Saturday 05th February 2005

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Saturday 5th
February 2005
Go Travel Kent League Division One Mike Robins reports from Charles Sports Ground
Deal Town Res 2  
Ashford Town Res 2  

A tale of two keepers

ON a wet and windy day, Ashford Town's reserves travelled the short distance down to Deal Town for a Go Travel Kent League first division fixture on Saturday.

Ashford had Jamie Maxton and Anthony Pace - who started the season at Bromley - making debuts and welcomed back Gary Clarke.

Ashford started the brighter of the two teams, with Terry Penfold and Pace combining superbly down the right hand side.

Chances came and went, but Penfold, Pace and Long all failed to capitalise.

Along with the football being played down the right there was also some niggling offences and off the ball incidents which the referee failed to spot.

On twenty minutes, Penfold played a lovely ball into the right channel for Pace, to beat his man comfortably before pulling the ball back to Jason Long – Who duly obliged by placing the ball home for his eighth goal of the season.

At this point, the football flowed from the Ashford side, but again they could not finish Deal off.

In the 30th Minute Deal equalised after the referee gave a penalty to the home side. It was a rare attack on the Ashford goal that saw Luke Robinson challenge clumsily in the box.

On 35 minutes after being challenged former Lordswood goalkeeper Jake Slade went down heavily, and never really shook off the injury. Unbelievably at the other end, the home side's  keeper also had an injury and appeared to pull his hamstring – He too signaled to the bench to come off, but felt he could carry on to half time.

Ironically only minutes later, Penfold raced through only to expect the keeper to gather, but again he went down as the striker rounded him to score from an acute angle. He stayed down and was subsequently substituted there and then.

So the Nuts and Bolts went in with the tails up, but knowing that they too had to change keepers and bring Andy Wood into the game.

The second half was all Ashford and with one of the oppositions management team in goal, it looked odds on that the away team would take the points.

Every thing that Ashford threw at the substitute keeper was stopped – even a full length save at Penfold's feet at one point.

At the other end – Wood did not have to touch the ball.

Robinson and Long both went close with free kicks, Maxton and Pace had chances to wrap it up, but on 77 minutes, while going forward, McCann was dispossessed of the ball and exploiting the space left by him, Deal took there only shot of the half to Equalise past Wood.

Ashford still had chances to win the game but in the end, thanks to the heroics of the Deal Keeper the points were shared.

“How can I be disappointed after my side have made enough chances to win two games of football,” said Ashford manager Mike Robbins.

Ashford Town:  Slade  (Wood), McCann , White , Vidler  (Maxton), Robinson, Nadjowski, Curnock, Clarke,  Pace, Long (Hann), Penfold