Hill treble puts United in control against rivals
A Rory Hill hat-trick inspired Ashford United to victory over Crowborough Athletic as the top two battled for supremacy in front of 459 spectators on Saturday – a new home league record crowd at Homelands.
United had to come from behind to achieve the win, which opened up a three-point gap over their opponents at the top of the Southern Counties East League table.
The victory got United’s promotion bid back on track after only one win in their previous six games.
United were trailing aftwr 20 minutes following a good move down the left-hand side.
Henry Muggeride picked out an unmarked Ross Treleavan who finished well, beating the outstretched left-hand of United keeper ASHFORD UTD CROWBOROUGH George Kamurasi. Parity was restored following some excellent play from Hill.
He darted inside from the left to breeze past the Crowborough defence, before firing home from the edge of the box.
Buoyed by his stunning goal, Hill then went close twice in quick succession with a header off target, before chipping just over the bar.
Eddie Smith wasted a golden opportunity to put the Crows back into the lead after a rare mistake from Pat Kingwell but with only Kamurasi to beat, Smith poked the ball wide to keep the score level at the break.
The referee was a busy man, brandishing a total of nine yellow cards, with manager Danny Lye also sent from the dugout.
In the 65th minute, Shaun Welford missed the chance to notch his 39th goal of the campaign, when he saw his well struck spot-kick saved.
It mattered not, though, as Hill found space four minutes later to fire in from the edge of the box to put United into the lead.
His second treble of the season was duly completed 10 minutes from time when he drilled a free-kick from the edge of the D in off the left-hand post to ensure the win.
It was Crowborough’s first away defeat of the campaign.