Ashmoor went into their final National League of the season with the pressure of knowing that it was a must-win game, and even then they would need to better Cheltenham’s result, who were at home to Exeter University.

The whole squad was up for the match, and the players thrived off the need for a positive result and put some good early pressure on the Chichester back line, not allowing them to settle.

A welcome goal came early for Ashmoor to the delight of the large home crowd. Player-coach Jack Dinnie won the ball from the Ashmoor press, and fed Charlie Brownlow on the edge of the shooting circle. His clever through ball found Richie Fisher on the penalty spot and he wasted no time in rifling his shot past Chris Bristow in the Chichester goal.

Ashmoor defended well as a team unit, and the back four dealt with anything that threatened the defending circle. They were solid and assertive, and only gave Aaron Martin in goal a right foot save to deal with in the first quarter. Ashmoor’s patience was excellent, spending time on the ball and passing well to keep them in control. After 10 minutes a Rich Ashworth aerial somehow found it’s way to Joe Forey in the last quarter of the pitch, but he was stopped by Bristow in a one-on-one with the keeper.

Ashmoor temporarily went down to 10-men when Ben Tancock was adjudged to have knocked the ball away. However, Ashmoor coped superbly with this, maintaining good possession, and changing the tempo when needed. From a good team move up the right-hand side Dinnie won a penalty corner, the first of the game. The injection was stopped by Brownlow, and from a planned move Lewis Hammett dragged low and Rich Ashworth deflected the ball high into the Chichester net to make it 2-0 at quarter time. The great escape was looking promising!

At the start of the second quarter the Ashmoor team were boosted by the arrival of many of their Junior supporters. Once again Ashmoor’s retention of the ball was very good, and when Chichester did have possession Ashmoor’s press was very good.

Aaron Martin cheers from one of the few attacks Chichester had in the first half
Aaron Martin cheers from one of the few attacks Chichester had in the first half (Mark Lockett Photography)