Ashford United 3-1 Hythe Town
Ashford United 3-1 Hythe Town

The season started poorly for Cannons with as they were deservedly beaten 3-1 at Ashford United on Saturday afternoon.

Ashford were first to create an opportunity on three minutes as the busy Ambrose Gnahore had an early shot from the left that sailed over the top. However it was the Cannons that settled the quicker and were ahead on six minutes as a long ball from Mitchell Chapman found Zak Ansah in the penalty area. Ansah and Kieron Campbell had a couple of attempts before the ball came out to Charlie Webster who slotted home.

However it was the “Nuts and Bolts” who began to take control of the game as Gnahore crossed to Lanre Azeez but he couldn’t get an effort in from a dangerous position. The hosts drew level on 32 minutes when Harry Ottaway pounced on confusion in the Hythe defence. The ball was played in to Azeez who tapped the ball home from close range. The pressure on the Cannons continued as Gnahore sent a shot again over the bar and then former Hythe midfielder Jordan Johnson-Palmer played the ball into Ollie Rowe who pulled his attempt wide.

Two efforts followed involving Azez who twice fed the ball into Ottaway who firstly pushed the ball the wrong side of the upright and then looped his effort into the arms of Hythe keeper, George Kamurasi. The Cannons did have one effort on the stroke of half-time as a Salvyn Kisitu corner nearly found Webster who was dispossessed in a dangerous position.

The second half began with Ashford continuing to look the more likely with Johnson-Palmer having a free-kick from the edge of the area cleared away for a corner. Ashford took the lead on 53 minutes as a mistake by Chapman saw Gnahore steal the ball and fire home. Hythe did then create some opportunities to get the equaliser with a Campbell free kick from 25 yards being deflected for a corner and then on the hour Jack Sammoutis had another free-kick from roughly the same place and this one sailed just over the cross bar.

Hythe were unlucky with a quarter of an hour to go when Campbell pushed a free kick into the path of Ansah whose shot ricocheted off the outside of the upright. However, Ashford’s Gnahore forced Kamurasi to push a rasping shot up into the air and then collected the ball at the second attempt. The hosts took the game out of the Cannons reach on 83 minutes as Sam Corne picked up the ball in the penalty area and fired home to make it 3-1.  Ansah was denied as he had a shot blocked in the last minute but the game was already gone.

The Cannons will need now to re-group before next Saturday’s home game against East Grinstead Town.

Team: George Kamurasi, Salvyn Kisitu, Aziz Lyoubi, Chris Kinnear, Nathan Daly, Mitchell Dickenson, Charlie Webster (Josh Stirman 81 mins), Mitchell Chapman (Nigel Nieta 59 mins), Zak Ansah, Jack Sammoutis, Kieron Campbell.

Scorers: Ashford United – Lanre Azeez 32 mins, Ambrose Gnahore 56 mins, Sam Corne 83 mins). Hythe Town – Charlie Webster 6 mins.

Attendance 429.