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Thursday 01st September 2005
Kent FA Cup clash ends all-square
 
Ashford Town 1-1 Bromley
FA Cup First Qualifying Round
by Stephen McCartney, www.kentishfootball.co.uk
 
The crowd of over four hundred were treated to a very competitive FA Cup clash and unbeaten Ashford Town took the lead after only six minutes.
 
Michael Beale slotted home after Bromley goalkeeper Danny Harwood blocked a shot from Paul Jones inside a crowded penalty area.
 
Bromley showed their character and bounced back almost immediately, equalising seven minutes later.
 
Tony Reid cut past Tom Adlington in midfield and threaded a low pass for midfield playmaker Gary Drewett.  After running at the defence, goalkeeper John Whitehouse came off his line and Drewett played a high ball over to the far post and former Fisher Athletic and Gravesend & Northfleet striker, Leroy Huggins headed home into an empty net from close range to score his first goal for the Ravens.
 
A delighted Huggins, 27 said: "My first goal was always going to come!  I've just had to keep my head down and play well.  This was only my second game in six or seven weeks so it's going to be hard for me.  Strikers have to run for the whole game, and if you get a sniff at goal the best thing to do is to put the ball away and if you don't another chance will come."
 
Ashford thought they had taken the lead for the second time, after 22 minutes.  Paul Jones slotted home from 25 yards but the goal was disallowed as the referee had spotted and blown for a foul on Dean Forbes before the ball found the back of Harwood's net.
 
Harwood's opposite number, Whitehouse, formerly of Greenwich Borough, stole the ball off Mark Willy's head at the near post after South African Steve Potterill rocketed a long throw towards the near post.
 
Bromley had appeals for a penalty turned down after 33 minutes when Colin Luckett sent Huggins on his way down the left channel before finding his way into the Ashford penalty area.  Rob Gillman's saving tackle brought down Huggins and appeals for a spot kick were turned down.
 
Bromley's powerful striker, Tony Reid drove wide of the near post as the visitors weathered the Ashford storm to go in at the break at 1-1.
 
Beale, 23, who lives in Bromley, could have added to the score-line early in the second half, but he blasted high and wide of Harwood's goal from twenty yards.
 
Ashford Town manager Tim Thurgood brought on a double substitution at the break and substitute Adrian Stone played a through ball for Jones outside the Ravens penalty area.

A goal looked a certain outcome but Potterill came from nowhere, from Jones' left, to make a saving block after Jones pulled the trigger from inside the penalty area.

Crowd pleaser Leroy Phillips screwed a shot wide for the home side after 58 minutes and was pushed over by Harwood three minutes later by the left corner flag and the Bromley shot-stopper was shown a yellow card.

Reid did well to surge forty yards with the ball at his feet and his run was ended by Jay Westwood who chopped down the powerhouse striker.  This resulted in a small brawl, which saw Westwood booked for the initial challenge and Luckett booked for his part in the aftermath.

Beale's left footed effort from 22 yards sailed high and wide of the left post after 65 minutes.

Bromley were at this stage confident and took the game to the home side in the final twenty minutes and created a couple of chances to win the game. 

Ashford were forced to play the closing exchanges with only ten men as Jones was taken off the pitch due to injury.

Drewett hooked a shot over from Luckett's high cross before a move involving Drewett and Huggins saw Reid powerfully shoot wide of the left upright.

Beale drilled a low shot narrowly wide of the left upright, but Ashford's unbeaten run to the season nearly came to an end in the 88th minute.

Drewett surged with the ball and fed Potterill after he made an overlapping run.  His cross found Adolph Amoako, who replaced the hardworking Reid in the 84th minute, and the former Crystal Palace striker leapt and headed towards the top right hand corner, but Westwood headed the ball off the line to deny Bromley victory.

Bromley captain, the solid central defender, Dean Forbes said: "A much better performance than the league games last week when we rolled over and died against Walton & Hersham last Saturday.  We should have never lost at Windsor & Eton in midweek and today  we were never going to get beat."

The replay will take place at Bromley's Hayes Lane ground on Tuesday, 16 September, 7.45pm, and Forbes added: "Ashford will get exactly the same treatment in the replay as they got in the second half today.  They will get the ball straight down their throats and it's just a matter of time when Tony Reid and Leroy Huggins gets us another goal."

Forbes praised Bromley's front two, saying: "Reid and Huggins today led the line well and took a lot of pressure of the back four.  When the ball goes upfront the ball is sticking and it's good for the midfield because we have got two busy people there."

Ashford Town: John Whitehouse, Martin Anderson, Aaron O‚ÄôLeary, Ian Ross (Capt), Rob Gillman, Lyndon Tucker (Jay Westwood HT), Michael Beale, Tom Adlington, Paul Jones, Lee McRobert (Adrian Stone HT) Lewis Phillips (Barry Gardner 72)  Subs: James Gardner, Kevin Skinner.

Bromley: Danny Harwood, Steve Potterill, Colin Luckett, Joe Vines, Mark Willy, Dean Forbes (Capt), Gary Drewett, Danny Smith, Tony Reid (Adolph Amoako 84), Leroy Huggins, Jason McKoy.  Subs:  Andy Hunt, Bobby Nolan, John Butler, James Goodwin

Attendance:  427

Referee:  Mr R Briffitt

Assistants: A Fissenden and J Bradley