Whitstable Town 3 Ashford United 2
Saturday 2nd August 2014
Whitstable Town came back from a slow and sluggish start to eventually run out three-two winners in the Pre-season Friendly against Ashford United on Saturday afternoon.
The early exchanges were dominated by Ashford and they nearly took the lead when Gary Mickleborough almost tapped in at the far post after 18 minutes. Town had their first chance on 21 minutes when Ian Pulman had a shot blocked by a defender. On 27 minutes Ashford had a free kick just outside the area but the attempt went way over the bar. After 32 minutes another chance for the visitors saw them force a good save out of Luke Watkins in the Town goal. Two minutes later Pulman had another chance but this time shot wide. Watkins was again on hand after 38 minutes to save Town’s blushes when he finger tipped over from an Ashford shot. The visitors finally took a deserved lead after 42 minutes when Gary Clarke managed to tap the ball over the line after a melee in the Town area.
The second half started in a similar vein and again Watkins had to be at his best to claw away a shot. They then had further chances after 54 & 63 minutes but both went over the bar. Suddenly things looked up for Whitstable after 64 minutes when Pulman sprung on a mistake in the Ashford defence and pushed the ball into an empty net to bring the scores level. This seemed to breathe life into the hosts and within three minutes they were ahead when Scott Heard burst into the penalty area and was brought down. Up stepped Ryan Golding to make no mistake from the penalty spot for his second penalty success in two. The pattern of the game completely changed with Whitstable now looking more likely to score. Golding hit a shot over after 69 minutes and then after 73 minutes Pulman fed a ball to Tom Loynes but the young winger couldn’t quite get on the end of it. Whitstable increased their lead two minutes from time when Heard broke into the area and had a shot saved by Joe Mant in the Ashford goal.
The ball came back to Golding who fired home a real opportunist goal. There was still time for ex Whitstable striker Lloyd Blackman to head in a consolation for Ashford right on full time.
It is now time for Whitstable to build on the win going into next weekend’s important opener against Walton & Hersham.