Ashton & Backwell made to pay for missed opportunities

PUBLISHED: 17:58 21 August 2018 | UPDATED: 17:58 21 August 2018

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In their first home league match of the season, Ashton & Backwell United were defeated by Devizes Town.

Ashton & Backwell Utd 1

Devizes Town 3

Ashton & Backwell United’s first home league game of the season ended in defeat to a workmanlike Devizes team, well-marshalled by Josh Brigham.

The home side had the better of the possession and tried to play the better football. Defensively the back four were solid and the midfield were strong in defence and quick to move forward.

There was pace up front and in Dan Elson a solid centre forward. So why no three points?

The Stags had the better of an entertaining first half, Townsend, Read and Walker all having chances and when called upon the defence did their job, only Hopper and Bole having shots that needed a save from Coombes.

The underlying issue was one of movement, the Stags would take the ball forward, players would move into threatening positions, yet that through ball was too often delayed or taken inside when pace on the flanks would have been the better option.

Stags started the second period smartly, with Walker and Elso both bringing out saves from Adam Walters. And from then on the tempo of the game massively increased with end-to-end flowing football.

Slater, Elson, Hardidge, Hopper and Brigham all had opportunities in quick succession, before great home interpassing located Thomas in the box, his miscued shot fell kindly to Uppington who volleyed home.

But triumph turned to disaster, as Town strolled up field from the restart, substitute Slater walked through a static defence to pick his spot and equalise.1-1.

Ten minutes from time, Flower in an unaccustomed full-back role, made a clumsy challenge on Slater in the box. He got a yellow card for his trouble and from the resulting free-kick, Brigham scored directly with the dead ball.

In the first added minute after a Stags corner, Flower was left alone at the

back and his foul on Bole resulted in another yellow card and a sending off.

It got worse, in the 96th minute Coombes went up for a free kick in search of an equaliser. The ball ricocheted around and Swan was able to dribble forward and score Town’s third with Coombes and the Stags defence vainly sprinting back.

No game next week, league action recommences away at Sherborne Town on September 1.

Team: Coombes, Devoy (Thomas 4), Walker, Read (c), Bishop, Ellis (Uppington 73), Hardidge (Flower 73), Saunders, Elson, Townsend, Jarrett.

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