Sheppey United were defeated on their last pre-season game, but took the opportunity to field most of their large squad.
The Ites started with what may be close to the starting eleven for the league opener this coming Saturday. Back in goal was Adam Molloy, whilst Junior Aikhionbare started having committed to the Ites for the coming season just a few days ago. U18s players Kieron Agbebi and Ralfi Hand were also named as substitutes – The Ites squad being 24 strong!
The opening 20 minutes was a tight affair with little opportunities for either side.
Sheppey opened the deadlock on 22 minutes through Billy Bennett. A clever flick by Jack Midson by the touchline allowed Taurean Roberts to find Bennett – who hit his shot into the top corner by the near post for 1-0.
On the half hour mark Jack Midson headed over the bar when put underpressure as he met Dan Birch’s cross. The home side forced a few corners but at the break it was Sheppey who led.
Half-time: Ashford United 0 Sheppey United 1
The Ites made several changes at half-time with only Adam Molloy, Ashley Sains and Junior Aikhionbare staying on.
Ashford equalised within the first few minutes of the restart for 1-1 via Tommie Fagg from distance. Then on 53 minutes a free kick conceded by Sheppey just outside the area allowed John Richardson (Ex-Sheppey) to fire past Molloy for 2-1.
On 64 minutes Sheppey made more changes, with all of the starting 11 now having been replaced. Ashford scored again on 78 minutes through Luke Leppard to finish the scoring for the night.
Although the Ites were defeated they came away having given most of their large squad essential match minutes ready for the season opener versus Tunbridge Wells this coming Saturday,
Full-time: Ashford United 3 Sheppey United 1
Sheppey starting 11: 1. Molloy; 2. Birch, 3. Smith, 5. Sains, 6. Howlett-Mundle; 4. Freeman, 9. Bennett, 7. Phillip, 11. Roberts; 15. Aikhionbare; 10. Midson
Sheppey subs: 8. Hamill, 10. Trialist, 12. Wilson, 14. Hagan, 15. Jeffrey, 17. Tenyue, 18. Carey, 19. Meziane, 20. Allan, 21. Northwood, 22. Lewin, Agbebi (not used), Hand (not used)
Soundcloud audio interviews before the game were taken with: