NEWCOMER Tom Bates did not get the credit he deserved for inspiring Daventry Town to a clear-cut win over Ashford Town within sight and sound of Heathrow Airport at the weekend.
The former Barwell attacking midfield player scored twice himself after setting up a first-half equalising goal for Tom Fountain as the Town extended their winning sequence to four matches, scoring no less than 18 times in the process!
A bout of flu prevented me from watching the game so I will take Ady Fuller’s word for it rather than the comments of Ashford’s Non-League football newspaper correspondent Terry Ryan.
Ryan rated the game as worthy of only two stars out of five, gave the man-of-the-match award to Ashford player Alain Behi and reckoned Bates’ second goal was “a speculative wind-assisted shot from 25 yards.”
By contrast, Daventry manager Fuller revelled in his team’s three-goal second-half spectacular, felt that Bates was the most influential player on the park and described the final goal as “a superb free-kick from 25 yards.”
The length of the midfield man’s shot was about all the two eye witnesses could agree upon but the Town will rest their case on an eye-catching run of three away wins which have netted 15 goals against Northwood, Beaconsfield and now Ashford.
The chance to complete a quick double over Ashford will come as soon as next Tuesday when the return fixture takes place at Communications Park only three days after the visit of Burnham.
Isaiah Rankin opened the scoring for Ashford just before half-time but the home side went on to lose for the seventh time in succession after Daventry went straight up the field to equalise from the restart.
Bates forced a corner from which Tom Fountain headed home for his first league goal in Daventry colours. It was then one-way traffic in the second-half as the visitors added another three goals without reply.
In the 53rd minute, Bates struck for the first time when Ashford’s attempt to shepherd the ball out for a goal kick was thwarted by Howard Forinton who expertly laid the ball in the newcomer’s path.
The final two goals came in the space of three minutes in the closing stages when Josh O’Grady scored with a powerful near-post shot before Bates rounded off the scoring with that spectacular strike from 25 yards range.
Victory took Daventry into seventh place, ahead of rivals Woodford United for the first time this season and within a point of the play-off places whatever the results from Tuesday night’s midweek matches.