Friday 08th October 2004
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Ashford reserves hit Hastings for six

On a wet and drizzly evening this was a chance for former Gillingham Youth coach, Mike Robbins put one over his old Gills assistant Pete Sayer, writes Stephen McCartney.

The game, the last incidentally before the suspended quartet of Poyner, Moody, Hutton and captain Ollie Finch return to the fray, started at a furious pace.

Hastings' reserves, who are never a slouch when they come to the Homelands, set up with three at the back and 5 across the middle. The first twelve minutes saw the Nuts and bolts, literally camped in the Hastings half. 

New Ashford Town reserve team goalkeeper Karl Leveille did not physically touch the ball until 8 o clock! Attack after attack, a string of corners and again attack after attack, but the greens could not break the Sussex side down.

After 30 Minutes, a delightful chip from Ashford lad, Barry Cunningham (Starting in the first eleven for the first time) brought about the first goal, within 5 minutes he doubled the lead with a great strike again from all of 20 yards.

Aiden Purseglove, leading scorer, scored the last goal of the half, when he broke through the off side to nut meg the keeper. This was to be Aidens last contribution, as he came off injured during the interval.

Youth Prodigy Darren Wills was brought on for Aiden at half time. The half time focus was around a team discussion the night before. Teamwork being the element.

“Systems do not win matches – Players do “ was the final comment from Robbins at the Break.

Second half, with practically his first touch, Darren Wills took the ball on a mazy run, and  hit an unstoppable shot that was never in doubt.

Barry Cunningham wrapped up his hat-trick on the hour after the keeper had dropped the ball at his feet from a deep cross from the left.

Danny White was extremely unlucky to have his strike ruled out, when the referee who was much closer, gave a goal only to have it disallowed by the referees assistant.

Day and Jones were brought on just after for Long and Aldridge, and the fresh legs brought about another chance for Darren Wills. An unselfish Cunningham passed to Wills for his second  and Ashford sixth of the game.

Wills was extremely unlucky not to score a hat trick, when after an unbelievable run from inside his own half, the keeper made a great stop.

With about 10 minutes on the clock, Hastings got a consolation goal, after a mix up in the box allowed a point blank shot on goal. A goal that cost the otherwise superb Ashford second string the clean sheet that they desired.

Mike Robbins commented, “ Both Martin (Larkin) and Myself are extremely pleased with this result, we have played worse teams than Hastings , and lost. Tonight, however,  things came together after a very difficult week. This gives us great confidence before our next game at VCD Athletic (reserves) next Saturday.”

Ashford Town:  Leveille , Aldridge (Day), White, Robinson, Nadowski, Long (Jones) , Clarke, Curnock, Pursglove (Wills), McCann, Cunningham,

Elite Security MOM  Luke Robinson