It was great to be back at Regatta Way after the Christmas break. It was also nice to see our Russian Alexander Kusmin return to the fold after his long term injury – albeit he only took part in the pre-match warm up.
John Burns writes;
We welcomed in form Ashby Ivanhoe who were in the middle of a nine game unbeaten run. Captain Jonathan Ventrella had a late fitness on a knee injury but was deemed fit to start the game.
In the 3rd minute a long ball over the top of a static Bridgford backline was well controlled by Luke Thorogood who slotted past a despairing dive from keeper Martin Kearney giving the visitors an early lead. 0-1 (Ashby)
Shortly after, Martin Kearney complained he was suffering from double vision but must have been having triple vision as he pulled off a quite brilliant save to deny the visitors leading scorer Daniel Quinn.
West Bridgford were now starting to wake up. On the 13th minute a vicious Aaron Large free kick was spilled by Luke Hemingway only for full back Dave Erentz to tap home the rebound from 6 yards. 1-1 (Bridgford)
It was now like watching ‘Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson in Fast and Furious 27’ as the home side’s fast pace took control – the midfield combination of Large, Spiers and Coole were moving the ball around superbly with French winger and ‘Linsco Player Of The Month’ for December Abou Sylla causing havoc down the left.
Jurgen Charlesworth, who was outstanding down the right for the reds, set up the second when from another marauding run he rattled the Ashby post only for Abou Sylla to side foot home the rebound giving the hosts the lead. 2-1 (Bridgford)
Some of West Bridgford’s passing and movement at times was too good for the away side although leading scorer Carl Westcarr looked as though he was auditioning for Channel Four’s ‘the jump’ as he slipped and slid with nobody around him when through on goal – a very funny moment.
After more Bridgford pressure it was no surprise that the home side extended their lead when a superb passing move involving Charlesworth and Erentz saw the latter cross for Aaron Large to half volley in from the edge of the box. 3-1 (Bridgford)
Half Time 3-1
Ashby Ivanhoe came out fighting second half and showed why they have been on such a good run – for the home team Tom Coole had a goal bound shot scrambled away by keeper Hemingway at the third attempt. It was now end to end with the visitors desperately searching a way to get back in the game.
On the 56th minute their lifeline came when Daniel Quinn, who was unmarked, rose perfectly to head home from a corner 3-2. (Bridgford)
Both teams made substitutions with the home side introducing Akintoide Jayeiola, Tim Hopkinson and Kevin Spriggs.
On the 83rd minute the game was sealed by a quite sensational goal assisted and scored by two of those substitutions – Akintomide Jayieola nodded the ball down to Tim Hopkinson who from absolutely nowhere bullet-ted the ball into the top corner from 35 yards, a contender for goal of the season which had both sets of supporter applauding.
Full Time 4-2
The result gives the league leaders a great platform for Wednesday night Notts Senior Cup Quarter Final against Teversall.
Man Of The Match: Dave Erentz
Joint Manager Stuart Robinson was pleased at the final whistle ‘Since their management change Ashby have been on a excellent run and caused us problems all game with their clever movement. After going a goal behind I thought we re-grouped, reacted well and played some excellent stuff in patches – the fourth goal from Tim Hopkinson was one of the best we’ve seen at Regatta Way for some time.’