New faces quick to set­tle

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Football -

Ash­ford United made up for lost time as they saw off Beck­en­ham Town in style at Home­lands on Satur­day.

Jon Pil­beam scored on his de­but along­side fel­low new sign­ing Chris Saun­ders, while sub­sti­tute Tom Fagg scored twice as United hit six for the fifth time this sea­son.

Sal­is­bury man­ager Steve Clar­idge (pic­tured) was among the crowd and must have left with plenty to ponder ahead of this week­end’s FA Vase quar­ter-fi­nal in Wilt­shire, as United en­joyed their re­turn to South­ern Coun­ties East League ac­tion, play­ing their first game since Box­ing Day.

Pil­beam signed last week on du­al­reg­is­tra­tion terms from Folke­stone In­victa, while Saun­ders ar­rived af­ter a short spell with Sevenoaks Town, fol­low­ing his re­lease by Green­wich Bor­ough in Jan­uary.

United sur­vived an anx­ious mo­ment close to the half-hour when Jamie Turner’s free-kick bounced off a post be­fore Shaun Welford put them in front 10 min­utes be­fore half-time.

Pat King­well’s shot was pushed away by vis­it­ing goal­keeper Lewis Moor but Welford re­acted quickly to head in for his 21st goal of the sea­son, putting him level with strike part­ner Paul Booth. ASH­FORD UTD BECK­EN­HAM T

Ryan Palmer got United’s se­cond eight min­utes later with a shot from out­side the area go­ing in off a post.

Char­lie Dick­ens made it 3-0 just be­fore the hour, with his first for the club with a neat fin­ish from Mikey Dal­ton’s left wing run and cross. Adam Cuth­bert’s timely chal­lenge on Archie Jack­son snuffed out an­other mo­ment of dan­ger, be­fore Pil­beam put United 4-0 ahead in the 62nd minute.

Pil­beam, a mem­ber of the Tun­bridge Wells team beaten 2-1 by Spen­ny­moor in the 2013 FA Vase fi­nal at Wem­b­ley, chipped home the fourth, be­fore be­ing re­placed by Fagg, while Saun­ders, who also did well, gave way to Taser Has­san. He and Jack Healey com­bined for Fagg’s first and also had a role in his se­cond, to­gether with Adam Cuth­bert and Booth, leav­ing the young striker with an easy tap-in.

Beck­en­ham pulled one back two min­utes later, Phil McBean con­vert­ing from the spot.

Ka­murasi, A. Cuth­bert, Dick­ens, Healey, Dal­ton, King­well, Palmer, Phillips, Welford (Booth 70 mins), Pil­beam (Has­san 63 mins), Saun­ders (Fagg 63 mins). Subs not used: Sav­age, Luen. 214

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