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Ashford Town 0-2 Kingstonian

With a number of new signings and the arrival of Ian Wright as "Director of Football Strategy", Ashford Town have come into the season with quite a buzz surrounding them. The impressive crowd of 411 was well up on what the fixture usually attracts, but an uneventful game will have done little to sell non-league football to any new fans in the ground.

Not that that is likely to worry K's manager Alan Dowson. In a game of few chances and with little created, it was Dowson's men who eliminated the mistakes at the back and benefited from two by their opponents to leave Homelands with a 2-0 win. It was K's best start to a season for many years, and also ended the Surrey side's two-year long barren spell in Kent.

Ashford were generally solid and organised, but slipped up once in each half to gift Kingstonian goals. In the sixteenth minute, the defence all left a James Rose flick-on for each other to deal with and Bobby Traynor picked up where he left off last season, rounding the goalkeeper and tapping into the empty net.

The advantage was doubled on 74 minutes. Jake Winchup rushed out and failed to clear an overhit Gavin Cartwright long ball, and Saheed Sankoh could hardly believe his luck in finding the net unguarded to make it 2-0. K's have three-highly rated strikers and only two slots for them to fit into, but all three staked a claim with valuable contributions in this game.

Kingstonian rarely looked too troubled, with Charlie Glyde twice coming close, Luke Garrard turning a whipped free kick over the bar and substitute Walid Matata firing over. At the other end Jon Coke and Wes Goggin also failed to hit the target with chances but it was a game where clear-cut opportunities were at a premium.

Cartwright was especially effective, including one spectacular last-ditch tackle near the end, but the whole K's back four did well and ultimately Garrard had an easy day. What K's did seem to lack was creativity going forward to make themselves chances. Whether they could have fashioned more opportunities had they needed to is a moot point, but mistakes apart, Ashford seemed little more troubled by K's than K's were by Ashford.

Nonetheless, Dowson can not have asked for more from K's, who worked hard, proved their fitness and vitally cut out the mistakes that plagued last season. Whether they can maintain that style of play over a whole season is another matter, but Dowson's men certainly have the makings of a side that will be hard to beat.

Saturday 18th August 2007
(Ashford Town A)
Alan Dowson interview
[WMA file - 3:52 - 934Kb]

Sat 18th Aug 2007
The Homelands
Isthmian League Division One South
Ashford Town0
Traynor, Sankoh
1Luke Garrard
2Jason Turley
3Simon Sobihy
4Tommy MoorhouseCautioned
5Gavin Cartwright
6Jon CokeCautioned16
7Neil Lampton
8Wes Goggin
9Bobby Traynor15
10James Rose12
11Liam Cockerill
12Saheed SankohCautioned10
14Danny Summers
15Scott Corbett9
16Gareth Graham6
17Adrian Blake
Match Report By
Simon Grier