United de­nied a way through

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Football - Re­port: AN­DREW GI­D­LEY Pic­tures: PAUL AMOS





The safe hands of Dun­ston goal­keeper Liam Con­nell stood be­tween Ash­ford United and a place in the quar­ter-fi­nals of the FA Vase on Satur­day.

Skip­per Con­nell and his deputy An­drew Clark are the only two mem­bers of the 2012 Wem­b­ley-win­ning team still at the North­ern League club and no doubt keen to re­turn there again in May.

Seven min­utes of ex­tra-time re­mained at Home­lands, when United top scorer Paul Booth re­ceived the ball just out­side the box, moved for­ward and hit a ris­ing ef­fort, only for Con­nell to pluck it out of the air.

United sub­sti­tute Seb Schoburgh sliced an­other ef­fort wide soon af­ter, both sides press­ing for a late equaliser, be­fore ref­eree Carl Brook’s whis­tle ended pro­ceed­ings.

As­sis­tant boss Shaun Welford gave United the best pos­si­ble start, head­ing them in front af­ter only 10 min­utes.

The ball broke to Taser Has­san and his per­fect cross was met by Welford, who headed home in­side Con­nell’s left hand post for his 19th goal of the sea­son.

United de­fended well against the twin threat of top scorer Malky Morien and Steve Richard­son, with keeper Ge­orge Ka­murasi a spec­ta­tor for most of the first 45 min­utes, un­til mak­ing two cru­cial saves just be­fore half-time, sav­ing low to his right to foil Alex Fran­cis and then at the feet of Richard­son.

Ryan Palmer tricked his way into the box a minute af­ter the restart, set­tin­gup Welford whose shot was blocked.

Dun­ston lost in­jured de­fender Dan Hal­l­i­day soon af­ter but his re­place­ment Aris­tote Guerin stepped off the bench to make a real im­pact with the 63rd­minute equaliser.

United were caught out at the back by a quick break, and Morien played in Guerin to calmly shoot home.

Richard­son went close twice, Ka­murasi stopped an­other ef­fort by Stephen Har­ri­son and Morien put an­other ef­fort wide into the box.

Michael Phillips and Dale Bur­rell were both booked in an in­jury-time flare-up af­ter the Dun­ston man stopped the United skip­per tak­ing a quick throw-in.

Chances came and went in ex­tra-time. Morien went close twice, one ef­fort flash­ing wide of the post.

Home­lands then held its breath as Booth shaped to shoot, with the tie there for the tak­ing but Con­nell was equal to it.

Pic­ture: Paul Amos FM4198356

Ash­ford’s Mikey Dal­ton closed down by Dun­ston at Home­lands

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