Steam­ers move clear at the top

An­dreas Carter Kent County League

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - FOOTBALL -

Three well-worked goals in a dom­i­nant sec­ond-half per­for­mance saw Ash­ford re­turn from their trip to ti­tle ri­vals West Far­leigh 3-0 win­ners as they moved two points clear at the top of the Divi­sion 2 Cen­tral & East ta­ble.

After an un­event­ful firsthalf, goals from Matty Forster, Josh Jones and Ryan Prior in the sec­ond pe­riod helped the Steam­ers record back-to-back away league wins for the first time this sea­son as they went back ahead of Sn­od­land Town at the top.

Mark How­ells was handed his first start for the club while Kieran Shrimp­ton also made the start­ing line-up for the first time, part­ner­ing Jack Sco­bie in the cen­tre of the de­fence.

Skip­per Craig Haynes forced a de­cent save from home keeper Mike Harold mid­way through the first-half while both How­ells and Jor­dan Grif­fin had half chances that didn’t re­ally trou­ble the keeper.

Full-back pair Ben Hunt and Casper Floyd joined in the at­tack at every op­por­tu­nity, with Hunt im­pres­sive on the left.

At the other end the Ash­ford de­fence held firm, lim­it­ing the hosts to long range ef­forts. When they did get past the ex­cel­lent Shrimp­ton and Sco­bie, young keeper Wayne Ever­est was quick to re­act and race off of his line to sweep up.

Ash­ford came out for the start of the sec­ond-half look­ing much more threat­en­ing, and the dead­lock was fi­nally bro­ken two min­utes into the sec­ond pe­riod when How­ells dinked the ball into the penalty area to­wards Forster who took ad­van­tage of his marker slip­ping, gath­ered the ball and slot­ted it home.

Sub­sti­tute Josh Jones grabbed the sec­ond goal after an hour when he headed in from close range from James Hay­lock’s cross.

At the other end, West Far­leigh al­most pulled a goal back, but Ever­est was on hand to bril­liantly tip Lloyd Stand­ing’s well hit ef­fort over the bar.

Ash­ford brought on fresh legs with Ryan Prior, Bekim Ah­metaj and Riece An­nand com­ing on to keep the mo­men­tum go­ing, and Hay­lock was un­lucky not to score the third when he beat two de­fend­ers on the left, cut in­side an­other de­fender be­fore see­ing his shot hit the up­right.

The game was killed off in the 88th minute when Steve Cow­ell and debu­tant Shqipron Ah­metaj linked up to play in sub­sti­tute Ryan Prior on the left, who drib­bled the ball around two de­fend­ers and out-paced an­other be­fore slot­ting home. Ash­ford: Ever­est, Floyd (sub- An­nand 72), Sco­bie, Shrimp­ton, Hunt, How­ells, Haynes (B Ah­metaj 57, S Ah­metaj 80), Cow­ell, Grif­fin (Jones 57), Forster (Prior 72), Hay­lock.

Sixth-placed New Rom­ney were 3-0 win­ners at Crock­en­hill in the Premier Divi­sion. Their goals came from Liam Gear, Ray God­den and sub­sti­tute Tris­tan Belsey.

In Divi­sion3 Cen­tral & East, New Rom­ney Re­serves de­feated Pad­dock Wood 8-1. There were two goals each from both Ash­ley Boyd and Greg Hitch­man. Tony Nor­ris, Rhys Mor­ri­son, Max Til­son and Ben­jamin Bates Binder were also on tar­get.

Pic­ture: Paul Amos FM6332891

Char­ing (red) ease the ball from Len­ham Wan­der­ers Re­serves on Satur­day

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