FDFC finish league season on a high
Fulham DFC 2-1 Ashtead FC (on 18/04/2015 – Report by Jason Mycroft)
Ross Ward scored a phenomenal free kick in the closing stages of the game to complete a comeback in Fulham DFC final game of the season.
With the score at 1-1 and a free kick on the edge of the area, Ward whipped in a vicious free kick which left the opposition keeper rooted to the spot as the ball curled into the left side of the goal.
The road to victory was a somewhat bumpy one not unlike the pitch which was in a dry bumpy state under the blazing afternoon sun. Despite the pitch conditions Fulham handled the first half with growing confidence as the defensive line handled all attacking threats from Ashtead with ease.
While there was display of a commanding performance from Fulham, the lack of first touch and control meant they could not find the goal that would settle their nerves and break the deadlock. Fulham were very lucky to not be a goal down due to the heroics of Sam Kemp who pulled off a fantastic save to deny a half volley from an Ashtead midfielder (See the video above!). Kemp looked assured even afterwards when he parried a header from the resulting corner.
Daniel Waller and Ben Lampert made a formidable partnership in the centre of the pitch with Waller breaking up countless opposition attacks and Lampert providing a creative outlet for the team including a through ball to Philip Swift who rounded the keeper but stumbled and was unfortunate to only hit the side netting.
Lampert would show up later with a free kick that rattled the woodwork and the resulting bounce meant Tom Collard could not steer the ball in the net when it came his way.
As with previous matches there was an air of inevitability that Fulham would score at some point but little did they expect that the first goal in the match would be taken by Ashtead when their striker positioned on the edge of the penalty area with plenty of space took a shot and found it squirm under the body of Kemp.
This prompted the double substitution to introduce Jason Mycroft and Jacob Willis into the game. To say that Mycroft and Willis changed the game would be overstating it. What they did do however was make sure that Fulham were not reflecting on the goal they had conceded as Mycroft pounced on a loose ball in the centre of the pitch and played a lofting through ball to Willis who controlled it with his chest and scored with only his second touch of the game.
While tempers flared as Ashtead sought to score a winning goal in their battle against relegation, they were unable to break down a solid defensive performance from Fulham and the killing blow was struck when Mycroft won a crucial 50/50 ball in the middle of the pitch fed it to Willis who with only two touches won a free kick right on the edge of the area.
Despite suspicions and protests for a penalty including a pitch length sprint from Arnold to appeal for a penalty, it didn’t matter in the end as Ward stepped up to the free kick with confidence and scored the goal that would confirm Fulham finishing in a respectable league position for this season.
More videos can be seen below!
a) Another save from Kemp
b) Lampert free kick
c) Swift’s opportunity