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The match at Marlow yesterday evening was eventually postponed following a late inspection by the match referee and there weren't too many objections with one area of the pitch, in front of Marlow's large stand, looking extremely frozen well over an hour before the match was due to commence.  A new date will be announced in due course.

With no Under-18 match this week, the next game is on Saturday at home to Beaconsfield SYCOB, more of which later in the week.

The club will be open as usual this evening though and the League Cup match between Manchester United and West Ham will be showing.

This evening’s match at Marlow is 50/50 at the moment with a pitch inspection due at around 6.15 pm, which is the earliest time that the match referee will arrive.

If you are travelling best phone Marlow on 01628 483970 as no further updates will be possible.

Ashford lost at home for the second time in a week on Saturday, as visitors Northwood took all three points in a 2-0 victory.

The Tangerines are going through one of those little periods when little is going right in front of goal, when a week or so back, whilst not exactly scoring goals for fun, they were notching regularly to the point where they had never failed to score in a league match, going way back to last season.

The situation was perfectly illustrated very early on in this match when referee Bandara awarded Ashford a rather soft penalty kick.  You can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times that Mark Bitmead misses from the spot but on this occasion, his effort hit the top of the bar and ballooned over.  It may well have been a very different match had that gone in but after dominating the early stages, Ashford  allowed Northwood back into the match and they took the lead soon afterwards from a free kick some fifteen yards outside the area.  The scorer was Louis Stead and he will never hit a better strike as the ball flew into the top corner, giving Kav Keadell little chance of stopping the effort.

After that the game became something of a stalemate.  There was nothing wrong with Ashford’s general play or effort but as the game wore on, the current struggle to score goals became more evident.  Northwood were having less of the play but doubled the lead six minutes after the break and it was a well-worked goal to be fair, finished off by Louis Bircham, following a breakaway from an Ashford corner.

There were some efforts that went close, not least Bitmead hitting the woodwork again and one or two others that went too high but it was looking a lost cause and so it turned out.

There is nothing too much to worry about:  we know this team can play great football at times and score goals.  We need though to get the confidence and belief back that generally hasn’t been missing this season and the first opportunity comes on Tuesday evening when we make the trip to Marlow.

Off the field it was a good weekend, with the Race Night on Friday going well plus an improved attendance on Saturday, and the clubhouse was rocking, partly due to the Chelsea/Spurs match being on.  Now that BT has made a more sensible offer, we are retaining BT Sport, so you can watch all the European games at the club so why not come down.  Some incredible generosity saw the HASAG Charity receiving a substantial boost to their funds and it was good to have DJ David “Diddy” Hamilton with us as a special guest, and enthralling us with stories about Fulham FC and some of the characters from the past.

On Tuesday the ground address is:  The Alfred Davis Ground, Oak Tree Road, Marlow, SL7 3ED.  It is a journey of around 25 miles via either the M4 or the M40 and kick-off is 7.45 p.m.

Like ourselves Marlow have been in mixed form recently, exemplified by their last two results, a 4-0 win at Arlesey on Saturday, being preceded by a 0-3 defeat at Kidlington.  Generally though, our opponents have been enjoying a good season, and currently sit ten points in front of us although we have a match in hand.

Many of us will pay their last respects today to Keith Balmer, long time supporter and our ex-General Secretary, who was a much loved Ashford man, with the cremation taking place today (Monday) at 1.40 p.m. at Hanworth Crematorium.  The club will be open afterwards for anyone who wishes to come back.

Ashford were defeated on Tuesday evening losing 1-3 at home to Hanwell Town.

The match started at a furious pace as they so often do and whilst it was end to end action, it was very difficult for either side to get the ball down and play.  There were opportunities at both ends but it was the visitors who eventually scored the opening goal on 27 minutes with a quality strike from Joe Chandiram, whose dad used to be very active at Ashford a few years ago and was instrumental in us achieving the FA Chartered Status distinction at the time.

Within moments though, Ashford struck back with the second quality goal of the evening.  Bailey Mummery started the move, which saw both Max Webb and Mark Bitmead involved, the latter evading all attempts to stop him as he crossed the ball for Dan Fleming to level the scores.

That was it for the first half in which both sides had been evenly matched.   Matters went wrong for the Tangerines within three minutes of the re-start though, when another effort, this time from Zac Joseph, whose strike took something of a deflection that left Kav Keadall with no chance of preventing the visitors from going ahead.

Ashford have often fought back in such circumstances, scoring any number of late goals this season to increase their points tally, as indeed they did at Hanwell at the start of the season but it was not to be this time round as Hanwell looked comfortable for the most time in protecting the lead whenever Ashford attacked.  Despite everyone’s best efforts, the intensity was just not there on this occasion and it was not a great surprise when the visitors extended their lead to seal the match with ten minutes left through Ricky Pither.  It came from what looked an error by skipper Russ Canderton, now just four matches short of his 600th 1st Team start for the Club, who seemed to head the ball past his own keeper giving Hanwell a fairly straightforward finish.  The writer may be doing him a disservice as it was difficult to see from the other end exactly what happened but there was no doubting after that, that the three points were on their way back to Hanwell.

Although it did not affect the result in any way, both sides were critical of the refereeing after the match, not so much due to his general performance but as a result of him finding it necessary to caution no less than nine players altogether.  There was no attempt at man-management in a match that had very few fouls.  Mr. Farrer is, of course, well known to us following the farce of a match at Spelthorne Sports two seasons ago in which he officiated.

The games are coming thick and fast at the moment and Ashford have an early opportunity to get back on the winning trail when they entertain Northwood on Saturday, at Short Lane, kick-off 3.00 p.m.  It will not be easy, as no matches ever are at this level, and one suspects that our opening day victory at Northwood was one where we caught our opponents off guard.  Our thanks go to Heathrow Personnel who are kindly sponsoring the match ball.

The match will see a visit from a special guest, DJ David “Diddy” Hamilton, who is an old friend of our Chairman.  Apparently they played football together so it must have been some years ago mind.  David now does the tannoy system for Fulham and is still very active in the music business and we look forward to his visit, which is also in conjunction with a charity appeal.  HASAG (I hope I’ve got that right) are a small charity who look after people who have been afflicted by exposure to asbestos and with the Chairman now battling so bravely against the resulting disease, it is highly relevant to us at the moment.  We will be taking a collection if anyone feels able to contribute and you can also do so through their website at www.hasag.co.uk/

In the meantime, the Under-18’s managed a point in a 1-1 draw with Bedfont Sports on Wednesday evening, whilst last week’s junior results and this Sunday’s fixtures are shown below.  The Ladies marched on in the Capital Women’s Cup, with a 10-0 victory away to Larkspur Rovers Ladies.  The win puts them into the Quarter Finals in which they will play away to AFC Phoenix Ladies Reserves but not until 19 February.  This coming Sunday they are away to Clapham Rovers Ladies in the League.

Don’t forget the Race Night on Friday evening which is sure to be a lot of fun and may well be a profitable night for some!

Here are this week’s Junior Fixtures for Sunday:

Ashford Sports Club - Club House 11-a-side Pitch

Conor U16s v South Park 12.30

Ashford Sports Club – Short Lane 11-a-side Pitch

John U13s v Mitcham Park 10am

Ben U16s v Royals Elite 11:30

Martin U15s v Mitcham Park 1pm

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch 1

Neil U8s v 4 team tournament 10am-12pm

Michael U7s v Walton Casuals 12pm

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch 2

Steve U8s v 4 team tournament 10am-12pm

Ashford Town 7 – 7 Pitch

Matt U9s v Sandgate 10am

Andy U9s v Whitton Wanderers 11am

Ryan U9s v Merton 12pm

Ashford Town 9 – 9 Pitch

Joe U12s v SCR Colts 10am

Nelson U11s v Rocks Lane 11am

Ashford Town – Outfield

Carl 10:30

Paul U13s v Woking Cougars 12:30

Simon U16s v Molesey 2pm

Away Games

Bill U7s v 4 team tournament at Met Police  

Chris U7s v 4 team tournament at Bedfont

Rhys U9s v Walton Casuals

Matt U10s v Kew Association

Graham U11s v Sheen Lions

Kirk U11s v Kew Park Rangers

Larry U13s v Esher Wizards

Craig U14s v Stoneleigh

Fin U14s v Esher Colts

 

Last Week’s Results

Michael U7s 11-4 Walton & Hersham

Andy U9s 7-4 Spelthorne

Matt U10s 5-3 Halliford Colts

Graham U11s 2-2 Raynes Park

Joe U12s 0-11 Motspur

Larry U13s 7-2 Hampton Youth

John U13s 1-2 Elm Grove

Paul U13s 1-1 Farnham Town

Craig U14s 7-0 Kew Park

Fin U14s 6-2 Chipstead

Martin U15s 2-3 Manorcroft

Ben U16s 3-2 Old Coulsdon

Conor U16s 2-3 Rushmoor 

 

The last time that Ashford were involved in a scoreless draw was over two years ago, on 8 November 2014 at Hartley Wintney, so possibly another one was on the cards and so it turned out at Chalfont St. Peter on Saturday, when neither side could break the deadlock.

It is fair to say that both keepers were largely responsible for that with Kav Keadell and Gary Malone for the home side not putting a foot (or hand) wrong.  Malone was the busier of the two overall and he should have conceded within the first minute of the match when a wicked cross from Kam English found Mark Bitmead but he just couldn’t get to the ball quickly enough to make meaningful contact and the chance was lost.  Sometime later Bitmead was thwarted again when Malone made the save of the match low at his far post.

It was not all one-way traffic though and Ben Murray was pleased overall with his side’s defending which was perhaps exemplified by the fact that the vote for the “Ashford man of the match” went to Will Boye who, along with his defensive colleagues,  gave a dominant performance at the back for Ashford.

The early part of the second half saw Chalfont enjoying their best period but they could not make it tell and Ashford rather regained the ascendancy by the end but a stalemate it was.  At the end of the day it was an away point, a clean sheet and a committed performance from the visitors, leaving the management reasonably pleased, despite not picking up all three points.

Ashford have some very tough looking matches coming up in the near future, starting on Tuesday evening when Hanwell Town are the visitors to Short Lane.  The two clubs fought out a 2-2 draw at Hanwell early in the season and there is every prospect  of another close match.  Kick-off is 7.45 p.m.

It’s back to the league on Saturday as Ashford make the comparatively short journey to play Chalfont St. Peter.  The address of the ground is:  Mill Meadow, Gravel Hill, Chalfont St. Peter, Bucks, SL9 9QX and there is a reasonably sized car-park.  It is a journey of just under 18 miles via the M25, the M40, A40 and finally the A413

This is the first return match of the season as we lost at home back in August by 3 goals to 2 against Chalfont, which was in fact our first defeat of the season after two winning matches, when we were possibly a little unlucky to lose on that occasion, our goals coming from Mark Bitmead and Kam English.

Chalfont enjoyed an invigorating start to the season but have slipped a little recently and currently find themselves in 12th position in the table although everyone is bunched up anyway so that doesn’t mean too much.  Chalfont are still involved in the FA Trophy and have a home replay on Tuesday evening against Burgess Hill Town, with whom they drew two apiece on Tuesday evening.  It is likely that we will renew acquaintance with both Jack Mullan and Kofi Lockhart-Adams on Saturday with both playing these days for Chalfont.

From an Ashford perspective, it is not encouraging to look back at previous results between our clubs as we have only managed to lose four and draw four of the last eight matches between us.  Indeed, it is necessary to go back to 3 March 2001 for our last win even though it was a handsome one 8-0, and was a Ryman League, Division 3 game.

Our junior sides are fully occupied on Sunday and here are their fixtures:

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch 1

Chris U8s v Whitton Wanderers 10am

Michael U7s v Walton & Hersham 11am

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch 2

Steve U8s v Spelthorne Sports 10am

Bill U8s v Old Isworthians 11am

Neil U8s v Twickenham Tigers 12pm

Ashford Town 7 – 7 Pitch

Matt U10s v Halliford Colts 11am

Ashford Town 9 – 9 Pitch

Nelson U11s v Spelthorne Sports 10am

Graham U11s v Raynes Park 11am

Ashford Town – Outfield

Gary Men v Staines 10:30am

Larry U13s v Hampton Youth 12:30 

Away Games

Andy U9s v Mayford

Matt U9s v Kew Association

Rhys U9s v Walton & Hersham

Ryan U9s v Kingston Town

Kirk U11s v Woking Town Raiders 

Joe U12s v Motspur Park

John U13s v Elm Grove Colts

Paul U12s v Farnham Town

Craig U14s v Kew Park Rangers

Fin U14s v Chipstead

Martin U15s v Manorcroft

Ben U16s v Old Coulsdon

Conor U16s v Rushmoor Saints

Simon U16s v Lyne

There’s no stopping the Ladies at the moment:  last Sunday they ran up a 14-1 win over Clapham United Reserves to maintain their position as top of Division 2 South of the Great London Women’s League.  On Sunday they are away to Larkspur Rovers in the 3rd Round of the Capital Women’s Junior Cup.

The 1st Team’s next match, after tomorrow, is at home to Hanwell Town on Tuesday evening.

 

A 56th minute strike from Knaphill’s Danny Taylor on Tuesday evening ensured that Ashford’s interest in this season’s Surrey Senior Cup would be brief.

Manager Ben Murray rotated his squad leaving a number of senior players on the bench, with leading scorer Mark Bitmead not involved at all, but nothing should be taken away from the visitors who, having snatched the lead early in the second half, in a generally even affair, defended extremely well as Ashford pressure finally took momentum as the match wore on.  We wish Knaphill good luck in the next round and also a speedy recovery to Romario Jonas who suffered a painful shoulder injury towards the end of the match.

It was a shame from Ashford’s point of view but Ben Murray’s eyes are firmly set upon Saturday’s difficult test away to Chalfont St. Peter, more of which to follow.

We now know that the funeral for Keith Balmer will take place at Hanworth Crematorium on Monday 28 November at 1.40 p.m.  There are no special instructions regarding flowers or dress.  Hopefully the club will be fully represented.

An absorbing contest on Saturday saw Ashford drawing one apiece with Aylesbury United, thanks to a penalty right at the death, scored by Mark Bitmead.

Over the 90 minutes this was probably the fairest result as the match had an end to end feel about it right from the start but prior to the game both sides and all spectators observed an immaculate minute’s silence in memory of Keith Balmer, previous General Secretary of the Club and long time supporter.  Our thanks go to Aylesbury in this respect.

Ashford made a fairly bright start and probably had their best chances early on with Mark Bitmead hitting the bar with a ferocious effort, followed soon afterwards by another rocket, this time from Dan Fleming, that went just over.  Aylesbury, no mugs, were also enjoying opportunities and Ashford needed a last gasp tackle from Scott Weight at one point to prevent the visitors from going ahead.

On around 25 minutes came both the shot and the save of the match.  Max Herbert, later voted by Ashford supporters as the “Ashford Man of the Match” and quite rightly so in the writer’s view, got through and put in a shot that had goal written all over it only for Zak Qualah in the Aylesbury goal to pull off a breathtaking save that rightly deserved the applause it received.  Kav Keadell in goal for the Tangeribes also had to be alert on more than one occasion but shortly before half-time it was the visitors who took the lead.

A shrewd pass inside Bailey Mummery let in Aylesbury’s Jake Bewley and his short cross allowed Bruno Brito to lob the ball over Keadell for the opening goal of the game.

In unusual conditions, both damp and gloomy, one wondered what the second half would bring.  It was hoped that Ashford would mount a full blooded effort to retrieve the situation and so they tried but Aylesbury were both professional and solid in defence and always looked dangerous themselves when they came forward. 

Some inviting corners from Bitmead were leading to chances but both Will Boye, otherwise excellent at the back, and Weight spurned opportunities and with time rolling on, it looked as if Aylesbury would take all three points.

Ashford have a never say die attitude about them though and this week it was their turn to score a very late goal and thus rescue a point.  In the third minute of stoppage time a move down the right saw a defender handle the ball for a penalty kick and Bitmead made no mistake.  Referee Desborough, all the way from Portsmouth (don’t worry FA – we’ve got plenty of money!) had a decent match and ended play very soon afterwards and that was that.  Overall not such a bad result against one of the best organised sides we have faced in the League this season and it was fitting that both sides were clapped off at the end after a pulsating encounter at times.

At half-time Football Secretary Geoff Knock was presented with a certificate and medal from the FA for 50 years service to football.  The presentation was done by John Taylor, Chairman of Middlesex County FA and it is a fitting tribute to Geoff’s long experience and dedication.  It was a nice touch when, after the match, there was a short speech from manager Ben Murray  whilst the players gave Geoff a special clap in a small ceremony in the club house.

It’s another home match next, on Tuesday evening, when we entertain Knaphill in the 2nd Round of the Surrey Senior Cup, kick-off 7.45 p.m.  After something of a shaky start in the CCL this season by their recent standards, they have found some form recently and we congratulate them upon an excellent victory yesterday in the FA Vase away at Hellenic League side Highworth Town, who reached the semi-finals a couple of seasons back. 

Knaphill removed us from the Surrey Senior Cup last season in something of a controversial game which saw Samad Kazi sent off near the end but over the three matches in which we played them, there was a total of 23 goals scored.  This season we are the second highest scorers in the Central Division, whilst Knaphill are the second highest scorers in the CCL, so surely goals are guaranteed on Tuesday!

Barring a monsoon of biblical proportions, Ashford's match at home to Aylesbury United is ON this afternoon.  There is no standing water on the pitch and all looks good

There will be a minute’s silence prior to this afternoon’s match at home to Aylesbury United, following the recent sad loss of ex-General Secretary, Keith Balmer.  We welcome any members of Keith’s family who are able to attend today.

On a happier note, Middlesex County FA President Jim Taylor will be on hand to present Geoff Knock with a hugely merited 50 year award from the FA for services to football.  It is fitting that Geoff’s long administrative career in football with both ourselves and Bedfont should be so recognised, as well as his refereeing career.

Our visitors are Aylesbury United to whom we offer a warm welcome.  They are three points behind us in the table and another close affair is on the cards.  Older supporters will remember when we went to Aylesbury back in 1994 when they were a very big club and pulled off a major surprise in winning 1-0 with a goal from Ryan Lake, which put us into the 4th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup.

Other than that we have only met them in two league matches in the 2013-2014 season when we were relegated and Aylesbury did the double, winning 2-1 here and 1-0 at home.

On Tuesday we are at home again, this time to Knaphill in the Surrey Senior Cup, unless Knaphill draw their FA Vase tie today, away to Highworth Town.  More on that one later

Ashford progressed to the Quarter-Final of the Middlesex Senior Cup on Tuesday evening, beating CB Hounslow United by 2 goals to 1.

The visitors who came into the match on the back of four successive league victories in the CCL, and fielding various ex-Ashford players, seemed willing, possibly too willing, to sit back and attempt to soak up the pressure in the first half, resulting in Ashford dominating much of the possession. 

When the first goal finally arrived though, in the 29th minute, after a number of opportunities had gone begging, it could be labelled as fortunate as Mark Bitmead, having picked up the ball up on the right flank, hit it in with some ferocity.  It was doubtless intended as a cross and may even have taken a slight deflection but it ended up flying into the back of the net.

Five minutes later, Ashford doubled the lead when the visiting keeper dawdled on the ball and was robbed by Tommy Brunton, leaving Dan Fleming to gently roll the ball into the empty net.

It looked game over at that point with CB offering little and maybe Ashford believed that as well but the visitors looked more determined in the second half and pulled one back on 54 minutes through Rachid Obaddy to give themselves hope, as Ashford suffered a dose of the jitters with too many passes going astray.  Manager Murray was quick to berate his troops though and the match rather fizzled out as a contest neither side able to achieve further penetration.

Ashford were disappointed with some of the refereeing again last night but it’s not worth dwelling upon, whilst the County failed to send a member-in-charge which certainly never used to happen in their flagship competition.  We now await the draw for the quarter-final.  We don’t know when that will be made or when the matches will take place as there is no clue on the County web site but presumably it will be after Christmas.

Next up is Aylesbury United, at home, on Saturday, in the League.

Here are all the junior results from yesterday's matches:

Results

Bill U8s 4-3 Rocks Lane
Neil U8s 5-4 Lyne
Andy U9s 5-3 AFC
Matt U9s 4-3 Hampton Youth
Rhys U9s 6-5 AFC
Matt U10s 4-1 Halliford
Graham U11s 5-2 Doverhouse
Kirk U11s 3-3 Kew Park
Joe U12s 1-9 Kew Park
Larry U13s 4-2 Halliford
John U13s 2-3 Claygate
Paul U13s 6-1 Old Isworthians
Craig U14s 2-1 Kew Park
Fin U14s 0-2 Wandgas
Martin U15s 7-2 Oxshott
Ben U16s 1-2 CB Hounslow
Conor U16s 0-0 Bedfont (L on Pens) 

The Ladies’ side clocked up another win in the Greater London Women’s League yesterday beating 2nd placed Godalming Town by 4 goals to 1, to maintain their unbeaten position at the top of Division 2 South.

We received the sad news last week that former Committee man and long-time Ashford supporter Keith Balmer passed away on 1 November.

Keith was a gentle man full of good humour, liked by all and a staunch supporter of the club.  He took over as the Club’s General Secretary for two years before ill health caused him to resign but he did many other jobs at different times, such as manning the turnstiles, doing team sheets when necessary and lots of other mundane but vital tasks in a football club.  On behalf of the club we send our sincere sympathies to son Liam, who is also highly involved with the club, and Liam’s two other brothers and, of course, all members of the family.

As soon as we have the funeral information, we will put it on the web site.

RIP Keith.

 

Ashford lost 2-3 away to Potters Bar Town on Saturday, following two late and highly controversial decisions by the referee, both in favour of the home club.

The Tangerines, showing several changes from Tuesday’s opening eleven, including the return of Jack Beadle after a few week’s absence, made a good start to the match, with Mark Bitmead going close but the game was generally fairly level, until some calamitous defending on 14 minutes saw the ball being given away at the back followed by a shot of no great ferocity from Ashley George but which beat Kav Keadell in goal, to give Potters Bar the lead.

It remained fairly end to end stuff but even worse defending on the stroke of half-time saw the home side extend their lead from a corner kick headed home by the completely unmarked Danny Hart

One awaited the fight back and it materialised with Ashford looking far more determined in the second 45.  On 56 minutes a determined run from Max Webb put in Beadle whose low shot found the net.  Quite soon afterwards, the scores were level.  This time Bitmead turned provider and once again it was Beadle planting the ball home.

At that point one sensed that Ashford might go on and win the match but play evened out again and it was anyone’s game.  What was hugely disappointing for Ashford though were two quick fire decisions by referee Bloy near the end which effectively handed all three points to the home side.  Firstly, a cross from the right hit Alex Fisher quite involuntarily on the hand.  His hands were not high but on the say so of the assistant, a penalty was awarded and scored by Gary Jones.

Ashford were furious but that was topped minutes later when a similar situation at the other end saw a shot deflected by a home defender in similar circumstances, with his hand, again involuntarily but if one was a penalty then the other had to be as well but it wasn’t given and a sense of absolute injustice prevailed on and off the field as far as the visitors were concerned, with both Dan Fleming and Bailey Mummery being cautioned for their protestations.

We can only move on with the next match back on home soil on Tuesday evening, against CB Hounslow United in the 2nd Round of the Middlesex Senior Cup.  More on that one tomorrow but well done to the Ladies’ side this afternoon with yet another victory this time by four goals to one.

It’s back to the League as Ashford travel to Potters Bar Town on Saturday afternoon.

The address of the ground is the Pakex Stadium, Parkfield, Watkins Rise, Potters Bar, EN6 1QB.  It is a journey of just over 36 miles, round the M25, coming off at Junction 24.

The home side currently sit in 11th place in the table , five points behind Ashford but with two matches in hand, so it goes without saying that another tough match is on the cards.

Our clubs have only met on three previous occasions, two being in this division in season 2013-2014.  We lost 0-2 at home but managed a 1-1 draw at Potters Bar, thanks to a rocket from Elliott Jones .  The only other meeting was back in the 2001-2002 season in the 2nd Round of the Middlesex Charity Cup, when we won by four goals to one, courtesy of goals from Tony Nolan (2), Richard Butler and Dean Berry.

Ashford lost 1-4 at home to Tonbridge Angels in their 1st Qualifying Round replay in the FA Trophy on Tuesday evening, although the final scoreline pays scant justice to the efforts put in by the Tangerines over the evening against one of the top Ryman Premier sides.  Tonbridge will now travel to meet Kingstonian in the 2nd Qualifying Round.

The match started badly for Ashford.  There was a determined look about the visitors from the kick-off and they were given a huge boost on just two minutes when an effort from Luke Allen took a wicked deflection into the roof of the net with Kav Keadell stranded.

Ashford’s side showed a few changes from Saturday’s starting line-up, one enforced as the ever consistent Alex Fisher was forced to sit the match out, being duly suspended for one game, having accumulated his fifth caution at Petersfield a week earlier.  A quality performance from his replacement Max Herbert though, who had been on the bench on Saturday, meant that he wasn’t missed, with Herbert later being the supporters' choice as “Ashford Man of the Match”.  Romario Jonas came in at right back in arguably his best position but up front Dan Fleming was missing, suffering a knock from Saturday.  Tonbridge had top striker Nathan Elder missing due to personal circumstances.

The visitors had their tails up and were clearly in determined mode but all credit to the Tangerines who raised their game to counter their opponents and more than one opportunity went begging before Tonbridge doubled their lead just after the half hour mark, when a left wing cross saw Luke Blewden  putting in a deft header.  The cross should really have been cut out at source but it was a quality finish.

There was no further scoring before the break but it was obvious that the next goal would have a massive bearing on the match.  It came very quickly as Max Webb, immense again last night, reduced the arrears in just the 3rd minute after the resumption.  Samad Kazi showed extraordinary pace in getting down the right wing and a low cross caused confusion in the visiting ranks.  Kam English should have put it to bed but he couldn’t quite turn it in, and it seemed the keeper would claim it.  Somehow he didn’t and to be frank it looked as if a foul might be given as everyone dug in but it was Webb who prodded it home and the goal stood.

The goal turned the match as Ashford now pressured their opponents for a long period and it may well have been that if they could have secured an equaliser within that period of dominance, the final outcome could easily have been different.  As the half wore on though, with the equaliser not coming, the intensity lessened and with just eight minutes on the clock, Tonbridge effectively made the game safe with their third goal, scored by Jerome Sobers, a header that looped over everyone.

Ashford were still not done as far as effort was concerned but two goals were now needed and as the whole team, literally, pushed up, Blewden was able to run from deep in his own half with no defender in sight before planting the ball past the stranded Keadell in the 4th minute of stoppage time, making the final score of 1-4 rather harsh on the night.

It is unlikely though that Ashford will meet a team of Tonbridge’s calibre again this season and there was no shame in this defeat.  The side will be keen to bounce back as soon as possible and the next opportunity comes on Saturday with a visit to Potters Bar Town.  There will be more on that one later in the week as Ashford begin a period of protracted action with midweek matches every Tuesday over the next few weeks, mostly at home, the first being next Tuesday when the visitors will be CB Hounslow in the Middlesex Senior Cup.

 

Following their sparkling performance at Spelthorne on Saturday, Ashford make the short trip to Knaphill on Tuesday, to contest the 2nd Round of the Surrey Senior Cup.  Please be aware that the match will kick off at 7.30 p.m.

Knaphill are another club to have risen from junior football in recent seasons and have now firmly established themselves as a CCL Premier Division club.  This season they are currently in 11th place in the table but have also reached the 3rd Round of the FA Vase in which they will be away to Canterbury City on 12 December.  As with all the CCL clubs left in the competition we wish them every success in that one.

Usually the County Cup is pre-drawn, so that we would have an idea of whom the winners on Tuesday will be playing but that is not the case this season., with the next round still to be released.  To get to this point, Ashford defeated Beckenham Town whilst Knaphill saw off the challenge of Camberley Town.

The address of the ground is Brookwood Country Park Football Ground, Redding Way, Lower Guildford Road, Knaphill, GU21 2AY

Most of the junior sides managed to get their matches in on Sunday and here are the results:

Bill U7s 2-6 Woking

Tommy U7s 9-2 Bedfont Eagles

Andy U8s 3-7 Whitton Wanderers

Matt U9s 3-5 Twickenham Tigers

Graham U10s 7-0 Molesey

Larry U12s 0-0 Wadden Wanderers

Craig U13s 3-5 Whitton Wanderers

Fin U13s 8-3 SCR Colts

Martin U14s 4-1 SCR Colts

Ben U15s 3-0 Met Police

Conor U15s 2-1 Binfield

Carl U17s 2-3 Fleet Town 

 

On a cold blustery day and against their local rivals who had been in top form recently, Ashford had genuinely expected a far harder challenge than they received at Spelthorne Sports on Saturday.  As it was, Ashford rather took the match over especially in the second half when the wind was more in their favour and won comfortably by 3 goals to nil.

There wasn’t too much in it in the first half but it was not an injustice when the in-form Jack Beadle, benefitting from the home side’s failure to defend a short corner properly, sent in a trade mark low effort to give Ashford the lead.

After that Spelthorne rarely looked as if they would trouble the scorers but when they did sling in one or two high crosses, always dangerous in the swirling wind, keeper Tobin was on top form, impressing with his crisp handling under pressure.

The second half opened with the busy Bradley Wainwright, a nuisance all afternoon, creating an almost unmissable chance for the returning Mark Bitmead.  Sadly on this occasion Ashford’s best striker screwed his effort over the top with the goal at his mercy.  It didn’t matter too much though as it quickly became the Russell Canderton show, Ashford’s popular skipper scoring twice within ten minutes, the second being a delicate touch past Dane Buss in the home goal.  One has to go back almost ten years, to 17 December 2005 for Canderton’s  last brace, scored in a 5-1 home victory over Taunton Town.  Since joining Ashford 14 years ago from Staines Town, Russell is closing in on his 600th appearance for the club.   He should make it before the end of the season and it was fitting that he was named “Ashford Man of the Match” by the Ashford supporters.

There might have been one or two more goals as the gaps appeared, with Spelthorne chasing the game but in the end 3-0 was a satisfying win over opponents who have shown their ability on better days to beat anyone in the League.

It was just as well with all the top teams recording victories, so it’s “as you were” at the top end of the table.  Next up is a trip to Knaphill on Tuesday evening in the 2nd Round of the Surrey Senior Cup.  Please note that the kick-off is at 7.30 p.m.

Finally the Ladies’ match today has been cancelled as their opponents, Bedhead FC, have apparently withdrawn from the League.

Ashford are away again on Saturday but it’s only a short trip to Spelthorne Sports, who have now firmly established themselves as a Premier Division club in the CCL.  That status looked threatened earlier in the season but following a change of management, Spelthorne have climbed the table with some rapidity and their determination was amply shown in their Middlesex Senior Cup tie on Tuesday evening against Wembley when, after finding themselves three nil down at half-time, they stormed back to score five in the second half.

Ashford, therefore, will be under no illusion that they face a difficult match but more recently the team has showed that it does not need perfect conditions upon which to achieve results and the slog at Farnham last Saturday will doubtless stand us in good stead, as it will be a heavy pitch again this afternoon, although it did not seem to have cut up too much after the game against Wembley.

The next match is also away, on Tuesday evening, when Ashford make the trip to Knaphill FC in the Surrey Senior Cup.  Please note that kick-off time at Knahill will be 7.30 p.m.

The Sunday side are away to Whitton Park Rangers tomorrow, at Richmond College whilst the Ladies will look forward to entertaining Bedhead Ladies FC on Sunday afternoon at Short Lane at 2.00 p.m.

Here is Nick Bailey's report from last night's Under-18 match in the CCL Grant-McLellan Youth Cup which Ashford won 8-0.

Ashford 18s enjoyed their second win in two days with an impressive 8-0 win away against Windsor in the Grant-Mclellan Cup.

There were four goals in the first half scored by Mason Roseboom, Keegan Stewart, Harry Herdman and Jacob Bennett.

Ashford moved the ball well and in the second half kept our shape and discipline, Isaac Mplane got on the score sheet with two well taken goals as did Aaron Lovett with one from the spot and one from a well worked move starting from the back.

Our backline of Gabriel Bedeko, Ilia Perovic, Tommy Fright and Kasey Williams were rarely tested and handled anything that Windsor chucked at us. The midfield three of Charlie Bailey, Mason Roseboom and Harry Herdman controlled the tempo and direction of the match enjoying the lion's share of possession and at times keeping it simple and linking up play superbly.

The forward attacking three of Jacob Bennett, Keegan Stewart and Isaac Mplane all got on the score sheet and caused Windsor constant pressure all game.

Sub Aaron Lovett got on the score sheet within 5 minutes of entering the field with a well taken penalty and got his second with 10 minutes remaining. Josh Bates came on with 15 to go and replaced Gabes at the back to help maintain our clean sheet.

Man of the match in such an open game isn’t an easy decision but we decided to award it to Charlie Bailey for his outstanding work in the centre of the park.

The Under-18 side have enjoyed a good week.  Following their hard fought win against Carshalton on Monday, they made it a double success on Wednesday with a second cup victory, this time in the Grant-McLellan Youth Cup, beating Windsor U18 by eight goals to nil.  This means that Ashford are now in the Quarter-Finals and we await the draw.  We will doubtless have a report from Manager Nick Bailey in due course.

Here are the Junior and other fixtures for the forthcoming weekend.

Ashford Sports Club - Club House 11-a-side Pitch

Conor U15s v Binfield 10am

Martin U14s v SCR Colts 11.30

Ashford Sports Club – Short Lane 11-a-side Pitch

Ben U15s v Met Police 10am

Carl U17s v Staines Albion 11.30

Ashford Sports Club – 9 – 9 Pitch

Larry U12s v Waddon Wanderers 11am

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch

Matt U8s v Sheen Lions 10.30

Ashford Town 7 – 7 Pitch

No Fixture 

Ashford Town – Outfield

Marco U15s v Yateley United 10.30 

Ashford Town Stadium

Ladies v Bedhead 2pm 

Away Games

Billy U7s v Woking Cougars

Tommy U7s v Bedfont Eagles

Andy U8s v Whitton Wonderers

Matt U9s v Twickenham Tigers

Graham U10s v Molesey Juniors

Nelson U10s v Kew Association

Craig U13s v Whitton Wanderers

Fin U13s v SCR Colts

Joe U17s v Guildford City

 

Gary Men v Whitton Park

 

We now have the match report from Monday’s match against Carshalton, from Nick:

“It was a great night for our young Tangerines on Monday after knocking Carshalton Athletic out of the Lucas Fettes cup by 4 goals to 2.

We started sharply as we normally do and looked very dangerous going forward.  Our pace was causing our visitors problems and they couldn't deal with our midfield press.

We finished the first half 2-1 up with goals coming from Isaac Mplane and Keegan Stewart, Carshalton showed at times what a good side they are but we deserved the lead and in fairness it could have been more, Isaac in particular being  a thorn in Carshalton’s side and they couldn't deal with the tempo that we set.

We were under pressure in the second half and the most impressive thing for me was the way we absorbed all the pressure that our visitors gave us, knwoing that they would react.  In short we handled everything they could throw at us. When we were able to get forward we continued to look dangerous  and it wasn't long before we scored again, this time a wonderful ball from Otman found our prolific goal scorer Isaac and once again he made no mistake in putting us 3-1 up.

5 minutes later Isaac found the back of the net again to make it 4-1, and our visitors were finally beaten even if they did find a stoppage time consolation goal to end the game 4-2.

Overall it was a very good display from our youngsters considering that two of our centre backs pulled out at the last minute so we had to juggle the pack at the back.  Kasey Williams was superb switching from right back to left, Isaac was his clinical self in front of goal and our midfield work rate was top draw, brilliant team performance and a well deserved win from what is mostly a first year side.”

 

 

Here are the results from the Sunday Junior matches, followed by a summary from Junior Section Chairman Nick Bailey:

Graham U10s 1-1 Kingston Town

Craig U13s 0-8 Mitcham Park

Fin U13s 6-0 Shelton

Martin U14s 6-2 Hampton Youth

Ben U15s 5-5 Mat Police

Conor U15s 4-1 Leatherhead

Marco U15s 4-3 Claygate

Tim U16s 0-4 Corinthian Casuals

Carl U17s 3-1 Lyne Youth

Joe U17s 4-8 Kew Park Rangers 

On a freezing Sunday morning we hosted an under 8s mini trophy event at the club.  Matt our U-8s manager did superbly against strong competition and some of the football on display was a pleasure to watch.

On our other mini pitch Tommy’s under 7s entertained local side Halliford Colts, and even if we were on the losing side, it’s really pleasing to see our young Tangerines improving week on week.

Bills U-7s played Old Isleworthians in what’s proving to be a good match every time they play each other, the visitors are always strong and well organised side, the football was a pleasure to watch as both sides expressed their ability and gave the parents and coaches a real good game to watch.

Across the road I saw Tim’s U-16s play Corinthian Casuals and we ended up on the wrong side of a 4-0 loss, we must have hit the post and bar 5 times, a good game and with a little luck on our side the score line would have been a different one.

Conor's 15s made the trip to Leatherhead and came away with the 3 points after winning 4-1, the lads are making great progress in the league and are quietly moving up the table, and of course they are still in the County Cup so this could turn out to be a good season for them.

Bens 15s played Met Police in probably the game of the day, I didn’t watch this as it was away but had running updates from parents.  We found ourselves 4 down inside half hour and quickly turned things around to level it at 4-4.  Knowing the lads as I do and with 5 minutes remaining I knew we would take the lead and sure enough we did, but unfortunately the goals didn’t stop there, a dubious penalty from what appeared a clear dive inside the box gave Met Police a chance to equalise which they did and the match finished 5-5. This ensures that the team remains unbeaten and still top of the table. 

The Under-18’s enjoyed their best victory of the season on Monday evening with a 4-2 win over highly fancied Carshalton Athletic, who had beaten Sutton United in the previous round of this competition, the Lucas-Fettes League Cup.  A hatrick from Isaac Mpiana and one from Keegan Stewart enabled Ashford to go 4-1 up, after soaking up a lot of pressure, with Carshalton scoring a consolation goal at the death.  We await the full match report.

 

 

From Gareth

With Christmas coming up I thought it was a good time to highlight that the club has a partnership with Easyfundraising that enables you to raise money for the club while you shop online.  It doesn't cost anything and takes only a moment or two to set up.  Together, we can turn Black Friday into Give Back Friday! 


This Friday (27th November) shops across the UK will be holding the biggest sales of the year, meaning it's the perfect time to grab gifts and take advantage of bargains across the board. 

Don't forget you can collect free donations for Ashford Town (Middlesex) FC every time you shop online thanks to easyfundraising.org.uk.

There are nearly 3,000 shops on board, ready to make a free donation to us - it doesn't cost you a penny extra. 

It's really simple, all you have to do is:

1. Join - Head to https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/ashfordtownfc and sign up for free.
2. Shop - Every time you shop online, go to easyfundraising first, pick the retailer you want and start shopping.
3. Raise - After you've checked out, that retailer will make a donation to Ashford Town (Middlesex) FC for no extra cost whatsoever!

Thank you for your support this Give Back Friday.

In addition to this evening’s Under-18 match at home to Carshalton Athletic U18, the ground will also be in use on Wednesday evening as Middlesex Schools will be playing against Buckingham Schools, at Under-14 level.  The match is in the GE Knowles Trophy and will kick off at 7.00 p.m.

Also, on Saturday, with both Ashford and BA playing away, Middlesex Schools U16’s will be playing against Suffolk Schools U16’s at Short Lane, in the English Schools’ FA Inter-County Trophy , kick-off 12.00 midday.

You can follow Ashford on Facebook - Ashford Town (Middlesex) Supporters and on Twitter - @ashfordtownmx

Ashford continued their recent good form at Farnham Town on Saturday, winning by two goals to one, although in terms of overall possession a greater margin of victory should have been achieved, especially as Farnham finally became a threat towards the end of the match, with Ashford’s goal enjoying a charmed life once or twice.

That said, Ashford deserved all three points from their first half display alone.  The pitch was heavy and not quite as conducive to the passing game that Ashford like to play but nevertheless the visitors were generally well on top.  Credit goes to Farnham for their defending, although sadly the Tangerines were largely unable to turn their dominance into goals.

They had only one goal to show for their efforts in that first period, a thumping header from Scott Weight giving the impressive home keeper no chance and that was cancelled out on the stroke of half-time by Farnham’s Cardona who levelled the scores, also with his head.

Farnham were never out of the game but it was Ashford who scored what turned out to be the winner on 65 minutes with a very simple goal.  A pin point clearance from keeper Tobin found Jack Beadle on the left flank.  He turned inside and beat his man with ease before firing a low shot into the corner of the net.  Bradley Wainwright missed what looked a superb opportunity to put the game out of reach when he shot straight at the keeper and with Farnham resorting to long ball tactics, Ashford certainly had to survive one or two scares as mentioned.

Overall though, Ashford have never found winning at Farnham to be easy even back in the 90's and this was an excellent three points with players generally sticking to the game plan.  With fire power on the bench in the shape of Mark Bitmead and Dan Fleming, it was a little surprising to supporters  (and thanks to the 20 plus who made their way to Farnham, one or two via the Farnham Secretary’s house as her post code had inadvertently put on the preview for the match on the Ashford web site) that neither were used until stoppage time but doubtless there was a good reason, the main thing being that, as a squad, we won the match.

Referee Farrer, well remembered in Ashford circles, for his failure to add on sufficient time in the match at Spelthorne last season, did not add much on this time it seemed, given the stoppages, but with Ashford ahead it worked in their favour.  Both Joe Green and a Farnham player can count themselves fortunate not to have seen red for two rather unpleasant tackles in the second half but overall the match was fairly contested.

There is no midweek match for the 1st Team this week but to compensate, the Under-18’s have two games.  Tomorrow evening, Monday they are at home to Carshalton Athletic U18 in the 2nd Round of the Lucas-Fettes (League) Cup, kick-off 7.45 p.m.  Carshalton overcame Sutton United in the previous round, albeit on penalties and are top of the Central Division of the League, so it will undoubtedly be a tough match.

On Wednesday evening, the side will be away to Windsor U18 in the 2nd Round of the CCL Grant-McLellan Youth Cup, also kicking off at 7.45 p.m.

The next 1st Team match is away to Spelthorne Sports next Saturday.

Ashford travel to Farnham Town on Saturday, mindful of the late season defeat there towards the end of last season.  Apart from long term injury sufferers Lewis Taylor and Joey Robson, manager Ben Murray should have a more or less full strength squad from which to pick.

Farnham lost 0-5 at Camberley last time out but previously won by a solitary goal at Redhill and Ashford are aware that they can be difficult opponents.  They currently sit in 14th place in the table, just below midway but  with both Camberley and Hartley Wintney engaged in the FA Vase (and good luck to all the CCL sides taking part) it is an opportunity for Ashford to keep up the pressure on the other teams at the top end of the table.

The address of the ground is:  The Memorial Ground, West Street, Farnham, GU9 8RD.  There is a car park at the ground but it is small so you need to be early to park in it.  More traditionally parking has been on the opposite side of the ground at the Memorial Hall itself, but “no parking” signs have been erected in recent times even though there is ample space, so it is at your own risk.

In the meantime the Under-18’s disappointed on Wednesday evening, in throwing away an eminently winnable match at home to Cockfosters in the Middlesex Senior Youth competition, losing 1-2, in a game largely dominated by the Tangerines especially in the second half, but let down by some awful finishing, exemplified by just about the last kick of the match which saw an Ashford player blaze over the bar with the goal at his mercy.  Here is manager Nick Bailey’s report:

On a cold and windy night at the RPS Ashford entertained Cockfosters in the Middx Senior Youth Cup.

Cockfosters started on the front foot and dominated the match for the first 15 minutes going close on a couple of occasions, we made a change to the system and looked more comfortable and got ourselves back into the game and opened the scoresheet against the run of play, a free kick to the left of Cockfosters area gave Tommy Fright the perfect opportunity to open the account and he did with a fantastic goal 1-0 Ashford.

The killer blow came in the final seconds of the first half, this time Cockfosters scored from a corner, our Keeper Nick Bennett got hands to the oncoming shot but could only deflect the goal into our own net 1-1 Half time.

The second half started and this time we were playing with the wind behind us, we looked the brighter and more dangerous side, pressing and creating opportunities, this is where we should have killed the game, we probably had 75% possession and 20 decent opportunities to score – instead we blasted high and wide on every occasion.

The match finished 1-1 and extra time was looming, we were the more confident side, we looked fitter and stronger and there was only one team in it, we again started the brighter with plenty of opportunities to score but again couldn’t take them, as we approached the closing stages of the match Cockfosters had an opportunity, the ball was slid into their striker which left our keeper with a decision to make – should he come or stay, the wind was a factor in his decision and he got caught in the wrong area and they scored.

The match finished 1-2 to Cockfosters, this shows you that all the dominance and possession in the world don’t always win you matches, you have to do the basics and score more than your opposition, for some reason we are normally very clinical in front of goal but on this evening we couldn’t score a simple tap in.

We wish Cockfosters the best of luck in the next round, well done and good luck. 

Our other teams are playing this weekend as below:

Ashford Sports Club - Club House 11-a-side Pitch

Tim U16s v Corinthian Casuals 12pm  

Joe U17s v Kew Park Rangers 1.30

Ashford Sports Club – Short Lane 11-a-side Pitch

Fin U13s v Shelton 10am

Martin U14s v Hampton Youth 11.30

Ashford Sports Club – 9 – 9 Pitch

Larry U12s v Kingstonian 11am 

Ashford Town – Outfield

Marco U15s v Claygate 12.30 (Cup)

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch

Matt U8s v 4 TEAM TROPHY EVENT 10am start

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch

Tommy U7s v Halliford Colts 10am

Billy U7s v Old Isworthians 11.15am

Ashford Town 7 - 7 Pitch 

Graham U10s v Kingston Town 1pm

Away Games

Andy U8s v Trophy Event

Matt U9s v Twickenham Tigers

Nelson U10s v CB Hounslow

Craig U13s v Mitcham Park

Ben U15s v Met Police

Conor U15s v Leatherhead

Carl U17s v Lyne Youth

The Ladies are without a match this weekend whilst the Sunday side are at home to Swinbrook FC (10.30 a.m.)

Our partners British Airways are at home on Saturday to Hillingdon FC, in an important 4th v 3rd battle in the Premier Division of the Middlesex County League.

There will be more on next week’s games in due course but the long delayed Grant-McLellan Youth Cup match away to Windsor U18 has now been arranged for next Wednesday, subject to Windsor not having an FA Vase replay.

Finally another big well done to Ashley Cheatley, prolific scorer for Ashford Ladies, who scored her first ever goal for the County on Wednesday evening against the Army Ladies, in a 2-1 victory.

 

 

On a wild evening punctuated by gale force wind blasts and heavy rain earlier in the day, it is fitting that this summary should firstly acknowledge the efforts of Steve Honey and Liam Balmer in not only ensuring the pitch was fit for play, but also having it in tip-top condition, which was surely appreciated by the players.

Considering the conditions, both sides conspired to put on an entertaining match overall, with Ashford twice having to come from behind to secure their place in the quarter-final of the Middlesex Senior Cup, the draw for which has yet to be released.

Ben Murray tinkered with his squad but the big news was that striker Mark Bitmead was finally able to start a match after his long injury lay-off and whatever criticism may be laid at him from time to time, he is without doubt a top goal scorer at this level, and duly obliged with two of Ashford’s three goals in this match.  With partner Dan Fleming also back and coming on for ten minutes at the end, plus Bradley Wainwright, who has  found his goal scoring boots, Ashford once again look formidable up top, even though, it has to be said, that others have also certainly risen to the occasion in recent weeks.

Nevertheless, it was the visitors who scored first.  Playing with the wind behind them, it was inevitable that they would do much of the pressing and the goal came as early as the 9th minute.  An uncharacteristic error by Alex Fisher conceded possession and the dangerous Sam Saydee for AFC Hayes made no mistake.

Given the conditions, Ashford supporters were generally pleased that no further goals were conceded in the first half and an onslaught was anticipated in the second period.  Ashford duly obliged, enjoying far greater possession, although it must be said that the visitors still posed a threat at times.  The equaliser arrived bang on the hour mark and there was a sense of inevitability as Bitmead marked his return with the goal.

Not too many would have bet against Ashford at that stage but AFC Hayes can be a resilient bunch and had the nerve to go ahead again ten minutes later, following an error by Will Boye.  It took three attempts for the ball to go in, with Tyler Tobin producing miracles to keep it out initially. The scorer was Bradley Hand.

Referee Banten annoyed the away support soon afterwards by cautioning the visiting keeper for time wasting, which certainly looked harsh as he genuinely seemed unable to keep the ball still in the ever growing wind but worse was to come as Hand found himself dismissed after seeming to bend his head in Tobin’s direction after a skirmish for the ball.  It was some distance away from the writer but if he did attempt a head butt, albeit a pseudo one, the player could not really complain although in the cold light of day Tobin may consider himself fortunate to escape with no sanction at all after his retaliation.

With sic minutes on the clock, it was Max Webb, later voted by supporters as "Ashford Man of the Match" who found the equaliser and Ashford then duly won the match with another fine finish from Bitmead who showed superb confidence in front of goal, a dummy leaving his immediate opponent stranded, before the ball was lashed into the net to leave Ashford with a 3-2 win and a place in the Quarter Finals.

With one or two notable sides already out, such as Hendon and Wealdstone, the other clubs still in the competition are Northwood, Harrow Borough, Staines Town (who beat a Barnet X1 4-1aet  last night), Spelthorne or Wembley, Hanwell or Uxbridge, North Greenford or Uxbridge and Hayes & Yeading or Hampton.  Given a choice, a home match against neighbours Staines would doubtless be the option favoured by most but we will have to wait and see.

With the pitch hardly looking as if it had been played on last night, there is little doubt that this evenings Middlesex Senior Youth Cup match at home to Cockfosters U18 will go ahead as planned, kick-off 7.45.  The winners will be at home to Conquest U18 or Hayes & Yeading U18.

The 1st Team are due to travel to Farnham Town on Saturday and there will be more on that later in the week.

Finally another big well done goes to two of the Ladies side, Ashley Cheatley and Lavana Neufville, both of whom have retained their place in the Middlesex County squad for their rep match against the Army this evening at Uxbridge FC.  We wish them the best of luck.

You can follow Ashford on Facebook - Ashford Town (Middlesex) Supporters and on Twitter - @ashfordtownmx

It looks as if it will be a windy evening but Ashford look forward to the visit of AFC Hayes for the second time this season on Tuesday evening in the 2nd Round of the Middlesex Senior Cup, kick-off 7.45 p.m.   Some suspicion has been voiced, not least by our opponents, concerning the draw which has resulted in all the Step 5 sides playing each other, but we are re-assured that, apart from exempting Step 4 and above clubs from the 1st Round, it was sheer co-incidence.  We have no reason to disbelieve that but it would be a good idea possibly for Middlesex to follow Surrey in broadcasting the Senior Cup draw live on local radio, or possibly hold an open draw at one or other of the clubs.

Ashford will be buoyed by the exciting performance on Saturday against a Redhill side under new management whilst our opponents, also under new management, fought back at Chertsey on Saturday to claim a point after being two down.  They left it late though, with Sam Saydee’s equaliser not arriving until stoppage time.

We have received some news from our Junior sides from Sunday’s matches and they are reproduced below, including a summary from Junior Chairman, Nick Bailey.  Firstly though, here are Sunday’s results:

Results

Billy U7s 4-3 Corinthian

Andy U8s 6-3 Hampton

Matt U9s 1-6 Walton

Graham U10s 3-4 Walton

Nelson U10s 1-2 Hanworth

Larry U13s 3-2 FC Sunbury

Fin U13s 4-11 Carshalton

Conor U15s 5-2 Kingstonian

Ben U15s 3-1 CB Hounslow

Tim U16s 1-2 Doverhouse

Carl U17s 2-11 Claygate

Joe U17s 2-4 after AET

Summary from the Junior Chairman (Nick Bailey)

Yesterday Larry’s U13s played at home in the game of the weekend against our very own Russell Candertons FC Sunbury side.  The game had a great feel to it with plenty of support for obvious reasons, it was strange to see Russell, our captain, leader figure of the club for so many years wanting an Ashford side to come second best – thankfully Larry and his lads had other ideas.

Ashford started the brighter against the very strong wind and managed to gain a one goal advantage during the first half.  We extended our lead and quickly got another to make it 3-0 but the game wasn't finished there.

FC Sunbury got one back from a penalty and then they started to play football and control the tempo for a while and scored another to make it 3-2 with minutes remaining.  FC Sunbury scored the equalising goal with the final kick of the match but it was ruled offside by their own linesman – fair play, many would have thought about keeping the flag close to the ground but the decision was correct and Larry and his lads came away with the three points, great game played with a great spirit. Well done all, unlucky Russ .

Other matches that need a mention:

Nelsons U10s, again this match was played with fantastic support from both sides, the game finished 2-1 to Hanworth but it could have gone either way, brilliant match with some excellent football played by both teams.

Bens U15s secured a 3-1 win against CB Hounslow away in what could be a huge victory for our title topping side, great win that secures our place at the top of the league with a four point advantage.

Andy’s U8s have found their feet and are now looking like the real deal with a 6-3 win away to Hampton Rangers.

Billy’s U7s again won 4-3 win against Corinthian, next week they play the impressive Old Isleworthians kick off 11.15.

Next week we have a busy weekend with plenty of our side playing at home including a trophy event for our under 8s.

Report from the Under-10’s (Graham)

Ashford 3 – Walton Casuals 4

Another tight game, with Ashford coming out on the wrong end of 7 Goal thriller 2nd time in 3 weeks!!   After an  excellent start to match with the boys playing some pacey attacking & passing football racing into 3-1 lead, with goals from Lewis (2) &  Freddie's corner going in off a deflection certainly set for an impressive 1st half display, before turning around at HT ( 3-2) and then having to play into the strong Wind!!  wow what a change that caused and a challenge for the boys, which they responded to well for the 1st part of 2nd half again creating chances and a couple of fine saves from Walton GK keeping the score down and stopping Lewis from a Hat-trick, before the constant pressure from Walton paid off with them getting the 3rd of the game, then conditions certainly aided the move that lead to winning goal, a long ball down the middle wind assisted catching out the Ashford defence leaving Walton's striker one on one against 2nd half GK Jack and tried to make his mark racing off his line and attempt to clear unfortunately the Walton striker got there 1st and was sent tumbling in the box with the same lad dusting himself off and slotted a fine Penalty into bottom Corner, leaving Ashford trailing for the 1st time in the match and time running out unfortunately for the boys they couldn't find an equaliser that there early play deserved.

A very entertaining game and little between the two sides and extremely pleasing to see that both wanted to play with quick passing football. Well done to both teams and Congratulations to Walton for coming out on top at the end of the 1st Trophy event of the Season.

Ladies

Yet another win for the Ladies’ side as they made progress in the Capital County Cup, with a 3-1 victory at Abbey Rangers Ladies and they now find themselves in the last eight of the competition in which they will play at home to either Greenhouse Sports Ladies or Towe Hamlets Reserve Ladies, nominally on Sunday 21 February.

Sunday Side

Did not play

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Ashford played Redhill at Short Lane on Saturday for the first time in 15 years and used the occasion to put on one of their best displays of the season, winning by four goals to one.

The first talking point of the afternoon for Ashford supporters was the bench, which contained not only Mark Bitmead and Dan Fleming, both easing their way back into contention after injury, but also Max Webb, Scott Elgar and Samad Kazi.  It may well be that the majority of those mentioned will start on Tuesday against AFC Hayes in the Middlesex Senior Cup.

Back to Saturday  and both teams set about playing some attractive football but ti was Ashford who broke the deadlock on 26 minutes courtesy of Scott Weight, whose snap shot was certainly worthy of a goal.  It was his first goal since his brace against Egham in April 2014.

The goal gave Ashford additional momentum and just five minutes later an equally impressive shot from Bradley Wainwright doubled the lead.

Redhill had produced moments of their own but on a greasy surface, Ashford keeper Tyler Tobin was exceptionally sure in his handling.  He could do nothing about the penalty though awarded for shirt pulling on 37 minutes scored competently by Redhill’s McArdle, which gave the visitors hope.

The match was effectively over though just 41 seconds into the second half when Jack Beadle picked the ball up on the left flank, cut inside and launched another fine effort into the top corner to restore the two goal cushion.  Soon afterwards Alex Fisher completed the scoring with a snap effort following some excellent inter-play.

Redhill certainly never gave up, but with skipper Russell Canderton and Will Boye forming a solid central defensive partnership, they were unable to score again and it was another three points in the bag.  Hartley Wintney and Camberley both won again but Epsom dropped points at Knaphill in a one-one draw.

It was a good day all round for the Tangerines.  Jack Beadle was given the “Ashford Man of the Match” award by supporters but it could have been just about anyone in the side yesterday.  Despite the rain, the pitch behaved superbly and did not cut up in the slightest, which is good as the 1st Team attempt to reach the quarter finals of the Middlesex Senior Cup on Tuesday evening, when AFC Hayes will be the visitors, kick-off 7.45 p.m.

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With Ashford not having played against Redhill for over 15 years, Saturday is something of an unknown prospect.  Indeed we welcome the Lobsters to Short Lane for their first visit since October 1990, when we met in the Surrey Senior Cup.  On that occasion we were successful, winning by 4 goals to 2, but only after extra time.  Our scorers were Andy Smith with two (one a pen), Steve Wyatt and Neil Morwood.  Andy is still around by the way, now helping out at Windsor with their Under-18 side.

Ashford will come into the match well rested, following last Saturday’s postponement at Farnham Town and manager Ben Murray has reported that just about everyone is now fit again, so we should be more or less at full strength.  Indeed Ben has sent out a rallying call this week and the web site would echo that in that we hope to see the juniors (and parents), the Ladies, the Sunday players etc. etc. all represented today, as we go into the winter period.  We also welcome our first ever Secretary Alan Hughes for the day as he is up from Cornwall.  Alan was the Club Secretary from 1965 to 1982 and will be warmly welcomed.  We also have five or more guests from SSE Lighting who did some work for us a little while ago via Mark Tobin and we extend an equally warm welcome to them.

Redhill have clearly seen a number of changes even since the start of the season, and are now under relatively new management.  They enjoyed an excellent 4-0 win at Hanworth Villa a fortnight ago, on a Friday evening but lost by a solitary late goal at home to Farnham Town on Tuesday.

We are at home again on Tuesday evening, when AFC Hayes will be the visitors, this time in the Middlesex Senior Cup, kick-off 7.45 p.m.  They have also changed their manager this week so it may well be a different side that we face to the one beaten here at Short Lane on the opening day of the season.  The winners will take their place in the Quarter-Final but the draw has not been released as yet.

The Ladies are away to Abbey Rangers (1.00 pm) on Sunday in the Capital Women's Cup, whilst the Sunday side are at home to Bedfont & Feltham Sunday (10.30 a.m.).  The Junior fixtures are as below:

Ashford Sports Club – Short Lane 11-a-side Pitch

Conor U15s v Epsom & Ewell 10am

Ashford Sports Club – 9 – 9 Pitch

Larry U12s v FC Sunbury 11am 

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch

Matt U8s v Raynes Park 10.30

Ashford Town 7 – 7 Pitch

Graham U10s v Walton Casuals 10am

Matt U9s v Walton Casuals 11.15am

Nelson U10s v Hanworth 12.30pm

Ashford Town – Outfield

Marco U15s v Claygate 12.30

Away Games

Billy U7s v Corinthian Casuals

Tommy U7s v Kew Association

Andy U8s v Hampton Rangers

Fin U13s v Carshalton

Martin U14s v Ewell Saxons

Ben U15s v CB Hounslow

Tim U16s v Doverhouse

Carl U17s v Claygate

Joe U17s v Kew Park Rangers

No Games

Craig U13s

 

Ashford fought out a 2-2 draw with Aldershot yesterday evening in the Ryman Youth League.  Ashford were two up but a draw was probably the fairest outcome overall.

Here is manager Nick Bailey's summary:

Ashford entertained Aldershot on Wednesday evening in an eventful game that could have gone either way.

We started the brighter and it only took 22 minutes to open the score sheet, Jacob Bennett with his first home start of the season flicked the ball over the oncoming Aldershot defender with his back heel and scored the goal of the game with a perfectly executed shot just inside the Aldershot half that left their keeper with no chance, a wonderful goal with fantastic technique.

The second half started and once again we pressed high and our work rate paid off when Isaac Mplane scored Ashford’s second within two minutes of the restart, we looked bright and sharp and could have extended our lead when a strong penalty appeal went unheeded by the officials.

Aldershot pulled one back with half hour remaining and found the equaliser not long after with a set piece 2-2.

The pleasing thing from a developments point of view is that our lads didn't hide after the equalising goal and looked to get the winner.  We had a few chances to do so but couldn't quite finish them off.

The match finished 2-2 and we share the points and that was probably a fair result as on the night we had more chances and possession than our visitors but they, like us, had a massive penalty appeal turned down in stoppage time.

Indeed, it was a nervous end to the match as both teams could have won it so on reflection it was a good point for both sides.

 

With the 1st Team match postponed on Saturday, which, by the way, has been re-arranged for Saturday 21 November as both teams were free on that date due to their respective opponents still being in the FA Vase, it is time for a catch up.

Firstly, the Under-18’s lost 2-5 at league leaders at Hendon FC last Thursday.  Manager Nick Bailey has sent a brief report and here it is:

Ashford 18s travelled to league leaders Hendon on Wednesday evening and lost by 5 goals to 2.

Playing on a fast 3G pitch we knew we had to be at our best and for 45 minutes we were, our pressing and passing paid off when Otman Trad was slid in and made no mistake, 0-1 Ashford after 30 minutes. Lack of concentration and poor marking left Hendon’s Keegan Cole unmarked at the far post, without any pressure from our defence he shot and made it 1-1.

Ashford picked up the tempo once again and looked dangerous going forward, this time it was a long ball to Mason Roseboom who calmly chipped the oncoming keeper, 1-2 Ashford. 

The second half started with high tempo and we had a great chance to extend our lead but couldn't take the opportunity, Hendon finally equalised when our keeper mistimed his run and left a open goal for Hendon to take full advantage 2-2. The 3rd goal from Hendon was a well worked goal and one for the cameras, a half volley that left our keeper no chance. 

We kept going and got ourselves back into the game when a unfortunate mistimed kick from our keeper hit the oncoming Hendon midfielder in the face and somehow found the back of the net 4-2.

The final goal came in the closing minutes and it finished 5-2 to Hendon. 

A game of two halves, the first half we showed that we can hold our own in this league and on our day we are as good, if not better than our opposition - the second half showed that mistakes can cost you dearly at this level. 

This week the Under-18’s have another tough match this week, on Wednesday evening, when they will entertain Aldershot Town U18 in the Ryman Youth League, kick-off 7.45 p.m. at Short Lane.

The Ladies side continued their winning run on Sunday with a 6-0 victory over Orpington Ladies.  Here is the report:

Ashford Ladies comfortably beat Orpington Ladies in the one sided affair 6-0 after the game was cut short due an injury.

Ashford took the lead in the first half when Amy O’Sullivan struck the ball into the near post from an unlikely angle after beating two defenders.

Vicky James extended the lead soon after with a stunning strike from 25 yards out.

The Orpington goalkeeper was in inspired form against the league’s top goal scorer however Ashley Cheatley pounced on a lose clearance from a corner and fired in her first of the game.

It was half time and Ashford were managing well on a pitch that was heavily affected by the downpour of rain the day before.  Set pieces were a particularly strength for Ashford with the skipper James, putting in some great crosses. It was another set piece which saw Cheatley double her tally, rising above everyone else to head into the back of the net.

O’Sullivan was having a lot of success on the wing and found herself with a lot of time and space on the edge of the 18-yard box. She struck into the top corner with the goalkeeper only able to watch as it flew past her.

Cheatley scored the final goal of the game, which was the pick of the bunch. She picked up the ball from a cleared corner on the half way line leaving two defenders behind before wrong footing the goalkeeper and finding the net.

It was a fantastic goal to end a very professional performance by Ashford, in difficult conditions.

Our commiserations go out to the Orpington player who suffered a horrible injury 70 minutes into the game, we wish you a speedy recovery. The game was cut short due to this.

The Junior sides were in action on Sunday which was a generally successful day results wise, as follows:

Billy U7s 9-10 Kingston

Graham U10s 8-2 Halliford

Larry U12s 2-0 Bedfont Sports

Craig U13s 4-4 Kew Park Rangers

Fin U13s 5-2 Worcester Park

Martin U14s 10-6 Hampton Youth

Ben U15s 1-3 AFC Wembley

Tim U16s 1-0 Abbey Rangers

Carl U17s 1-7 Horsley

Joe U17s 4-3 Kew Park 

Graham Felch, Under-10 manager has taken the time to send in a report from his game and here it is:

On a pitch which wasn't the best for passing, due to the previous days horrendous weather conditions the boys set about their task with really good enthusiasm keen to show that the previous week was just a blip.  This was quickly rewarded with the 1st goal of the game following some excellent pressing from the attacking three, with Lewis finding the net with a tidy finish, with the 2nd following very quickly before Freddie ended a super move finding the net with a crisp shot from the edge of the box.

 Kew were very keen to play a passing game of their own which was good to see and often tried to counter with fast attacking play with Jack being called on twice in the 1st half before to keep the opposition at bay before  handing over GK duties to Erik for the 2nd period.

With a couple of changes at HT, the boys again showed they had learnt a lot from Saturdays session in the pouring rain adding a fifth goal, before Kew pulled a couple of goals back quickly again their fast attacking catching out a  goal hungry Ashford ( a lesson to the boys to that they must hold their shape & position) then came the move of the game starting with Erik.  Six passes involving five players and Lewis finishing off for number 7 ( his 6th) and in the final moments of the game Rudi adding number 8 following more good work between himself, Caden & Freddie. This was by far the best team performance the boys have put in this season and bodes well for the future weeks  - Certainly one for them to remember and their delight at the end of the match made it very rewarding for us coaches.  – more of the same next week please lads!!!

Junior Chairman Nick Bailey was out and about on Sunday and has sent us this summary of the day:

With my Sundays free from running a side I have the opportunity to catch up with all our Junior sides and watch them play. 

This week I had the pleasure of watching Billy's under 7s play in a 19 goal thriller. After Ashford finding themselves trailing by 7 goals to 2 they managed to pull it back to 7-7 and then there was never more than a goal advantage from both sides, the game finally finished 10-9 with Kingston taking all three points, but I must say that that was the perfect advert for developing grass roots football, our team has some fantastic players and certainly ones for the future.. 

I saw 5 matches yesterday but another game that I must mention was Craig s under 13s, they were playing top of the table Kew Park Rangers and after the first 15 minutes they found themselves 3 goals down with a mountain to climb. The lads managed to come out a different team in the second half by pulling 3 quick goals back to level the tie and they had a great opportunity to score the forth and get in front but they couldn't late it with the outside post denying them the lead. Kew eventually scored the forth but Ashford soon equalised and the game finished 4-4. I have seen these lads develop over the last few seasons and I can really see the team believing in themselves and its a pleasure to watch. 

The best part of my day was watching one of my lads (Tommy Fright) manage his new under 7s at home, it was great to see a lad who I have managed since he was 8 now stepping into the coaching role and doing such a great job. Tom is a fantastic player who now plays for our midweek Ryman side, this is the vision that I would like to have - our own coaching our own. Well done Tom. 

The Sunday side lost 2-8 to VOS but we don’t have a report on the proceedings as yet.

Following Wednesday’s youth match, the next game is on Saturday when Redhill are the visitors in the Combined Counties League, when they will be making their first visit to Short Lane since October 1990 when we met in the Surrey Senior Cup.  More on that one later in the week.

 

 

 

MATCH AT FARNHAM TODAY HAS BEEN POSTPONED

Ashford are due to return to league action on Saturday with a visit to Farnham Town but a pitch inspection is planned for 11.45 a.m. so we will put further information on here as soon as we know.. The telephone number at Farnham is 01252 715305, whilst the clubhouse number at Ashford is 01784 245908.

Farnham, currently in 16th place, were defeated in the FA Vase last week, narrowly losing after extra time to Eastbourne Town, and they also suffered a close (3-4) home defeat against Windsor in their most recent league match.  Before that, though, they had won 2-0 at Raynes Park Vale.

The address of the ground is the Memorial Ground, West Street, Farnham, GU9 7DY.  There is a small amount of parking at the ground, if you are early but it has been the habit to park on the other side of the pitch in the Memorial Hall where parking is ample.  It would seem though that it is now at your own risk as signs are up pointing out it is private land and effectively prohibiting parking.

Our other teams are due to be in action this weekend as follows:

Ashford Sports Club - Club House 11-a-side Pitch

Craig U13s v Kew Park Rangers 12.30

Ashford Sports Club – Short Lane 11-a-side Pitch

No Fixture

Ashford Sports Club – 9 – 9 Pitch

Larry U12s v Bedfont Eagles 11am 

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch

Billy U7s v Kingston Youth 10.30

Tommy U7s v Junior Bees 11.30

Andy U8s v Kew Association 12.30

Ashford Town 7 – 7 Pitch

Matt U9s v Halliford 10.30

Ashford Town – Outfield

Gary Sunday Men v VOS 10.30

 

Away Games

Graham U10s v Kew Association

Nelson U10s v CB Hounslow

Fin U13s v Worcester Park

Martin U14s v Hampton Youth

Marco U15s v Spelthorne Sports

Tim U16s v Abbey Rangers

Carl U17s v Horsley

Joe U17s v Kew Park Rangers

Ladies v Orpington


No Games

Matt U8s

Conor U15s

BA also appear to be without a match on Saturday.

 

For the second season since returning to the competition, Ashford were unable to make progress in the FA Vase, losing 1-3 at home on Tuesday evening to Kidlington FC.

An excellent start on a perfect surface suggested that it was going to be one of those special Tuesday evening matches that we have seen so many of over the years, especially when Samad Kazi made the most of a defensive error to put the Tangerines ahead on 19 minutes.

Sadly that was as good as it got.  Kidlington showed their expertise by equalising just after the half hour mark and then went in front seconds before half-time.  Ashford were incensed over the second goal as minutes earlier Russell Canderton had been cautioned for what seemed a perfectly good tackle and then, in the build up to Kidlington’s goal, there had been a lunge at an Ashford player which, although fortunately, it didn’t connect, was clearly dangerous and should have been punished.

The second half saw Kidlington coming out with their tails up and poor defensive work allowed them to score a third goal just eight minutes in and effectively win the tie.  Ben Murray made a triple substitution on the hour mark, including George Marks who was sent up front and he certainly made an impact creating two excellent chances, one of which was deflected just wide and the other well saved.

Kidlington were in no mood to surrender their lead though and saw the tie out reasonably comfortably.  Ashford can have no complaints as they were beaten by the better side on the night and we wish them well in the remainder of the competition, as it will certainly take a good side to put them out.

Whilst not decrying any of our players who gave their best, as always, the continuing absence through injury of Dan Fleming and Mark Bitmead up front, with 60+ goals between them last season, is a major factor in the mixed results in recent weeks.  Bitmead made the bench last night but as a possible sub keeper only, although one hopes he will finally be back on Saturday.

One or two other observations:  referee Scott who handled the match well in general, was far too quick to hand out cards, those for Canderton and Marks in particular being risible following two excellent tackles.

Off the field and maybe this is due to different procedures in the Hellenic League, whilst flooding the boardroom at half-time with seemingly  just about every supporter they had present, all the apparent Kidlington officials were invited to partake of a hot meal after the match, as is Ashford’s practice, but not one of them came in afterwards.  There was no reason to assume it was a deliberate snub but it is annoying when one person (the Club Chairman in fact) has worked his socks off beforehand to provide the meal, only for it to be re-buffed.

One or two eyebrows were raised when Middlesex County named Derek Hookway as one of the assistants, at the age of 75.  Derek was superb though throughout, never putting a foot (or a flag wrong) and putting many of us to shame with his incredible fitness at such an advanced age (football wise that is).  On that point, the FA need to sort out who appoints assistants in FA Competition replays.  Our club secretary received an email from the County to say that from the 1st Round on in the Vase, the FA now make the appointments, only for the FA Referees’ Section to fail to answer what were urgent emails, leaving the County to do the appointments in the end.  It made for a lot or work for unpaid club officials and we should expect better from the football authorities.

Finally the Club has received the sad news that Lewis Taylor’s injury is so severe that he is certainly out for the rest of the season and maybe longer.  It was good to see him at the match last night and we shall all look forward to the time when he is finally able to make a comeback in Ashford colours after becoming an instant favourite since joining us in the summer.

It’s back to the League on Saturday, when Ashford will travel to Farnham Town and there will be more on that one later in the week.  The Under-18’s are in action this evening (Wednesday) playing away to Ryman Youth League leaders (West Section) Hendon FC.  The lads though showed what they are capable of last week in the match against Bedfont and will hopefully give a good display.

Fog permitting, Ashford will entertain Hellenic League Kidlington FC on Tuesday evening in a replay of Saturday’s FA Vase 1st Round match, which saw the clubs share four goals.  The replay will be conducted in the knowledge that the winners will be at home to Deal Town in the 2nd Round to be played on 21 November.  The full draw involving CCL clubs can be found on the CCL web site:  http://combinedcounties.pitchero.com/

Kidlington showed themselves to be an excellent team on Saturday on their own ground and Ashford had to dig deep to salvage the draw.  On home turf it may be different but will still be a tough match to win.  This time there will be both extra time and penalties to decide the winner if necessary.  One thing is certain in that we need all our supporters present if possible as sometimes they can make all the difference at home.

The other match this midweek sees the Under-18’s away to Hendon U18 on Wednesday evening, kick-off 7.45 p.m.  The address of the ground is Silver Jubilee Park Townsend Lane Kingsbury London NW9 7NE

We now know that our opponents in the 2nd Round of the Middlesex Charity Cup will be North Greenford United who overcame Hanwell Town last week.  We don’t have a date as yet.

The match against Knaphill, now postponed tomorrow evening has been re-arranged for Tuesday 9 February, although we will be going to Knaphill before then, on Tuesday 1 December in fact, in the 2nd Rounf of the Surrey Senior Cup.

There were some excellent junior results on Sunday and here they all are:

Matt U8s v 7-3 Hanworth

Andy U8s W & L

Graham U10s 3-4 CB Hounslow

Larry U12s 5-0 Kew Park Rangers

Craig U13s 4-3 Mitcham Park

Fin U13s 8-0 Manorcroft

Ben U15s 5-1 Leatherhead

Conor U15s 4-0 Acton Whistlers / County Cup

Tim U16s 6-2 Wallington Wanderers

Joe U17s 3-0 Manorcroft 

The Sunday side lost 1-6 but on Saturday BA beat Southall Res 4-1 to go 5th in the Middlesex County League table.

 

 

Despite dominating possession for much of the match, Kidlington FC were unable to get the better of Ashford on Saturday in the FA Vase, despite extra time, so the tie now proceeds to a reply at Short Lane on Tuesday evening, kick-off 7.45 p.m.

With Bailey Mummery serving a one-match suspension, Josh Andrew cup-tied and none of the injured players quite ready to return, Ashford’s squad was stretched to the limit, with three youth players on the bench.  Bradley Wainwright ploughed a lonely furrow up front but after early Kidlington pressure, it was he who deftly nodded the visitors ahead on just 8 minutes, thanks to good work on the right in the first place by Samad Kazi.

Kidlington were not a team to lay down though and the goal of the game saw them equalise soon afterwards, a terrific shot giving Tyler Tobin absolutely no chance.  They don’t appear to issue team sheets for spectators in the Hellenic League so sadly, the scorer’s name is not known but that does not detract from the quality of the strike.

That led to sustained pressure from the home side but Ashford resisted with all their customary doggedness and, helped by some woeful finishing by the home side, there were no further goals before the break.  The second half brought little respite if the truth be told and when another fierce effort with around 20 minutes left on the clock put Kidlington ahead, the writing seemed to be on the wall for the Tangerines.

Yet again though, that doggedness re-surfaced and with ten to go, it was Max Webb’s turn to crash the ball home after an effort from Jack Beadle, which was actually going wide but was conveniently cleared to Webb’s feet by a defender and he made no mistake.

Extra time saw no additions to the scoreline and on their own patch on Tuesday evening, Ashford manager Ben Murray will expect his team to do more attacking than in this match.  It would be hard to criticise the defence as they worked their socks off, with Scott Weight just in front of the back four, also prominent.  Central defenders Russell Canderton and Will Boye were immense at the heart of the back four but it was keeper Tyler Tobin who was awarded the “Ashford Man of the Match” award, with several stunning saves.

The scheduled league match away to Knaphill on Tuesday will now be postponed and re-arranged for another date.  Although it will obviously be an “either/or” situation, Ashford will figure in the 2nd Round draw, which will be publicised on Monday.

Before departing, mention must be made of the Under-18’s who, following their indifferent form against Staines last Monday, managed to beat Bedfont Sports in the Ryman Youth League Cup (the Lucas Fettes Cup) on Wednesday evening by 3 goals to 1.  A short report has been received from manager Nick Bailey, as follows:

Ashford played Bedfont Sports in the Lucas Fettes cup last night and produced the performance that we all know they can, they pressed from minute one and the work rate didn't drop until the final whistle.

 

We started the brighter and created two great scoring opportunities, but still found ourselves 1 down inside 10 minute. Tthe goal a few weeks ago may have affected the lads but the belief was still there and everyone knew that we were playing the better football and chances would come again - and they did, this time it was our striker Isaac Mplana who is the league’s top goalscorer and he showed us why, when from our corner the ball found Isaac and he made no mistake in smashing it into the net 1-1.

 

The half time team talk was an easy one - the motivation was clear to see from everyone in the changing room and it was a case of keep doing what you’re doing, put them under pressure and go and win the game. 

The second half started and we continued to press all over the park and not allow Bedfont to play. Our second goal was a brilliant move that come from our winger Keegan Stewart who`s pace caused Bedfont problems all night, again it was Isaac who stuck the ball in the net with a clinical finish 2-1.

 

With time running out Isaac signalled to the bench that he needed to come off so we subbed him with Harry Herdman in a straight swap, Bedfont knew that time was against them and started hitting it long but Harry finally put the game to bed with minutes on the clock when he found himself 1 on 1 with Bedfonts keeper and he made no mistake with a brilliant well taken goal. 

MOTM was a difficult decision as there wasn't one player who put a foot out of place the whole match - but was eventually given to Keegan Stewart who caused problems all night. 

3-1 to Ashford and into the next round, so proud of the lads as we've had a busy week with two games in 48 hours and against tough opposition, well done everyone. “

 

Although just a friendly, Ashford will have benefited from a morale boosting 4-1 victory over Brentford’s U21 Development side on Friday evening.

As might have been expected, the match was rather different from a normal CCL match, with both teams passing the ball with fluidity, and more noticeably, an almost complete lack of dissent at any stage towards referee Simon.

The first ten minutes saw Brentford showing how it should be done and it was all feet to the grindstone, so to speak, to keep them out at that stage.  Ashford soon settled though and started to play some good football themselves, with Tommy Brunton standing out, with his excellent use of the ball.

Suddenly the Tangerines hit Brentford with three goals in four minutes shortly before half-time.  Samad Kazi got the party going, followed by Dan Fleming and then up popped Jack Mullan.  All could be described as well crafted goals except maybe the second, when Fleming got on the end of a huge clearance from Tyler Tobin, making no mistake, but a poor goal to concede from the visitors' point of view

The second half saw Brentford, who made a number of changes, come out with far more purpose and for a little while it looked as if a repeat of Tuesday’s debacle might be on the cards, especially when they pulled one back through Montell Moore. 

There wasn’t the intensity in the Brentford side that was so evident with Windsor though and with the ship having been duly steadied, Kazi notched his second near the end, to restore the three goal margin on the night.

For Ashford, Jack Mayger came on for his first appearance of the season, whilst substitute keeper Jake Taylor showed that if Tobin were ever to be injured, he would be a capable deputy, making one exceptional save near the end.

Tommy Brunton won the “Ashford Man of the match” award, and for those who stayed on, a big thank you to Tyrone Fernando for the excellent evening he put on in the club after the match.

Ashford manager Ben Murray was furious with his troops on Tuesday evening as they allowed a 2-0 half-time lead over Windsor evaporate into a 2-3 defeat, Windsor’s winning goal coming in the last minute of the match.

There were two changes to the line up, with Elliott Jones back from injury, restored at right back, whilst Conor Moody started, with Joe Green and Max Webb dropping to the bench.

On a night when every other CCL match was postponed, the pitch was in incredible condition and reflects great credit on Steve Honey and Liam Balmer, and their colleagues.  A late inspection at 6.00 proved to be a formality.

Ashford started well, extremely well in fact, taking the match to their opponents and running up a two goal lead, the first after just six minutes when the keeper kept out a decent effort from Samad Kazi but the rebound went to Dan Fleming and he made no mistake.  The second came on 24 minutes when Jones marked his return with a low effort that found its way into the net.

The game evened up for the remainder of the half and there was no further scoring.

The match changed after the interval.  Windsor adopted different tactics, sending in a succession of long balls into the penalty area and succeeded in pressurising the home defenders who found themselves hard pressed to contain the persistent wave of attacks.  The pressure did not take long to tell and two goals were conceded within seven minutes to bring the visitors level.

At that point there only looked one winner but Ashford did manage to steady the ship to some extent and both Kazi and Fleming had good opportunities to redress the balance but to no avail and with a share of the points looking inevitable, Windsor’s Dunbar popped up with the winner in the 90th minute, as Ashford over stretched themselves and got caught at the back.

Ashford can take stock as they look forward to entertaining a Brentford side on Friday evening, kick-off 7.30 p.m. before their next league match away to neighbours Chertsey Town on Tuesday of next week.  Ashford have missed the fire power of Mark Bitmead since his injury at Hartley Wintney and he will hopefully now be back next week after sustained treatment.

Finally last night, a big well done to all three officials who by universal acclaim were excellent, especially referee North, who refereed a match of high intensity with common sense and no fuss.  Thank you also to all the spectators who showed up on a rotten evening, weather wise and with European football on TV.  Don’t forget that admission on Friday for the Brentford match is just £5, with all Under-16’s free and OAP’s at £3.

 

 

This evening's Ryman Youth League match at home to Northwood has been postponed.

FOLLOWING AN INSPECTION BY THE MATCH REFEREE, THIS EVENING'S MATCH AT HOME TO WINDSOR, IS ON

The pitch was absolutely fine an hour or so ago but the heavy rain in the last hour or so has placed a doubt upon this evening's match.

We still hope that it will go ahead but the match referee will arrive by 6.00 pm and will make his inspection.

If I am unable to put a further update on here, please phone the Club on 01784 245908.

The Premier Division of the CCL has an odd number of teams this season and this coming Saturday, It is Ashford’s turn to be without a match.

As a result, an attractive friendly has been arranged for Friday evening (28 Nov) when Ashford will entertain a Brentford FC squad which is likely to contain some of their senior players not in the squad for their league match on Saturday.  The match kicks off at 7.30 p.m. and with the Country evening also taking place at the Clubhouse on Friday evening, it will be a busy night!

Admission to this match will be just £5 (£3 concessions) and all Under-16’s will be admitted free of charge.

Everyone attending the match is warmly invited to join us in the club house afterwards, when our very own Tyrone Fernando is putting on a Country evening, again completely free of charge.

For the second match in a row, Ashford conceded two early goals to their opponents but unlike Tuesday, this time there was no happy ending for the Tangerines who ended up losing at Raynes Park Vale by three goals to one for their first away league defeat of the season.

Vale played down the considerable slope in the first half and within nine minutes they were two up as Ashford seemed shell shocked and effectively the match was settled in those early moments as the home side expertly utilised the conditions.

Nobody in tangerine seemed to be able to get the ball down and play their usual game, although Dan Fleming up front on his own did his best, but came in for some rough treatment throughout, rarely punished by an extremely lenient referee, although Ashford would have reason themselves to thank the official later on for his refusal to overdo the disciplinary side of things.  Jack Beadle was the pick of the visiting bunch, rightly winning the “Ashford man of the match award” but it was something of a hollow affair given the circumstances.

Even after Ashford had won something of a soft penalty for yet another foul on Fleming, just after the half-hour mark, struck home by Beadle, which one thought might have been the catalyst to get the team going, it just didn’t happen this week.

Playing down the slope in the second period, it is fair to say that Ashford enjoyed the majority of the possession but rarely looked like making it count.  Vale defended doggedly and confidently, it has to be said, and then made it 3-1 in their favour with 20 minutes left just after Ben Murray had made a triple substitution putting on an extra forward in the process in the shape of Phil Osuhor.  Despite the immediate goal against, that did seem to work to some extent and hope was almost re-kindled when Max Webb hit a thunderous shot that became the second effort of the afternoon to hit the woodwork and rebound to safety.  Ashford supporters will have lost count of the number of times that has happened this season!

A Vale defender was lucky to escape the ultimate punishment for a nasty challenge from behind on Fleming, but the Ashford player was himself equally lucky some minutes later for a petulant kick on an opponent in sheer frustration.

Nobody should be too downhearted though.  To not lose an away match until the end of November is quite an achievement and the other front runners have all dropped points recently, although we could have done without most of the others all winning on Saturday.

On Tuesday we entertain Windsor FC in what is bound to be an intriguing match.  More on that one later.

Ashford would like to send its sincere condolences to the families of both Ciaron Taylor, ex Chairman of Staines Lammas and to John Hanson, long associated with Staines Town both of whom have just passed away.

Ashford will travel to Raynes Park Vale FC on Saturday in search of league points.  It will be the Ash Trees first match at the venue since March 2000 but it holds memories for the visitors as it was here on 9 May 1998 that Ashford clinched the CCL championship for a record breaking fourth consecutive season, after a close fight with Reading Town.  Ashford managed to win that day by three goals to nil, courtesy of goals from Dannie Bulman, still going strong in the Football League, Lee Holman and Anthony Eggington.  Another small factoid is that Paul German scored in every one of his seven competitive matches against Raynes Park between 1995 and 1997.

Back to today and the Vale currently sit in 16th place in the table with 19 points from their 16 league matches, having won 5, drawn 4, and lost 7 of their matches.  They had a good start to the season but have only won one of their last six league games.  Nevertheless they have only lost one league match at home, that being 2-4 against Westfield.  From memory, the pitch has a distinct slope and they will obviously know the best way to use that to their advantage but conversely Ashford always seemed to do better when they went up the slope in the past.  Vale also had the distinction of being the final surviving club from the CCL in the FA Cup this season, when they reached the 2nd Qualifying Round, before losing narrowly at Billericay Town 1-2, after playing with ten men for much of the match.

The address of the ground is Prince Georges Playing Fields, Grand Drive, Raynes Park, SW20 9NB and kick-off as usual is 3.00 p.m.  With Elliott Jones back in action, Ashford should be at or near full strength.

The draw for the quarter final of the Aldershot Senior Cup sees us pitted against Fleet Town, at Short Lane, on a date to be determined.  There seemed to be some confusion earlier in the week but it is confirmed that the next home league match is next Tuesday, 25 November when we entertain Windsor FC

Ashford’s last match in the Aldershot Senior Cup was in May 2012 when they actually won the competition, beating Badshot Lea in the Final at Aldershot Town FC.   They have not played in it for two seasons but on Tuesday evening they resumed their participation in the competition with a 2nd Round tie at home to Ash United.  On paper it looked a straightforward match with Ash now competing in Division One of the League but it didn’t turn out like that and whilst Ashford finally got the better of their old foes, they needed extra time to turn round a two goal deficit and then win by four goals to two.

Ben Murray took the opportunity to shuffle his squad, giving Jake Taylor his 1st Team start in goal, whilst Phil Osuhor came in up front after a couple of encouraging cameos from the bench.  A strong bench was held in reserve, including Dan Fleming.

For the first ten minutes it looked as if it was only a matter of time before Ashford scored as they totally dominated possession but the ball did not go in and suddenly Ash were causing problems as long balls to the speedy Nick Hammett up front saw them getting behind the Ashford defenders, who were caught too often up the field and out of position.

Even so it was a little out of the blue when Hammett confidently put the visitors ahead on 12 minutes.  There was no panic but the Ash keeper was playing well, pulling off one or two great saves, especially from Joe Hughes, and the whole Ash team grew in confidence, looking dangerous far too often for Ashford’s liking.   When they went two up on the stroke of half-time through Jake Griggs, it was becoming serious and doubtless there were a few well chosen words in the home dressing room at half-time.

Ashford needed a goal back quickly and fortunately for the home supporters they achieved just that on 55 minutes when Osuhor who had been non-stop in his efforts finally got on the end of the ball to poke home from close range.

Ash still had their moments and Taylor, son of ex Ashford stalwart Glenn Taylor, was doing well enough in the home goal.  One sensed though that Ash might struggle to hold on to their now precarious lead and so it proved on 78 minutes when Osuhor  hit his second of the match.  Ash were incensed as they felt the goal was offside and it must have been close.  For a little while they looked to be losing their discipline and referee Southwell, who seemed to take a long time with all his decisions, was kept busy.

Matters settled down and it was into extra time.  Ash could have gone in front again almost immediately, missing a golden chance but Ashford eventually notched again and whilst eagle eyed Eddie on the tannoy credited it to Fleming, it looked an o.g. to whose of us on the far side.  That finally did for the visitors and Samad Kazi made it absolutely safe just a few seconds from the end.

As with the cup match against Bedfont last week, Ashford as a whole did not show the intensity that they usually do in league matches but yet again they hit four goals, albeit with the help of an extra half hour and it is difficult to criticise this free scoring squad too much.  Ash looked decent at times and surely have it in them to finish in the top three in Division One this season to achieve promotion.

Kiern Wright was named as Ashford man of the match following the usual supporters’ poll, organised by Chad Beadle and he certainly had an excellent match.  Elliott Jones returned from injury from the bench and, although a little rusty, came through without any problems.  Of the fairly new boys, Taylor did fine after a shaky opening period while Osuhor will always take the eye with his non-stop running and he was rewarded for his efforts with the two opening goals for Ashford.

The draw for the quarter finals came through this morning and Ashford will entertain Fleet Town from the SW Division of the Southern League on a date to be arranged.

It’s back to the League on Saturday when Ashford will make their way to Raynes Park Vale for the first time since March 2000.  A match preview will be published over the next day or two.

In the League on Tuesday, the “big” match, Molesey v Windsor was postponed as the home pitch was waterlogged, but there were wins for Epsom & Ewell (5-2 at Mole Valley) and Hanworth Villa (4-3 at home to Horley) who have started to look up with a host of new signings, including ex-Ashford man Scott Todd, who scored last night.  The other league match saw Badshot Lea claw back two goals against Hartley Wintney, the game ending in a point apiece, following a 2-2 draw.

Ashford face Ash United on Tuesday evening at Short Lane in the 2nd Round of the Aldershot Senior Cup, when a victory for either side will see the winners into the Quarter Final of the competition, the draw for which has yet to be made or at least publicised.  Kick-off is 7.45 p.m.

Back in the 90’s Ashford and Ash United were for many seasons two of the main protagonists in the CCL, with matches between the clubs always keenly fought.  We have also met in a variety of competitions, including the Aldershot Cup back in February 2008, when Ashford managed to win by two goals to one, courtesy of goals from Wes Goggin and Brett Cooper.

This season Ash are playing in Division One of the CCL having been rather unfortunate to suffer relegation at the end of last season and currently sit in 6th place in the table with five wins and three defeats from their 13 matches to date.  They have suffered something of a dip in form lately, with two draws and two defeats in their last four matches.  They do though have the Division’s highest scorer Jourdain Coleman in their ranks, with ten league goals to date.

It was very remiss of us not to mention it before now, but the Club's best wishes go to Ryan Dearden who sustained an injury at work last week, which has left him with a broken arm, we believe.  Hopefully he will make a swift recovery.