This was certainly a good cup game and one for the neautral.
It was hard and both sides put in a great deal of effort but it is always tough for any team to lose on penalties.
United started the first half the better side and were unlucky to not go ahead when Jordan Price squared the ball to Craig Hagley in the box who slotted home, until a very late flag for offside stopped the celebrations.
Halfway through the second half we were 2 up, with goals from Craig Hagley & Alessandro Divitti, which should have been 3 but the referee disallowed a goal due to the linesman flagging for offside.
Smeeth never gave up hope and brought the game level with 4 minutes to go. The 3rds then took the lead again putting us 3-2 up with Craig Hagley running onto a Derry-Jay Smith headed flick on and the tie looked to be sealed.
However, with a minute to go Smeeth once again pulled level to take the match into extra time.
Both teams had plenty of chances to win in extra time but again the referee disallowed another of our goals when second half substitute Benn Phillips was offside as he stabbed home from a Liam Overy throw in that came off the head of a Smeeth head.
So we went into penalties and found ourselves losing 5-4.
The 3rds man of the match went to Craig Hagley who scored two great goals to top of his good display of football and adding to his previous goals already scored this season.
Smeeth played well and I wish them luck in the next round but for the 3rds it’s back to the drawing board and a lot of hard work and thinking by me.
Manager of Ashford United 3rds
Squad all players were used. Jon Philo, Matt Williamson. Rhys Hodges. Sam Wood. Joseph Heathcote. Tom McDonald. Liam Overy. Lloyd Fuller. Jordan Price. Craig Hagley. Nathan McClean. Benn Phillips. Jordan Joly. Alessandro Davitti. Daniel Davies. Derry-Jay Smith.