Chambers left frustrated by draw
“Frustrated” – that was Paul Chambers’ feeling after the Southern Counties East League draw against tenants City at rainy Homelands on Monday.
A second blunder by an opposing goalkeeper in three games, on this occasion 10 minutes from time by City’s Roddy Hayward, gifted old club United a point.
But Chambers was in no mood to commiserate with his former player, after City led through Stephen Baines’ eighth-minute opener.
Chambers said: “We didn’t get ASHFORD UTD CANTERBURY C
Report: ANDREW GIDLEY out of the blocks at the start and gave them something to hang on to – which they did. We have got to learn from that.
“We didn’t play first half, and weren’t good but did all right in the second.
“Against Greenwich – we were superb first half but pretty bad in the second.
“Saying that, I have got to give the boys credit for keeping going. We lost Phil Walsh in the warm-up and five or six others were struggling.”
Bad weather caused two postponements of this game last season and it looked like it could be a similar story this time after heavy rain left surface water on the pitch.
The groundstaff cleared it away at half-time but there was another downpour in the second half.
The worsening conditions played a part in United’s equaliser.
Substitute Ollie Finch thumped a high ball into the Canterbury area from around the halfway line, Hayward came off his line to collect, only to let it slip through his hands into the net.
Chambers said: “I don’t feel sorry for him but he made some great saves earlier when we should be scoring. James Everitt – one-on-one has got to score.
“We had some great chances, which we didn’t take and that is the difference between winning by four or five and getting a 1-1 draw.
“We were the better side and we should have won.”
City’s Chris Lewis saw an effort deflected against the bar before Baines put City ahead from close range on eight minutes.
Tom Scorer’s last-ditch challenge inside the area, then produced a timely challenge inside the United box to deny Lewis, as he shaped to shoot.
Scorer Kieran Byrne and Everitt all had chances in the second half as United pressed for an equaliser.
City had three against one, only for United goalkeeper Joe Mant to cut out the cross, before Chambers, five months past his 42nd birthday, brought himself on for the final 12 minutes of play.
Everitt was then denied by defender Nick Blackman on the stroke of stoppage-time.
Left, Ashford’s James Everitt tussles for possession
Nick Blackman. Right, Gary Mickelborough tackled by Kane Hemmings, a challenge which earned the City player