Late drama sees men have to set­tle for point

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Hockey -

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.

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