Ashford 2-1 Burnt Ash
A minutes applause was observed before the start of the game in memory of the Ashford Antiques regular goalkeeper, Richard 'Dick' Austen, who sadly passed away on Wedneday.
The youthful 6s found themselves up against a well organised and experienced Ashford side, and aimed to use youthful pace up front. Phil vander Gucht and Barry Lapthorne were instrumental in playing balls upfield to the red guns up front, but didn't quite have the experience to deal with the Ashford defence. At the rear, Melvin Ellis made several fine saves, although the back line was letting fairly little through.
Patience was rewarded with just five minutes to go, as debutant Will Cole found himself with only the keeper to beat after a scrambled penalty corner.
Ashford were far dominant in the second half, with Ash struggling to clear the ball from their own 23. It was only a matter of time before the defences were broken, and with 12 minutes to go, scores were level. Graham Elliott suffered a nasty looking blow to the head with nine minutes go, losing vital experience up front.
Although on the balance of the 70 minutes the visitors deserved to hang on for the draw, their unability to clear from 16 yard hits proved costly as Ashford intercepted another mishit, and eventually scored a fine effort from the top of the D... with a mere 20 seconds left on the clock.
No doubt Ashford will be toasting to Dick for the late winner - a fitting way to end the match perhaps as a proud family watched on.