Hill heaps praise on Fleet custodian Ashmore after Orient win
PUBLISHED: 13:00 22 January 2019
Leyton Orient v Ebbsfleet United(a)
The former Dagenham & Redbridge manager was delighted with Ebbsfleet's number one
Ebbsfleet United boss Garry Hill praised home goalkeeper Nathan Ashmore after their 2-0 win over National League leaders Leyton Orient last weekend.
Jack King put Fleet ahead in the 23rd minute with a fierce effort and the hosts doubled their advantage with 63 on the clock when Chris Bush sumptuously curled home a free kick from 25-yards.
The Kent club didn’t have it all their own way, though, and Orient created a number of chances, but a combination of Ashmore and Ebbsfleet’s back four thwarted the visitors.
Hill, who took over on November 8 and made ex-O’s captain and boss Ian Hendon his assistant, told BBC Radio Kent: “The goalkeeper’s gone through a fair bit.
“We all know about certain things one way or another, but I thought his performance was the best I’ve seen of him since I’ve been at the club.
“And I mean all round – his handling, kicking, reflexes and also the way he conducted himself out there. I thought he looked a real quality goalkeeper, which we know he is.”
Ebbsfleet enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges in Kent and should have taken the lead in the 11th minute.
Ex-Orient loan star Ebou Adams sent Michael Cheek through on goal and he went around Dean Brill, but fired wide while off balance.
The hosts soon made up for it when O’s failed to clear a free kick and Bush poked into the path of King, and he powerfully rifled in after escaping George Elokobi’s attention.
Orient responded, however, and Jordan Maguire-Drew should have equalised in the 32nd minute, but slotted wide from eight-yards.
Three minutes later and Macauley Bonne’s close-range volley looked destined to find the net, and yet Ashmore saved.
Justin Edinburgh’s team went even closer with 58 gone, as Dan Happe’s effort, following Joe Widdowson’s header, from four-yards hit Fleet’s goalkeeper and somehow failed to go in.
Minutes later and Bush hit Ebbsfleet’s second with a fine curling free kick to compound the earlier squandered opportunity.
Orient’s onslaught continued, though, and debutant Jamie Turley had one header go close and then hit the post with another in the 77th minute before Josh Koroma saw a shot cleared off the line by Lawrie Wilson in stoppage time as the O’s were sunk by Fleet.
It was just not the leaders day, despite their best efforts, but they can ill-afford to start any more games as slowly as this.