Friday 02nd December 2005

Ashford hold clear the air talks

Goalkeeper Dave Wietecha returns to the Ashford Town side for their vital clash against fellow strugglers Banstead Athletic tomorrow, writes Stephen McCartney.

The former Bromley and Folkestone Invicta goalkeeper missed last weekend's 1-1 draw at Leatherhead due to work commitments.

But Matt Bower - a recent acquisition from Cheriton Road - has left the club but new boys Jamie Smith and Emmanuel Sackey are looking to help the Homelands outfit climb the Ryman League Division One table.

Defender Smith has joined from Billericay Town, while 19-year-old midfielder Sackey, a member of the Gravesend & Northfleet PASE Academy, started his first game in their draw at Fetcham Grove.

Meanwhile, Ashford's reserve side bounced back from their 3-0 defeat against Dartford to win 1-0 at Deal Town in the Floodlight Trophy in midweek.

Speaking about their miserable defeat to the Darts, reserve team boss Mike Robbins told www.kentishfootball.co.uk: "The lads did not carry out simple instructions in that game, and also played the ball high into the wind which played a major part in our down fall.

"However, we have put that down to a bad day at the office.  We all had a long chat to see what the way forward was and hard work and commitment were the common factors - along with mastering the basics of pass and move and support."

Robbins and his assistant Martin Larkin, however, kept up their unbeaten record against Deal Town.

And with former Tunbridge Wells goalkeeper James Colman in goal, Ashford kept a clean sheet and won the game courtesy of a delicate chip from 25-yards by Aiden Pursglove.

Pursglove received the ball on the left hand side of the penalty area with his back to goal, he felt the position of the defender and swiveled on the spot, chipping the ball delicately over the goalkeeper.

"It was easily the best goal I have seen at this level," praised Robbins.

And Larkin was delighted to keep a clean sheet at the Charles Sports Ground.

"We have had a season where every shot ends up in our net," he said.  "It's not natural and the law of averages means that must change.

"James Colman has rejoined us from Tunbridge Wells, and he could have had the man-of-the-match award just for organisation tonight."

And speaking about midfielder Lee Ealham, he added: "He hasn't been available on Saturday's, but again his passion and experience lifted the team."

Back to the first team, Ashford face two of their Kent rivals next week, with a trip to Hayes Lane to tackle Cray Wanderers next Tuesday, and entertain Ramsgate at Homelands next Saturday, 10th December.

Ashford Town v Banstead Athletic
Ryman League Division One
Saturday 3rd December 2005
Kick Off 3:00pm
at The Homelands, Ashford Road, Kingsnorth, Ashford