Late drama sees men have to settle for point
Ashford men continued their unbeaten start to the Kent/ Sussex Regional 2 league season with a 2-2 draw at Horsham on Saturday. The visitors controlled the early phases of play with Robin Miller and Lewis Elgar forcing several quality saves from the Horsham keeper. However, despite Ashford’s dominance, it was Horsham who led at half-time courtesy of a breakaway goal following a cheap turnover. The second half saw Ashford having the lion’s share of possession and they equalised when skipper James Chamberlain deflected in a short corner, won by Simon Cowling. Soon after, Ashford went in front from another short corner converted by Andrew Hill but as the game entered the final throes, some last ditch defending by Ben Davis resulted in a yellow card and a short corner awarded to Horsham. The corner was initially blocked by Ben Dawson but he couldn’t keep out the rebound. Ashford host Holcombe 2nds on Saturday (1.30pm). Sam Handley marked his return with a hat-trick as Ashford 2nds ran out 7-4 winners over Canterbury 4ths to become the early leaders of Kent Area Division 2. Ashford’s early intent was rewarded with their opening goal quickly cancelled out by Canterbury and that set the tone for an end-to-end first half. Ashford began to pull clear in the second half, with two goals from Handley completing his treble. Kevin Miller, Tom Lightfoot and Rob Playford also scored. Chris Bollom was man-of-thematch. A strong second-half performance led the 3rds to a 2-0 victory over the University of Kent 2nds to make it two wins from two in Kent Open Premier A. They showed great improvement after a goalless first half, with complete domination in defence from Nathan Morris, James Syrett, Simon Wood and Brad Pritchard. Matt Clifford broke the deadlock after a mazy run from Pritchard and a firsttime cross from Joe Elgar. With Greg Harrison and the Clayson twins dictating midfield, they doubled their lead when Elgar applied the final touch to a Bamber short corner. A superb penalty save by keeper Rob Austin helped the 4ths to a 2-1 win over Cliftonville 2nds at Ramsgate in Kent Open Premier C. After going 1-0 up from an Andrew Shepherd goal in the first half, Roger Lightfoot doubled the lead from a short corner in the second. It should have been plain sailing but the loss of Simon Clayson to umpiring duties upset the rhythm of the side. That led to Cliftonville pulling a goal back and then earning a penalty flick, which was brilliantly saved by Austin. Crusaders’ first game of the season in Kent Open Division 2 ended in a 3-0 home defeat to Old Williamsonians 4ths while the 6ths were beaten 5-1 in at Maidstone 6ths in Kent Open Divison 4.