North Greenford United continued their fine recent run with a superb 5-2 win over Ash United at Berkeley Fields last week.
The win narrowed the gap at the top of the Combined Counties Premier League and only six points separate United from top team Epsom & Ewell.
United began the match confidently and opened the scoring on 15 minutes when tall central defender James Shipperley headed home a Michael Murray corner.
But as the half progressed, the visitors came more and more into the game, with United giving the ball away too
cheaply. Ash's forward line, in particular the wide players, Jack Dillon on the left and James Blason on the right, began to cause problems for United's defence.
It needed several last ditch tackles, good covering play and steady goalkeeping by James Hannigan - in for the injured Gary Jallow - to enable United to hold on to their slim advantage.
The game came to life in dramatic style at the beginning of the second half. Within two minutes of the resumption, Ash had levelled the scores. United again lost the ball cheaply in midfield and on this occasion the Ash front line made the most of it. Dillon was again involved, helping to work the ball to Blason, who made no mistake, beating Hannigan with a fine strike.
The goal was a wake-up call for United, and in less than a minute they had restored their lead. Driving in from the right, Andre DeLisser struck a shot home via the underside of the crossbar, the ball just crossing the line for his ninth goal of the season.
From this point on, United played a more controlled passing game, something manager Steve Ringrose had been asking them to do from the kick off and they eventually extended their lead to finally kill off the game.
With less than 20 minutes remaining, one of United's more flowing moves ended with Gary Senior releasing strike partner Ricky Pither lurking at the left edge of the Ash box. Keeping his head, Pither took a touch and steadied himself before producing a textbook finish, stroking the ball across keeper Chris Baker into the far corner.
Ten minutes later, on the end of another fine Greenford move, it was Senior's turn to add his name to the score sheet. Receiving the ball on the edge of the Ash box, and noticing that Baker was off his line, Senior hit the ball early to find the net with the outside of his boot.
Sloppy play allowed Ash to come back at Greenford for a second time when Blason converted a fine free-kick to make the score 4-2 with five minutes to go, but United frustrated any hopes their visitors might have had of making a dramatic comeback and Chris Hibbs rounded the victory off nicely when, making one of his typical runs into the box from midfield, fired a fierce low drive into the bottom corner that gave Baker no chance. ..