Hard-working Ashley FC reach final in pre-season tournament

2014-03-06 00:00

ASHLEY FC continued their solid preparation ahead of the season by reaching the final of the Misty Hills Tournament hosted by Forest Hills and Highway United football clubs.

Playing in the semi-final against Highway, Ashley persevered in a hard-fought 2-1 win, both goals coming in the second period after the side had taken a while to settle.

Good chances were created but the final touch went astray. Daniel di Mauro came close to breaking the deadlock, but his effort was well saved as the sides went into the break at 0-0.

Ten minutes into the second half, Ashley found themselves behind when Highway’s Andre Kerdachi weaved through two defenders to fire home.

This prompted Ashley manager Sebastian Olejniczak to send on fresh legs, including himself, which had an immediate impact as Ashley came back into the mix.

With time slipping by, Ashley clicked into overdrive in the final 20 minutes, their relentless attacking paying dividends.

A great run down the right saw Torsten Fehsenfeld slam home the equaliser and minutes later, Duane Smith’s through-ball set up Olejniczak for the winner, the shot deflecting off Richard Williams as it found the net.

Ashley’s stand-out players were George Campbell, who was unlucky not to score, and Joao Borges, who was a pillar of strength in defence.

Man of the match though was Ashley skipper Phil Skerritt who controlled the midfield and worked hard to break down many attacks and keep his side in the game.

In the other match, FC Burrough beat New Germany Old Boys 4-1, with goals coming from Peter van der Vlies, Shawn de Beer, Steven Burns and Lance Roux. Anton Potgieter scored for Old Boys.

Burrough manager Brett McIntyre was satisfied with his men, especially after their loss the previous week to Ashley, and now it is between his team and Highway to determine who meet Ashley in the final this week.

Ashley played a friendly last Thursday against Green Stoke in a match to remember.

Dominating in the first half, Green Stoke were unlucky to reach half time goalless, but credit to Ashley for keeping them at bay.

Skerritt’s half-time chat turned his team around and Ashley came out firing on all cyclinders in the second half.

Pushing forward, they created many chances as the midfielders took control. It was a matter of time before Ashley struck and the goal came from the Govender combination, Elvis setting up Cliffy for the strike.

A lapse in concentration from Ashley allowed Green Stoke to equalise as they counter-attacked minutes from full time. Ashley keeper Eric Dladla was phenomenal between the posts, while Elvis Govender worked tirelessly in midfield.

Man of the match was Gary Holland for his all-round form on the night.

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