Sunday 26th September 2004
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Chatham complete double Ashford victory

ASHFORD TOWN travelled the short distance up the M20 searching for their first victory of the season in the Go Travel Kent League Reserve Division Cup first round, writes Stephen McCartney.

Manager Mike Robbins was missing four regulars due to suspension so he secured the services of Matt Curnock from Canvey Island and Terry McCann from Kent rivals Sittingbourne.

Both teams were very youthful, and both teams tried to play some entertaining football.  However, neither side hit the long ball and all players on show for both sides looked comfortable on the ball. 

Visitors Ashford, playing a 4-4-2 formation, started brightly and played some good football, but could not get the break they deserved.

With five minutes before the break, however, they got their reward for some good play, taking the lead from a 30-yarder from Jason Long.

Long, having the most influential game this season, was booked for a late tackle, and subsequently warned by the referee for a different incident.

Hosts Chatham Town, playing 3-5-2 man marked Willis and Pursglove out of the game, after some scouting by Wells of Chatham had watched Willis put four past his Army mates the previous week.

The second half saw some indifferent refereeing decisions, and some good efforts stopped by both goalkeepers.

On 75 minutes the game changed in Chatham's favour.  A mistake by Long and Norris let the Medway side in for the equaliser, and no sooner had the referee put his notepad away, he was reaching for it again, when Williams, again on the left, was left disillusioned after being dispossessed and subsequently punished by Chatham scoring the winner seconds later.

Robins and Larkin were particularly disappointed in the way their team lost fitness with twenty minutes left.

"If you were to take our results at 70 minutes, we would have won one, drawn three and lost one - we have to raise our game in the final twenty minutes and not fall asleep" said an extremely disappointed Robbins.

Amasingly, Chatham's under fourteens defeated Ashford Town's under fourteen by the same margin a day later.  "Apparently lightening can strike twice," cracked a bemused Ashford Town manager Vince Shell.

Ashford Town: Rice, McCann, Williams (McMullen), Nadowski, White, Long, Jones, Curnock, Prrsglove, Wills (DJ), Norris. Subs: Noble, Aldridge. O Hara