Debu­tant Day seizes his chance

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Football -

Young­ster Matt Day marked his de­but with a fine fin­ish as Ash­ford took an­other sig­nif­i­cant step to­wards win­ning the South­ern Coun­ties East League ti­tle, at The Bel­mont on Tues­day.

The ex-Mill­wall teenager, who has been play­ing for United’s un­der-18s, was cho­sen to start ahead of sev­eral more ex­pe­ri­enced team-mates and re­warded boss Danny Lye’s faith by skil­fully hook­ing home Ash­ford’s sec­ond goal, af­ter 39 min­utes.

Lead­ing scorer Welford had opened the scor­ing, with a trade­mark header in the 13th minute and af­ter­wards Lye was de­lighted with the con­tri­bu­tion of his front pair on a night when fifth-placed Whit­stable fin­ished with nine men. The United boss, WHIT­STABLE ASH­FORD UTD Re­port: MARK STOKES whose side went six points clear at the top with the win, said: “Shaun is 38, he still runs around well but be­cause he’d played 90 min­utes on Satur­day, we just felt we needed some young legs up there to take a bit of the work­load off him.

“Matt went in ahead of some se­nior play­ers and some­times in foot­ball you have to give the young­sters a chance, even if it’s a big game and he took his goal well.” Welford’s tow­er­ing header, from a su­perb Dave Bot­ter­ill free-kick, came af­ter United keeper Ge­orge Ka­murasi had twice saved well from Frankie Sawyer in a bright start by the home side but once ahead, United looked com­fort­able.

They added their sec­ond when Ka­murasi’s long free-kick was helped on by Welford to Day who ran clear be­fore lift­ing the ball over home keeper Dan Ea­son.

A feisty start to the sec­ond half saw United’s Rory Hill and Whit­stable pair Char­lie Smith and Craig Thomp­son booked in the same in­ci­dent and with an hour played, home mid­fielder James Mor­rish saw red af­ter push­ing his head to­wards Ja­son Good­child, who was cau­tioned for his part.

Worse was to fol­low for the home side, with 13 min­utes re­main­ing, when Smith picked up a sec­ond yel­low for a mind­less chal­lenge on United sub­sti­tute Ryan Palmer, re­duc­ing Scott Porter’s men to nine.

United’s Bot­ter­ill was also booked along with home duo Bola Da­wodu and Calvin Se­denu, com­plet­ing a busy evening for ref­eree Richard Joss.

United’s best chance of the sec­ond half fell to Dan Stubbs, whose close-range header was bril­liantly kept out by Ea­son, while in a late home flourish, Aaron Quain had an ef­fort cleared off the line and also curled a free-kick into the side net­ting.

Ka­murasi, West, Walker, Bot­ter­ill, Avery (Vines 70mins), King­well, Stubbs, Good­child, Welford, Day (Stone 58mins), Hill (Palmer 67mins): Subs (not used) Eldridge, Sav­age. 201.

Pic­ture: Martin Apps FM4727992

Ash­ford United close down ti­tle ri­vals Crow­bor­ough at Home­lands Sta­dium on Satur­day

Pic­tures: Les Biggs

Left, Whit­stable’s Bola Da­wodu (red) chal­lenges Ash­ford’s Frazer Walker dur­ing United’s 2-0 win at The Bel­mont on Tues­day. Right, United keeper Ge­orge Ka­marusi makes a fine early save from Frankie Sawyer

Pic­ture: Martin Apps FM4727987

Ash­ford man­ager Danny Lye – over­saw two wins in four days

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