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SEASON 2008/09

SEASON 2008/09

Ryman League - Premier Division
Saturday 4th October 2008
Ashford Town
Ashford Town
2 - 0
AFC Hornchurch
Wellard 36 (pen), Johnson 90+1
H/T 1 - 0 Att.: 192

Match Synopsis
Ashford Town
AFC Hornchurch
Booking: Wall
Goal: Wellard (pen)
Sub: Lee for Wall
Sub: Parker for Higgins
Booking: Joseph
Booking: Janney
Sub: Hodges for Tomlinson
Booking: Goodfellow
Booking: Rose
Booking: Harris
Sub: Goggin for Harris
Booking: Curley
Goal: Johnson

Match Report by Tony Middleton 
John Purdie was out with injury and Mark Goodfellow returned after a three match suspension. Ross Wall and Sam Higgins started up front, and new signing Ian Wiles was named as substitute. Elliot Styles took over as captain. A bumpy pitch, a gale force wind, a sparse crowd, gasworks at one end, jumbos flying over every minute or so, and a lower than usual away support, due to the lack of coaches and the difficulty of getting to Stanmore by public transport. So where exactly is Ashford? It is not signposted from the M25, and not even signposted from the A30 which cuts right through the middle. The ground is in Stanmore, not in Ashford, which might well account for the paucity of the home support.

Urchins kicked towards the gasworks end in the first half, and both teams had extreme difficulty in controlling the ball, with six balls quickly disappearing out of the ground and last seen heading for number two runway at Heathrow.

The home side relied heavily on their long throw expert, Stuart Bamford, who tossed the ball into the goalmouth at every opportunity, though without a great deal of success, apart from one long throw which Mark Goodfellow headed out only as far as Warren Harris, who hammered the ball high out of the ground. Warren Harris had another opportunity soon afterwards when a long punt from Jeffreys landed right in his path, and this time it was Frank Curley, rather than the lorries on the A30, which got in the way. Urchins briefly threatened with a long throw from Billy Coyne, which neither Ross Wall nor Sam Higgins could reach, and their first real chance came when Dale Brightly, clad in a fetching all cherry red outfit, pumped a long free kick out to Sam Higgins on the left, and from Sam’s cross Ross Wall found himself in a scoring position, only to be thwarted by an offside flag, the first of a number of ridiculously incorrect decisions, all of which were in favour of the home side.

Another long throw by Coyne was headed away by Jeffreys, and Janney came in at speed, but fired his shot over the bar. Ross Wall was fouled by Jeffreys as he attempted to break through and Coyne’s free kick bobbled around the goalmouth before Cooper booted the ball out. Urchins had their best chance when Sam Higgins was brought down on the left by Stuart Bamford and Janney sent over a swerving free kick which Goodfellow headed on, and the ball was deflected around the post for a corner, which Tomlinson came over to the right to take, and Goodfellow’s header skimmed the bar.

A cross from Joseph was played out by Curley and Brightly held Wellard’s inswinging corner. Urchins were awarded a free kick just outside the area when Wall was brought down, and Sam Higgins fired in a hard shot through the wall, with keeper Ross saving well. Then Higgins won the ball in midfield but was penalised, and Johnson’s free kick found Warren Harris, whose shot was blocked by Styles, and Scott Harris hit the rebound over the bar and out of the ground. Fiston Manuella was fouled by Cooper and Coyne’s free kick dropped into a packed goalmouth, but the whistle went for offside. Ross held a good cross from Lee Brown, and Janney then sent Coyne away along the right. Ross Wall was then booked for something which only the referee appeared to have spotted. In the next attack, on the right, Coyne was dispossessed and the ball punted deep down the left wing, where the resulting cross was cleared by Styles for a corner – or so everyone thought. The seven home supporters packed behind the goal all screamed their heads off, and the referee pointed towards the penalty spot, and was immediately engulfed by most of the Hornchurch team. When order was restored, RICKY WELLARD stepped up to slot the ball home.

Hornchurch could have pulled back the injustice right away, when Styles played the ball out to the left and Ross Wall fired over a low cross, but there was no one able to get the final touch. A Tomlinson corner was played too deep and the half time whistle went without anything at all added on.

There was much discussion about the performance of the match officials at half time, but no one could explain why the penalty was given. Tomlinson gained possession at the start of the second half, and sent Ross Wall away, but the ball ran out of play for a goal kick. At the other end Manuella headed away a Wellard corner, but Urchins came forward and Tomlinson’s free kick went out for a corner, which Tomlinson took, and Janney returned the ball to Tomlinson, whose centre was headed away by Joseph., and the ball was played long upfield where Harrison was tackled by Manuella as he was about to shoot. Kris Lee came on and was promptly brought down by Stuart Bamford, and Tomlinson picked out Janney with the free kick, and thence on to Parker, whose shot was well saved by Ross. A corner from Wellard found Stuart Bamford whose shot was blocked by Styles, and a good move originating from Lee Hodges saw Janney and Parker combine to set up Elliot Styles, whose shot skidded wide of the goal.

Janney caused the home defence some confusion on the right, and he appeared to be the victim of a blatant foul by Joseph, the only possible decision being a red card for the home player. The referee instead weakly waved a yellow, and then followed this up with another yellow, waved at a perplexed Mark Janney. Lee Brown took the free kick, and Lee backheaded the ball, with keeper Ross saving well. a free kick by Warren Harris drifted harmlessly out of play, only for a corner to be awarded, which Wellard took, and which again was hit far too deeply.

Simon Parker won a corner on the right side, and Hodges floated the ball over, where Manuella’s hard drive rebounded out for a corner. Hodges again took the kick, and Manuella headed narrowly over. At the other end, Wellard’s corner was partly cleared and the ball returned into the goalmouth where Billy Jeffreys found the net, but the goal was disallowed for a foul on Dale Brightly. Urchins came forward, and Janney and Hodges combined to give Kris Lee a chance, but Ross saved comfortably. Another Wellard corner came to nothing, and Kris Lee sent Hodges away, with Cooper tackling, and then Kris Lee won a corner, which Hodges took, and Joseph cleared. In stoppage time, Simon Parker lost the ball on the edge of the home area, and it was pumped up field, and Frank Curley was booked for what appeared to be a perfectly reasonable tackle, giving Ashford a free kick five yards out from the area. PAUL JOHNSON hit home a magnificent free kick through a packed wall to put the home side two up. Urchins stormed straight back up field and Billy Coyne sent the ball over, and Kris Lee’s backheader was saved well by Craig Ross. Incredibly, in a match in which there was only one real incident which deserved a booking, in fact it deserved a straight red, the referee none the less booked eight players, and this affected the game to the extent that just about everyone was wondering who was next in line for a yellow.

Video Clips by Rob Monger

Team Line Ups
Ashford Town
AFC Hornchurch
Craig Rose
Dale Brightly
Brett Cooper
Billy Coyne
Ricardo Joseph
Lee Brown
Stuart Bamford
Frankie Curley
Billy Jeffreys
Mark Goodfellow
Ricky Wellard
Andy Tomlinson
Paul Johnson
Fiston Manuella
Gavin Bamford (c)
Mark Janney
Scott Harris
Ross Wall
Byron Harrison
Sam Higgins
Warren Harris
Elliot Styles (c)
Subs.   Subs.
Adam Logie
Lee Hodges
Dane Buss
Kris Lee
Scott Todd
Simon Parker
Russell Anderton
Dean Green
Wes Goggin
Ian Wiles

Weather Conditions: 13 Degs. C., Cloudy, Rain, Wind Speed = 30 mph
Match Officials: Referee - Mr. N. Webb , Assistants - Mr. G. Collins and Mr. R. Hailstone
Match duration: F/H 45 mins. 00 secs., S/H 48 mins. 00 secs.

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