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Ashford United manager Paul Chambers believes the visit of Southern Counties East League title favourites Greenwich Borough will be a proper test

By Andrew Gidley

Paul Chambers believes the visit of Greenwich Borough on Saturday will provide Ashford United with a good idea about their own progress following a four-game winning start.

Borough’s existence was in doubt a few years ago after falling on hard times but new owners, a ground-share deal with Vanarama Conference Premier club Dartford, the arrival of new boss Ian Jenkins and a reportedly big budget – attracting ex-Football League players Gary Alexander and Gary Borrowdale – has helped make them one of the
pre-season title favorites.

The Ashford United boss said: “I think they will be up there along with Tunbridge Wells. It should be a good test.”

Ashford United manager Paul Chambers
Ashford United manager Paul Chambers

Chambers admitted United were not at their most fluent in the 2-1 win at Rochester United on Tuesday night, benefiting from home keeper Joe Hagan’s 89th-minute blunder, allowing Lee Winfield’s cross to slip under his body.

He said: “We were fortunate to win it and got out of jail at the end. We should have buried the game by then and had some great chances. Their keeper did well and I felt a bit sorry for him but football can be a cruel game.

“Lee was just trying to get the ball in the box, we got away with one there but the luck will even itself out over the course of the season.

Chambers added: “We were far from fluent, we played well against Fisher first game of the season and second half at Lordswood last week.

“We didn’t play particularly well at Guildford on Saturday and played in fits and starts at Rochester, so there is still a lot for us to work on.”

Chambers sent on substitute Tom Scorer for Gary Mickelborough in a tactical switch at half-time. He said: “We thought Tom would give us more in the centre of the park and his goal was top drawer, so the change worked.

“He has got a slight hamstring niggle and it was a bit tight at the end, so the physios worked on him after the game.

“Andy Irvine’s hamstring injury is a worry. We gave him the day off Saturday, named him sub on Tuesday but he came off again and it looks like we will lose him for a few weeks now.”

The Supporters Club hold their annual meeting after Saturday’s game.
United are at home to tenants Canterbury City on Monday (3pm).

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