previous week, with three goals in each half to cap another impressive display.
The club held a President’s Lunch before the game, ensuring a good-sized crowd and Rob Playford’s opening strike after just 27 seconds set the tone for the afternoon.
Bridges made it 2-0 and Tim Goodwin added a third before half-time, flicking the ball home from skipper Paul Cheap’s set-up, following a penalty corner.
Bridges made it 4-0 with his second early in the second-half before Handley got in on the scoring act, courtesy of two deflections.
Ashford won the circle penetration count 34-15, while another clean-sheet boosted their impressive goal difference to plus 35, putting them ahead of this weekend’s opponents, Old Bordenians who also have 27 points and boast an identical playing record to Danny Laslett’s side.
Andy Hill scored twice for the second successive game as Ashford 2nds suffered only their second Kent Area Division 1 defeat, a 4-3 loss against Court at Sittingbourne.
The defeat ended an 11- match unbeaten run stretching back to October 5. During that sequence, Ashford had won seven and drawn four.
Birthday boy Alex Newton celebrated with a hat-trick as Ashford 3rds beat lowly Gravesham 5-1 in Kent Division 2.
Two-goal skipper Matt Carter put them ahead with a penalty stroke after he was fouled in the build-up, following Lawrence Richards’ excellent pass.
Man-of-the-match Newton swept home his first, converting a rebound from Dave Bulgin’s goalbound shot before Carter saw another effort cleared off the line. Gravesham then pulled one back before half-time, punishing an Ashford mistake. Newton scored his second for a 3-1 lead, running on to another rebound from Carter’s shot, before completing his hat-trick with the fourth.
Richard Wicker set-up Carter’s second with some skilful work on the right, slotting the ball back for the captain to score the fifth.
Jon Barrett, John Browning and Gary Sutton netted for the 4ths in a 3-0 win at Old Bordenians in Kent Outdoor Premier A.
Goalkeeper Harry Miles pulled off several fine saves as Ashford 5ths went down 3-0 at Marden Russets 3rds.
Injuries forced several players to be drafted in from lower teams, including Mark Rooney, Robin Miller and John West.
The 6ths went down 4-0 at Cobdown 1sts at Ditton.
Paul Wade, Matt Goodwin and Matt Anderson netted as Antiques maintained their unbeaten record in 2014 with a third successive Outdoor Division win – 3- 1 over Cobdown.
Ashford Ladies are still looking for their first point of the new year after suffering a third successive 3-0 defeat against East Women’s Division 2 South East leaders Holcombe.
They put up a determined display, full of desire but conceded two goals in five minutes against the Rochester visitors who included four internationals in a squad of 16.
Emma Payne got the early deciding goal as the 2nds beat Tunbridge Wells 1-0 in Kent Division 1.
Newcomers Livy Palmer and Laura Jakeman have both settled in well, while goalkeeper Jazz Shephard continues to improve in every game.
Ashford are fourth, level on points with the team above them, BBHC.
Linda Charlton’s hat-trick and Jodi Tanton’s double paved the way for Ashford 3rds’ 5-2 win at bottom side Old Williamsonians in Kent Division 2. Their third consecutive win also leaves them fourth.
Ashford player-coach Danny Laslett moves away from a
Gore Court opponent
The Gore Court keeper manages to deny Ashford but he was beaten six times at
Ball Lane on Saturday
Two-goal Sam Handley takes on the Gore Court defence