Late burst takes goal tally to 10
Three goals in the final 16 minutes maintained Ashford United’s free-scoring start to the new season as they beat Lordswood 4-0 at Martin Grove on Tuesday night, writes Andrew Gidley. League tables may not mean too much two games into the new Southern Counties East League campaign, but 10 goals in two games leaves them top of the pile. Gary Mickelborough fired Ashford in front nine minutes before half-time, before substitute Lee Blackman, Adam Cuthbert and Kieran Byrne ensured United finished with a flourish. Blackman’s glancing header converted Lee Winfield’s free-kick, Cuthbert stabbed home the third three minutes later, converting another set piece by the ex-Hythe man, before Byrne rounded things off, given time and space to crash home the fourth late on. Boss Paul Chambers said: “(It was) A very good night’s work, it wasn’t pretty, but we got the job done. Six points out of six, what more can we ask for? “Gary’s goal was a good finish, Lee put in a couple of superb free-kicks which we have been working on in training, and Byrnesy’s was a great finish as well.” United went close early on with Andy Irvine and Mickelborough seeing shots blocked by home keeper Matt Byott. Mickelborough then missed his kick inside the area, before deflecting in Irvine’s shot, after 16 minutes, only to have it ruled out for offside. Tom Scorer then fired wide, United’s quick passing football lacking a crucial final pass. There was nothing wrong with the build-up for Mickelborough’s opener, target man Irvine’s quick pass, releasing him to beat Byott. Luke Cuthbert picked up the first booking following a collision with James Simmons who was taken off suffering from mild concussion. Blackman was also booked, Lordswood followers claiming he caught home defender Joe Kane with an elbow in the face – and fellow-sub Ollie Finch also picked up a caution.