Late drama sees Boars drop points
Eversley and California suffered defeat on Saturday afternoon, losing 2-1 to Ash United who managed to bag a winning goal in the closing minutes.
Match Report by Ben Thomas
The game began with some early drama as Ash United gained a penalty just five minutes in, after their number nine was clattered in the box by Boars Goalkeeper, Charlie Lusty. Neil Hardy, the away number seven stepped up but fired the penalty high over the bar, squandering the chance for an early lead.
Thirty minutes in and it was clear both teams were keen to go forward with the ball and were not concerned about maintaining possession, causing a high tempo in the game. Despite this, neither side really created any clear goal-scoring opportunities, but Ash looked dangerous on their right side, with the right back and right winger targeting isolated Boars left back, Ali Dickie.
In the remaining minutes of the half, Eversley emphasised their focus on ball retention and playing out from the back, and consequently were able to slow the tempo of the game and regain some form of control, ensuring the score line remained level at the break.
Over the half time break, the weather worsened dramatically and when the teams reemerged the conditions remained extremely wet and windy, which proved to have a big effect on the running of the game. The opening ten minutes saw evenly shared possession between the sides, mainly being due to wind holding up the ball massively but still no real chances were created.
This all changed in the 59th minute when Ash winger Neil Hardy picked up the ball around thirty yards out and attempted an audacious outside of the foot shot. The heavy wind propelled the ball goal-ward and over the Boars keeper who was caught off his line, to give Ash the away advantage.
In the following ten minutes, the home side pushed hard for an equaliser and were able to bag a goal in the 64th minute, coming in the form of a left sided free-kick, around 25 yards out. Boars striker, Bradley Brown, stepped up and dipped the ball over the four-man wall and into the bottom corner – leaving the Ash goalkeeper rooted to the spot and making it 1-1. This injected a new energy into the match, and the tempo was upped once again. Ash United were on top for a majority of the second half, despite the Eversley equaliser but couldn’t create much on the attacking front.
In the final ten minutes, it was end to end play with both sides clearly not content with just a point. Both sides had chances to steal a last gasp winner - in the 87th minute, Boars substitute Scott Ransom powered down the right flank, getting the better of three defenders and squaring it to goal scorer Bradley Brown, who couldn’t find his composure and fired over the bar from close range. It was the 89th minute that saw the deciding goal of the game, a shot was deflected (with a possible handball) but saved by Charlie Lusty. However, he could not hold the shot and Ash attacker, Ethan Dixon was first to react and bundle the ball over the line from a matter of yards. This summed up the second half, Ash were dominant; first to most loose balls, 50/50s and challenges so this goal was on the cards. This late strike was one of the last events of the game, the final score 2-1 to Ash United – a very narrow, but tough defeat for the Boars.