Storming fight back wins the day
Cold winds battering Grand Drive couldn't put a damper on upbeat performance
With a cold wind battering the Grand Drive home of Raynes Park Vale in South London, where opponents, Tooting Bec, ground share, the first part of the first half started in almost traditional fashion, with Ash United going a goal down on 13 minutes.
However, the return of striker Jake Wilson to the Ash United line up provided the spark that was needed, when he carved a goal out of nothing to level the score on 37 minutes which had the effect of stunning the home side. The few minutes remaining of the half were played out and the score remained 1-1 at half time.
With the second half 6 minutes old, Tooting Bec hit a sucker punch on 51 minutes to go 2-1 in the lead. But it didn't last that long when, on 62 minutes, Jack Fitzgerald had the ball in the net to level the score, 2-2. It led to a fast-paced end-to-end affair which, whilst it may not have been quite what the away team bench had sought, nevertheless enthralled the spectators judging by the after-match comments from a number of fans in the stand.
Two Ash substitutions in the 63rd and 66th minute inspired the team and they upped a gear, because on 67 minutes, having only been on the pitch for 1 minute, with almost his first touch of the ball, Luke Cairns scored what would be the winning goal for Ash United.
There was a fair amount of time allowed and it would be fair to say that the final minutes of the game were pretty tense, as Ash United sought to gain their first win in 3 games, having lost in the league to AC London the previous weekend, and prior to that by a 4-1 loss in the league cup to Tooting Bec, which had been played at Grand Drive only 11 days earlier.
Team: Cunningham; Kipping, Bale, Staines, Devanney, Chilton, Nwaubani, Hardy, Wilson, Fitzgerald, Williams. Subs: Cracknell, Holmes, Whitehouse, Edwards, Cairns.