Ashford Town 0-1 Croydon Athletic
An 88th minute penalty broke Ashford hearts and cost the Town dear as they fell to a 1-0 defeat to Croydon Athletic, writes Jack Wilson.
With the game seemingly heading for a draw, Moses Ademola went down in the area leaving referee Stuart Butler no option but to point to the spot.
Right-back Julian Curnow then stepped up to coolly slide down the middle to condemn Ashford to a fourth league defeat of the season.
Ashford made two changes to the side that started in the midweek farce at Sittingbourne, with Marc Cumberbatch and Kenny-Jarrett Elliott replacing Barry Crawford and Richard Sinden.
And it was the Nuts and Bolts who got out the blocks the quickest.
With just six minutes gone, man-of-the-match Simon Glover linked up with strike partner George Fenwick, but the former Folkestone man could only fire at James Wastell.
Glover nearly got on the end of an Ian Ross free kick soon after, but the 178 fans had to wait until the 44th minute for the next opportunity, when Glover again went on a mazy run to play Fenwick in who shot harmlessly wide.
The story of the second half was much like the first, as both sides nullified each other in a midfield battle.
Anthony Allman did however come close with a free kick on the hour mark, after quick feet from captain Glover forced Curnow to foul.
But as the game progressed Ashford began to tire, leaving gaps that the visitors began to expose. Firstly substitute Ademola fired a left footed shot destined for the top corner which was only denied by a truly world class fingertip save from Simon Overland, and then Mark Simmons’ strike was blocked on the line by Cumberbatch.
Joby Thorogood fired inches wide with a long range drive after he cut in from the right flank but still the Croydon defence stood firm.
Although with three minutes left the lively Ademola was bought down in the Ashford box, and Curnow made no mistake to hit his penalty low to send Overland the wrong way and move his side into the promotion places.
It was tough on Ashford who looked set to earn a point after a display full of endeavour and commitment, but the fact they have played five games in just 14 games clearly caught up with the Nuts & Bolts.
Ashford Town: Simon Overland, Tom Adlington (Barry Crawford 67), Ian Ross, Dan Tanner, Marc Cumberbatch, Gary Clarke, Joby Thorogood, Anthony Allman, Simon Glover, George Fenwick, Kenny Jarrett-Elliott Subs: Joff Thorogood, Joe Hitchings.
Croydon Athletic: James Wastell, Julian Curnow, Samuel Hewitt, Jon Waite, James Gibson, Danny Ward, Mark Hammond, Mark Waters, Wade Falana (Moses Ademola), Charley Side, Paul Scott (Tyrone Myton 45) Subs: Danny Cecil, Simon Moore.