Late Baxter Strike Denies Ash

by Andrew Finch

Molesey 1-1 Ash Utd   

Scored : Baxter 86'

Matt Baxter opened both his and Molesey’s account for the season as an 86th minute equaliser rescued a point against Ash United.

The Moles league form is gradually improving after heavy defeats against Sandhurst Town and Camberley, although it was another disjointed display that saw them somewhat fortunate to escape with a point.

The visitors opened the scoring after an hour after a long-busting run from deep by Aneel Azeem saw him upended in the box by a combination of Micky Hughes and Rob Lewis.  James Blason sent Sheik Ceesay the wrong way from the spot.

Good work from Owen Bent drew the Moles level as he took advantage of some casual defending in the Ash box to dispossess Lee O’Donnell and square for Baxter to smash home from close range.

It was Ash who started stronger, and after half chances for Blason and former Mole Paul Weatherall had been squandered, Azeem tested Ceesay with a low drive after combining well with Weatherall.

Owen Bent had the Moles best chance as he saw a fierce drive kept out by Arjuna Adlam after good work by James McShane.

The visitors Rob Parrott was somewhat fortunate to escape with just a ticking off after a two footed lunge at Micky Hughes, who to his credit got straight up and was able to fire a 30 yard shot at Adlam’s goal that just cleared the bar, before the best chance of the half fell the way of Molesey’s Joe Yeates after the ball fell kindly to him at a corner 8 yards from goal, but his effort was well kept out by Adlam.

Ash caught the Moles defence sleeping twice within the space of a minute towards the end of the half, as firstly a quickly taken free kick saw Blason loop a header straight at Ceesay when perhaps he should have done better, before Liam Parrington planted a header straight at Ceesay when left completely unmarked at a corner.

The second half saw Ash hit Molesey on the counter attack on a number of occasions, which should have brought them more than the one goal they scored.  On one such occasion Blason saw a strike well saved by Ceesay before Yeates blocked Parrington’s follow up.

Just a minute later again they broke with men to spare, and again Ceesay denied Blason, although the Ashman wasn’t to be denied from the spot shortly afterwards.

A bold triple substitution by Steve Webb midway through the second half benefited the Moles, as Ross Defoe and debutant Peter Adewumi-Martin added some much needed energy and drive, and the Moles eventually begun creating chances in the final ten minutes.

Bent saw another shot from outside the box well kept out by Adlam, before centre half Rob Lewis drove inside an saw a left footed strike superbly tipped over the bar by the impressive keeper, however he could do nothing about Molesey’s equaliser as he was  left exposed by his defence.

Parrington had the chance to win it at the death but his header cleared the bar, and the visitors and their fan were clearly disappointed at the final whistle, as they will see this as two points dropped.

Molesey have the distraction of an FA cup tie at Zamaretto Division One South & West side Andover next Saturday, before returning to action against fellow strugglers Banstead on Bank Holiday Monday.


Line up:  Sheik Ceesay, Dan Lucas (Peter Adewumi-Martin 66), Ollie Dicks, Rob Lewis, Joe Yeates, Steve Brown [C], Jamie Findlay, Micky Hughes (Phil Dexter 66), Matt Baxter, Owen Bent, James McShane (Ross Defoe 66)  Subs (not used) Lewis Ackerman, Sam Lampard