WITHAM Town striker Scott Kemp felt two stunning saves by Ashford United keeper Sam Mott proved decisive in the Kent side eventually edging their FA Trophy preliminary round tie.

Following an initial meeting between the two on Saturday and then 90 minutes of their midweek replay at the Simarco Stadium, there was nothing to separate them, with Ashford finally pulling away in extra-time for a 2-0 win on Tuesday.

However, it took two superb saves from Mott – from a close-range header by Pat Ahern and then a drilled effort that was heading into the bottom corner by Kemp – to send the tie into the extra period.

And Kemp said they were definitive moments.

He said: “We had a game plan to stick in the game and get to about 60 minutes and then go after them.

“On Saturday, we did that and nicked the goal in the last minute to get a 2-2 draw so we were confident for the replay but we just tired up at the end.

“They had a bit more quality at the end and took their chances.

“At the end, as we tired out, you could see the quality they have, but at 0-0, their keeper had to pull off a couple of amazing saves – one from Pat (Ahern) and then the effort by myself.

“Had they gone in, it would most likely have been a different story, but we have to now go again on Saturday in the league.”

Witham now head to Heybridge Swifts in BetVictor Isthmian League division north action on Saturday looking for a return to winning ways after taking just a point from their last three outings.

And Kemp believes they can take positives from how they performed over two games against an Ashford side riding high in Isthmian League south east division into that trip to Swifts.

He added: “We have to be proud of ourselves, though, because Ashford are a good side and we held our own for the majority of the game – both on Saturday and Tuesday.

“So we have to take the positives out of that and we’ll now look to go again in the league.

“We’ve dipped a bit in the league and haven’t been getting results in the last couple of games, so we now have to start getting points on the board and get more confidence in the squad.

“We need to push on now and get up the table.”

The Witham striker impressed over the two games against Ashford and is glad to be playing his part for Town after coming back this year from surgery to repair a cruciate ligament injury in his knee.

He said: “I had almost two years out – that’s a long time to be out and it’s just good to be back playing now.

“I’m enjoying getting minutes because I love playing.

“The knee is thankfully alright.

“When I first came back into it, it was swelling up and aching but it’s good now and back to normal.”