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Although two clubs were wiling to play us this Tuesday evening, the logisitics just did not work, so the next pre-season friendly will be on Saturday 30 July, when Ashford will face a Barnet FC X1, kick-off 3.00 p.m.  This will be the first match on the hallowed turf for the new season and we look forward to welcoming our supporters who will hopefully wish to give our promotion winning side their support as they look forward to the challenges of the Evostick League.  Ben has retained most of last season's squad and with one or two additions, one of whom supporters will be very pleased to see back at Short Lane.  There will be a little more detail once the writer has seen confirmation of all the signings but it is looking good now the rustiness of the first two friendlies has been overcome.

Some incredible work has been done in the close season and if you haven't yet seen the refurbished bar area, you are in for a treat.  IN addition the match officials' room has been extended in line with the new requirements due to come in on 31 March 2018 whilst the pitch is looking good.  There is still some tidying up to be done before Saturday so if anyone can spare a few hours any time Wednesday to Friday, you will be very welcome. As previously reported, our main sponsors Hitchcock & King have doubled their sponsorship amount for the new season and we cannot thank them enough.

For different reasons both tomorrow's match at Shoreham and  that on Tuesday at Banstead have been called off.  Ashford are looking for an alternative match on Tuesday, when Short Lane will now be available if required.  We apologise to Shoreham FC for this very late decison.

A distinctly improved performance was given by Ashford in their friendly away to Spelthorne Sports on Tuesday resulting in a narrow 2-1 victory against another side who may well be challenging for CCL honours at the end of the season.  Both Ashford goals came from excellent moves, even though the first one was finally headed into his own net by a defender.  The second came from Mark Bitmead right at the start of the second half.  Following the rather abject performance at CB Hounslow on Saturday, it was good to see how hard all the players worked in a very hot temperature

It is getting more serious now and on Saturday Ashford will be travelling down to Shoreham FC for their first ever match against our opponents.  We thank Shoreham in advance for hosting the match and hopefully as many of our supporters as possible will make the trip.

Kick-off is at 3.00 p.m. and the address of the ground is The Taxi-Link Community Ground, Middle Road, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, BN43 6GA, just 7 miles from Brighton..  It is a journey of just over 71 miles and shouldn’t take longer than an hour and a half.  Should it be necessary, the phone number of the ground is 01273 454261

Finally best wishes go to our Chairman Dave Baker, who goes into hospital this evening for a minor operation.  He will hopefully be out early next week.

Ashford’s next friendly is on Tuesday evening (19 July) just down the road at Spelthorne Sports, kick-off 7.45 p.m.

Following that, on Saturday we have the trip down to Sussex to play against Shoreham, which is around 7 miles from Brighton.  There will be a full preview on the site later in the week.

Ashford found themselves on the wrong end of a 0-3 defeat on Wednesday at Colliers Wood.  Two late goals masked some reasonable football by the Tangerines at times but it was also quite apparent that some of the players were a little on the rusty side following holidays and so on.  It should also be said that Colliers Wood played very well.

Ashford move on to the next friendly, this afternoon (Saturday) when they make the short trip to play CB Hounslow at their own ground, namely Osterley Sports Club, Tentelow Ln, Southall UB2 4LW.  Kick-off is 3.00 p.m.

Ashford found themselves on the wrong end of a 0-3 defeat on Wednesday at Colliers Wood.  Two late goals masked some reasonable football by the Tangerines at times but it was also quite apparent that some of the players were a little on the rusty side following holidays and so on.  It should also be said that Colliers Wood played very well.

Ashford move on to the next friendly, this afternoon (Saturday) when they make the short trip to play CB Hounslow at their own ground, namely Osterley Sports Club, Tentelow Ln, Southall UB2 4LW.  Kick-off is 3.00 p.m.

Ashford found themselves on the wrong end of a 0-3 defeat on Wednesday at Colliers Wood.  Two late goals masked some reasonable football by the Tangerines at times but it was also quite apparent that some of the players were a little on the rusty side following holidays and so on.  It should also be said that Colliers Wood played very well.

Ashford move on to the next friendly, this afternoon (Saturday) when they make the short trip to play CB Hounslow at their own ground, namely Osterley Sports Club, Tentelow Ln, Southall UB2 4LW.  Kick-off is 3.00 p.m.

With lots of people away, details from Ashford's opening friendly at Knaphill on Saturday 9 July are sketchy at the moment, apart from the result which was one apiece.  With manager Ben Murray back from Wimbledon duties, the momentum will now start to gather and the second friendly arrives tomorrow evening, (Tuesday 12 July) when Ashford make the trip to Colliers Wood United, where they can be assured of an excellent surface.

Colliers Wood play at the Wibbandune Sports Ground, Robin Hood Way (A3 south bound), Wimbledon, SW20 0AA.  Doubtless most will be aware but the car park is quite small so if you arrive late it is better to park on the other side of the road, where there is a slip road and then walk over the footbridge.  Kick-off at Colliers Wood is usually 7.30 p.m. but it has been agreed that tomorrow's match will start at 7.45 p.m. to allow a little extra time

We have received a letter from the Football Association advising that Liam Balmer and Steve Honey from Ashford Town (Middlesex) have been placed within the top six groundsmen in the National Step 5 and 6 award category throughout the country.

The winners will be announced at the FA’s “Groundsman of the Year Awards Day” on Tuesday 16 August at St. Georges Park and both Liam and Steve have been invited to attend.  All the finalists will receive a certificate from the FA.

Our pitch was better than it has ever been last season and full credit and congratulations go to Liam and to Steve and his colleagues.

Ashford Town (Middlesex) have been handed difficult away ties in all three of The FA's competitions in which the club has entered.

In the Emirates FA Cup, we will travel to Shortwood United of the Evo-Stik League Southern Division One South and West.  "The Wood" play in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, a town in which we have played an FA Cup tie once before; away to Forest Green Rovers in a Fourth Round Qualifying replay.  It will be a long journey, but an interesting challenge and a new opponent for the club.

We face slightly more familiar opposition in The FA Trophy. We make our return to the competition at the Preliminary Round stage and will travel to AFC Hornchurch. Our last FA Trophy meeting with the Urchins, who are in the Ryman League Division One North, was in the First Round Proper in 2011. The Tangerines enjoyed home advantage in that tie and won it 1-0 thanks to a late Jones Awuah goal.  The winner of the match at Hornchurch's Bridge Avenue Stadium then travels to Ryman League Premier Division club Tonbridge Angels.

Even the Under-18 team were sent on their travels in The FA Youth Cup. They will go to Potters Bar Town in the Preliminary Round, with the winners playing away to either Spelthorne Sports or Hadley Wood & Wingate.

In the Middlesex Senior Cup for season 2016-2017, Ashford have been drawn at home to North Greenford United in the 1st Round, with the winners drawn at home to CB Hounslow United in the 2nd Round.

Also, the Southern League have set up a new informative website, now up and running at http://www.evostikleaguesouthern.co.uk/

The draws for the FA Cup and Trophy are due to be released at midday on Friday 8 July and will be shown on here as quickly as possible.

The first training session for the new season is this coming Tuesday 5 July, at Short Lane, when players are asked to report at 7.00 p.m.

It has not taken long for the new campaign to roll around and Ashford will play their first pre-season match next Saturday, 9 July, against Knaphill FC.

The match will kick off at 2.00 p.m. and will be played at Bisley FC, Church Lane, Bisley, GU24 9DR.  Church Lane is just off the roundabout next to the Hen and Chickens Public House.

The first training session for the new season is this coming Tuesday 5 July, at Short Lane, when players are asked to report at 7.00 p.m

 

We are pleased to welcome 5 new teams who join our successful growing Youth set up for next season.  Our new U8s U9s U11s and two U13s will join our existing 19 sides bringing the Youth section to 24 teams for the coming season. 

 

All the sides will be competing in the Surrey Youth League which kicks off in September and preseason games will start on our newly renovated training ground at the Football Club with an internal friendly day lined up against CB Hounslow on the 4th September for all age groups. 

 

Also, for all our new parents, members etc., the club is open every day, except Mondays, and we will be pleased to see you at any time making use of the newly re-furbished bar and patio, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ashford’s new look side got off to a stuttering start on Tuesday evening, losing 0-2 to Cockfosters FC in the re-arranged Middlesex Charity Cup semi-final from last season.

Although it was a little disappointing not to reach Saturday’s final, there were plenty of positives for the Tangerines and whilst the defending for the two goals, and indeed on other occasions, showed some rustiness, Ashford did create plenty of chances, particularly in the second period..

The match started evenly with both sides looking bright but it was Cockfosters’ Ben Andreos who put his side ahead after 20 minutes.  Tyler Tobin was unable to deal with a high swirling cross and the lofty Andreos finished tidily.  The second goal came on the stroke of half-time and once again it was a long cross that caught Ashford out.  This time though it was the usually reliable Alex Fisher who somehow headed into his own net.

Although enjoying plenty of possession, Ashford had created very few real chances in the first half, the only one of note being a curling effort from Mark Bitmead which missed by a whisker.

For much of the second period though, Ashford enjoyed the bulk of the possession.  Jesse Atiase almost levelled maters up quickly and Joe Green also missed a golden chance.  Cockfosters’ keeper Tom Coulton was on top form and he tipped over a scorcher of a shot from debutant Bradley Wainwright.  All that said, Cockfosters continued to look dangerous when they were able to get forward and Ashford wish them the best of luck in the Final on Saturday.

The outcome means that Ashford will now have a full 1st Team squad from which to pick their side for the friendly match at CCL newcomers Abbey Rangers on Saturday and there will be more on that one later in the week.

There is also more news to come of new signings, including Scott Weight, who has returned to the Club after a short spell at Egham Town, ended by a serious injury.  Welcome back Weighty.

Ashford will be itching to get back on their own pitch this evening (Tuesday) when they entertain Cockfosters FC from the Spartan South Midlands League in the re-arranged semi-final of the Middlesex Charity Cup from last season.  The situation, you may recall, came about following the discovery that Enfield Town had inadvertently played a suspended player against us back in January and were eventually expelled from the competition.

Tonight’s match now serves as a useful competitive match before the start of the season proper on Saturday 8 August and there is the added bonus for either ourselves or Cockfosters of a Cup Final on Saturday against Harrow Borough FC, which, rather disappointingly, is actually being played at Harrow, who will thus have an inbuilt advantage, quite apart from now playing their football two levels above either ourselves or Cockfosters.

Cockfosters last season did not enjoy a particularly successful season finishing in 18th place in their league, with 37 points but that will count for little this evening as we understand they have a new side and a new manager in Dean Barker who is reported as being pleased with his side’s efforts so far in their pre-season matches.  Meetings between our two clubs have been very infrequent over the years with just two to recount.  Back in September 1992, we were drawn at home to them in the Middlesex Senior Cup but in the absence of lights at the time, the match was played at Hampton & Richmond when we managed to win by two goals to nil, courtesy of goals from Andy Smith and Ian Miles.

The other meeting was far more recent and was in the 1st Round of the Charity Cup in October 2013.  It ended in a 1-1 draw, ours coming from Kofi Lockhart-Adams, but Cockfosters triumphed in the penalty shoot out, winning by four goals to two, our scorers being Joe Hughes and Jamie Connor.

Kick-off this evening is 7.45 p.m.

“I just wanted to keep supporters updated about squad news before tomorrow night’s semi-final. Firstly, I am very happy to announce the signings of Lewis Taylor, Jesse Atiase, Bayley Mummery, Bradley Wainright, George Marks and Harry Driver to the club for the forthcoming season.

Lewis is a centre half that I wanted to sign last season, where he spent the season as captain at Chertsey and has played the levels above in previous seasons. Jesse is a very able, talented and experienced forward who scored twice against our team last season, he is an intelligent player who will complement our style well. Bayley, who is a young 18 year old who was at Woking Academy and had valuable experience at Spelthorne last season, he has great vision and again is ideal for our philosophy and style of play.


Bradley, George and Harry all provide much needed squad depth and are all experienced heads on young shoulders, who when are all fully fit will be great assets to the club. Bradley is a forward with exceptional potential, George is a old-school style defender who has impressed me a lot in pre-season and Harry will be well-known to supporters from a couple of seasons back, who has improved immensely and once fully fit will be a tremendous defender to the squad.


We also welcome back the returning Mark Bitmead, plus the return of all of last season’s squad barring one or two exceptions, those being Sam Baffour (travelling and game time) and Elliott Jones (work studies) who were two players not to re-sign, but the rest of the squad were all signed on forms before the middle of June, which I was extremely proud of as it shows the ambition of the whole group to push this club on to great things this season.

We also promote Ilia Perovic into the full first-team set-up after his positive performances towards the end of last season, he will still be eligible for youth team football when necessary.

Mitchal Gough went on a trial at Staines Town two weeks ago and has done well, we obviously are always reluctant for players to leave us, but when the opportunity arises for a player to play at a much higher level then our current one then I cannot stop the player from going, we had numerous conversations about what was the right thing for him. He is a fantastic talent that must be playing week in, week out, at his age and if he can get that at Staines he will be more than able for the standard.


There are three additional players in which I am waiting to finalise signings in the next week or so who will add further experience to the squad and will keep you updated on them as and when.


I am quietly confident about the season ahead, we have had quite a low-key pre-season, which I think has been ideal for our squad, but there is no doubt it will be great to get back onto our home stadium pitch tomorrow night. Hopefully we can match, if not better, the support that we received last season.”

“I just wanted to keep supporters updated about squad news before tomorrow night’s semi-final. Firstly, I am very happy to announce the signings of Lewis Taylor, Jesse Atiase, Bayley Mummery, Bradley Wainright, George Marks and Harry Driver to the club for the forthcoming season.

Lewis is a centre half that I wanted to sign last season, where he spent the season as captain at Chertsey and has played the levels above in previous seasons. Jesse is a very able, talented and experienced forward who scored twice against our team last season, he is an intelligent player who will complement our style well. Bayley, who is a young 18 year old who was at Woking Academy and had valuable experience at Spelthorne last season, he has great vision and again is ideal for our philosophy and style of play.


Bradley, George and Harry all provide much needed squad depth and are all experienced heads on young shoulders, who when are all fully fit will be great assets to the club. Bradley is a forward with exceptional potential, George is a old-school style defender who has impressed me a lot in pre-season and Harry will be well-known to supporters from a couple of seasons back, who has improved immensely and once fully fit will be a tremendous defender to the squad.


We also welcome back the returning Mark Bitmead, plus the return of all of last season’s squad barring one or two exceptions, those being Sam Baffour (travelling and game time) and Elliott Jones (work studies) who were two players not to re-sign, but the rest of the squad were all signed on forms before the middle of June, which I was extremely proud of as it shows the ambition of the whole group to push this club on to great things this season.

We also promote Ilia Perovic into the full first-team set-up after his positive performances towards the end of last season, he will still be eligible for youth team football when necessary.

Mitchal Gough went on a trial at Staines Town two weeks ago and has done well, we obviously are always reluctant for players to leave us, but when the opportunity arises for a player to play at a much higher level then our current one then I cannot stop the player from going, we had numerous conversations about what was the right thing for him. He is a fantastic talent that must be playing week in, week out, at his age and if he can get that at Staines he will be more than able for the standard.


There are three additional players in which I am waiting to finalise signings in the next week or so who will add further experience to the squad and will keep you updated on them as and when.


I am quietly confident about the season ahead, we have had quite a low-key pre-season, which I think has been ideal for our squad, but there is no doubt it will be great to get back onto our home stadium pitch tomorrow night. Hopefully we can match, if not better, the support that we received last season.”

Ashford suffered a defeat on Saturday when Marlow won by the only goal of the match scored some eight minutes before the end of the game.  It came about following a disputed free kick into the area when a Marlow header eventually found the back of the net.

Overall, the match, played at Addlestone Leisure Centre, was even throughout and manager Ben Murray won’t be too unhappy with the performance of his troops, missing a number of the squad for one reason or another in a physical match that will do no harm to the season’s preparations. 

On a small and surprisingly dry pitch after the previous day’s heavy rain, Ashford will be pleased to get back to their own ground on Tuesday evening, when they will entertain Spartan S. Midlands side Cockfosters FC in a re-arranged Middlesex Charity Cup semi-final from last season.  It will be good to have a competitive match before the start of the league season and the prize for the winners will be a Cup Final against Harrow Borough on Saturday 1 August.

Several new players have been signed in recent days and manager Ben Murray will be compiling a report for all Ashford supporters, which will hopefully appear on the web site on Monday.

Replacement opponents have been found for Saturday and we will now be meeting Marlow FC, from the Southern League, on Saturday, at Addlestone Leisure Centre, kicking off at 3.00 p.m.

We are grateful to Marlow stepping in at short notice and well done to Football Secretary Geoff Knock who spent a long time trying to find alternative opponents.  The full address of the Leisure Centre is in one of the previous articles.

Lightning does strike twice as Ascot United have now become the second club in a week to pull out of a pre-season friendly against us, which leaves us looking for opponents on Saturday.  Efforts are going on to find a different club to play but if any clubs read this and would like a match, please contact Geoff Knock on 07896 792792.  We have the pitch booked at Addlestone Leisure Centre, plus three officials.

A hastily arranged match against a Basingstoke Town Under-21 squad on Tuesday evening saw Ashford rack up their fourth consecutive victory in pre-season, winning comfortably in the end by four goals to nil.

Wise football men do not get carried away by friendly results but there is no doubt that Ben Murray’s new look squad is shaping up nicely.  Some of the very impressive new players have yet to commit themselves but if all or most of them do so, Ashford could certainly approach the season with a degree of guarded confidence.

The opening period of yesterday evening’s match did not suggest a Tangerine victory as the clearly talented visitors’ squad held on to the ball almost exclusively for some five minutes, although, that said, they did not look penetrative, much of the possession being in their own half.

Ashford got to grips and showed how it should be done with the first goal on ten minutes.  Mark Bitmead, back in a tangerine shirt, looked determined to make up for lost time and whilst usually the finisher, this time he put in a predatory first time ball from deep on the left, to allow one of our newcomers to take the chance with great aplomb.

After that Ashford generally just improved and it was no real surprise when Dan Fleming doubled the lead shortly before half-time.  The main provider this time was Tommy Brunton whose left wing cross led to a shot from skipper Russell Canderton that was blocked but there was no stopping Fleming as he hammered home the rebound.

Although Basingstoke continued to look decent in possession, it is fair to say they rarely converted their possession into clear cut chances.  It was a different story for Ashford, who scored two more goals after the interval, both excellent finishes, from two of our newcomers.

We now move on to Saturday which will see Ashford playing against Hellenic League side Ascot United, who went a long way in the FA Vase last season.  It will be another excellent test and the match this week is at Addlestone Leisure Centre, School Lane, Addlestone, KT15 1TD, kicking off at the more traditional 3.00 p.m.

After that everyone will be itching to get back to playing at our own ground and the first match at Short Lane will be on Tuesday 28 July when, of course, we will be entertaining Cockfosters FC in the much delayed Middlesex Charity Cup Semi-Final from last season.  The winners will go on to meet Harrow Borough in the Final on Saturday 1 August.  More in due course.

Thanks to some quick work by Manager Ben Murray, an alternative match has now been arranged for tomorrow evening (Tuesday)

We will now be playing Basingstoke Town U21 at Egham Leisure Centre, kick-off 6.45 p.m.

Ashford continued their pre-season build up on Saturday with a 3-1 win over Sussex League side Loxwood, the club who knocked the Tangerines out of the FA Vase last season.

The match took place at Egham Leisure Centre once again and once again a number of triallists took part over the 90 minutes.  It was an even start but Ashford had an early chance to go ahead when Samad Kazi was fouled in the area, but Jack Beadle’s effort was well saved.  From the resulting corner though It was the returning Joe Green who put Ashford ahead on 6 minutes when he latched onto a corner from Alex Fisher that the keeper couldn’t gather, and sent a very decent header looping over the custodian into the far corner.

Loxwood had plenty of players who had played in last season’s Vase match and caused the Ashford rearguard some problems.  Within minutes they had equalised from a very similar goal to that scored by Ashford.

Kazi was then sent in by a penetrating through ball from Beadle but had strayed just offside and his effort was disallowed.  Loxwood should then have gone ahead when an error by keeper Tobin gave the visitors a golden opportunity but they fluffed their lines as Ashford got back quickly.

Just before the half-hour mark, Ashford went ahead again.  Another well placed pass from Tommy Brunton found ace marksman Dan Fleming who had some work to do but his control enabled him to take the ball down before slotting home with aplomb.

After that Ashford generally looked stronger than their opponents and effectively sealed the match on 68 minutes when the speedy Kazi took advantage when, under no great pressure,  Loxwood gave the ball away and there was no stopping the young Ashford striker as he raced clear evading a desperate challenge from the keeper before scoring in to an empty net.

Any number of substitutions from both sides inevitably upset the rhythm of the match but although sub keeper Jake Taylor had to make a smart save near the end, Ashford remained largely untroubled and manager Ben Murray was generally pleased with the performance and the ongoing preparation.

The next match was to have been against Frimley Green on Tuesday evening, again at Egham Sports Centre but our opponents have had to pull out.  Secretary Geoff Knock is trying to find a replacement team at short notice so keep your eye on the web site for further details.

In the mantime, please note that next Saturday’s match against Hellenic League Ascot United is to be played at Addlestone Leisure Centre, kick-off 3.00 pm.  Further details of that one later in the week.

Ashford continue their build-up on Saturday with a match against Loxwood FC, who knocked the Tangerines out of the FA Vase last season.  They were a good side and this will undoubtedly be a stiff test for Ashford as the new season increases momentum.

Once again the match is being played at Egham leisure Centre, Vicarage Road, Egham and kicks off at 4.00 p.m.

CB Hounslow have been something of a bogey side for Ashford recently but the Tangerines came out on top on Tuesday evening, winning by four goals to three in another match that had a low key feeling about it.  It was useful though for manager Ben Murray to have his first look at the rapidly developing squad in action in this pre-season, following his sojourn at the Wimbledon tennis.

Plenty of established players were absent for one reason or another but some of the triallists on show were more than prominent, and indeed scored two of the four goals.  As agreed with the manager, we won’t be naming any new players until they have actually registered for the Club.

CB Hounslow had a number of ex-Ashford players in their ranks, including the Bamford brothers, Nick Hardy and Vinnie Hodge and their overall performance suggested that they will certainly be a force in Division One of the CCL this coming season.

Nevertheless, Ashford took a two goal lead, the second coming from the newly signed Bailey Mummery, only to be pegged back on the stroke of half-time, and CB then equalised ten minutes into the second period.  Samad Kazi, held back in the first half, along with Tommy Brunton, then gave Ashford the lead on 75 minutes but some sloppy defending two minutes later gave CB another equaliser.  Ashford had the last word though, when another triallist, in this case one who will be well known to Ashford supporters, made the game safe right at the death with the fourth goal from a fierce but deflected shot.

There should be further news of confirmed signings after Thursday’s training session, whilst the next match is on Saturday when Ashford will play against Loxwood, who knocked them out of the FA Vase last season.  This game is currently scheduled to kick off at 4.00 p.m. at Egham Leisure Centre but should that change, the details will be put on the website later in the week.

We have been advised that Tuesday evening’s match away to CB Hounslow United will not take place at Bedfont & Feltham FC but at their own ground, the address of which is OSTERLEY SPORTS CLUB, TENTELOW LANE, NORWOOD GREEN, MIDDLESEX, UB5 6UR.

There are no floodlights at the ground so kick-off is now 7.00 p.m.

Ashford started their pre-season preparation with a low key but useful match against Ash United on Saturday at Egham Leisure Centre.  There were one or two very interesting newcomers but they will be named once they have signed on the dotted line.  In addition three of last season’s youth squad made an appearance, with one in particular standing out in central defence, Ilia Perovic, who had actually managed a few games up front at the end of last season.

Ash were game opponents but Ashford generally held the whip hand, winning reasonably comfortably by four goals to one, playing some controlled and impressive football at times upon a rock hard and bumpy surface on an unexpectedly breezy afternoon.  “Man of the Match” Max Webb scored the opening goal on 16 minutes when he firmly headed home a cross from Alex Fisher.  That was a good goal but on the half-hour he doubled the lead with an even better second goal, a fierce effort whistling into the net from some distance.

Ash were not laying down and enjoyed rather more of the ball immediately before and after half-time but could do nothing about the third goal following some magic from Dan Fleming and how good to see him back in Ashford’s colours and working very hard for the whole 90 minutes.

The game became rather tepid for a while but it was Ashford who scored again when Samad Kazi, looking extremely fit, pounced upon a defensive error to beat the keeper and tap home.

The match was over but it was the visitors who had the last word, a fierce dipping volley from debutant Paul Bangura giving sub keeper Jake Taylor no chance.

Ashford now go to CB Hounslow on Tuesday evening, kick-off 7.30 p.m.  The address of the ground is Bedfont & Feltham FC, The Orchard, Hatton Road, Bedfont, TW14 9QT.  Manager Ben Murray will be back, following his duties at Wimbledon tennis for the last two weeks.

Ashford have their opening friendly of the new season coming up this Saturday (11 July) when they will be facing old friends and rivals, Ash United.

There is though a change of venue, as the back pitch at Short Lane is not yet ready for football to be played on it, the lack of rain being a major factor.  The match will now be played at Egham Leisure Centre, Vicarage Road, Egham TW20 8NL  and the kick-off time has been moved to 4.00 p.m.

In the meantime, several players from last season have re-registered.  So far Ryan Dearden, Dan Fleming, Alex Fisher, Joe Green, Samad Kazi, Ilia Perovic, Mason Roseboom, Tyler Tobin and Max Webb have all signed on with plenty more to follow.  Bailey Mummery, who was with Spelthorne Sports last season, has also signed.  

 

Ashford find themselves with one of the longer trips in the Extra-Preliminary Round of the FA Cup, as they will be travelling around 72 miles to face Northants side Wellingborough Town in the competition on Saturday 15 August.

The informative Wellingborough web site states that they are the 6th oldest club in the country, being formed back in 1867.  They are also the oldest club in Northamptonshire.  Their best ever performance in the FA Cup came back in 1965 when they lost to Aldershot in the 1st Round Proper.  Phil Neal played for the club before going on to make his name with Liverpool.

More recently, they finished in 15th place last season in the United Counties League, with 12 wins and 21 defeats in their 40 matches.  They have recently appointed a new manager Jamie Wright, who is an ex-player.  In the FA Cup last season, they found themselves defeated in the Extra-Preliminary Round by Bedfont & Feltham, who won 4-2.

We shall look forward to meeting brand new opponents and there will be more on the tie nearer the time.

The draw has also been made for the Preliminary Round, in which either Wellingborough or ourselves will play at home to one of Oxhey Jets or AFC Kempston Rovers.  Oxhey play in the Spartan South Midlands League and Kempston are in the United Counties League with Wellingborough.

The FA Youth Cup sees us with a bye in the opening round, followed by a trip to Northwood U18's in the 2nd Qualifying Round.

In the FA Vase, our 3rd place finish has resulted in an exemption to the 1st Round Proper, the draw for which has not yet been made.

Ashford will be holding an Under-18 Trial Evening for their midweek Ryman Youth League squad on Wednesday 6 August on the training pitches.

The details are as follows:

Meet Time: 6.30pm in the clubhouse for a 7pm start

Ends: around 9pm

To reserve a place on the trial day please send the following details to U18 Manager, Sean Caldwell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Full Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Preferred Playing Position/Positions
  • Email address
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The Under-18 side play in the Ryman Youth League and also enter the FA Youth Cup.  For players who progress, there is a real chance of making it into the 1st Team in due course.  For example, no less than seven of the squad who faced Andover Town in the most recent friendly, previously played in Ashford’s youth teams

A little bit of club history was made on Saturday afternoon, as the Robert Parker Stadium staged an international match for the first time. The fixture was a European Deaf Football Championship qualifier between Great Britain and Sweden and the selection of Ashford Town (Middlesex) to stage this decisive fixture was both an honour for the club and a tribute to all those - past and present - who have helped develop what was once wasteland into the ground we know today.

The match was the final fixture in a three-team qualifying group for the 2015 continental tournament, which will take place in Hanover, Germany. Both nations had already played Belgium and Sweden arrived at the RPS knowing that, thanks to their 1-0 home win over the Red Devils, a draw would secure their place in the Championship. For Great Britain - who had led 2-0 in Belgium before losing 3-2 - a win by any scoreline would see them through on the head-to-head comparisons, while a 3-2 victory for Team GB would enable both Sweden and Great Britain to qualify.

On a sweltering day, a sizeable crowd turned out to witness what was a very good match indeed, with both teams displaying a high level of technical ability. Great Britain dominated the game from the start and created chance after chance, but were unable to take advantage. This was in part due to an outstanding display of goalkeeping by visiting stopper John Novak, but GB were also guilty of some wayward finishing. Britain's Andrew Reay did manage to beat Novak with a clever flicked header, but was unfortunate to see the ball hit the far post and spin out of the goal.

With the game goalless at half time, Sweden made a double substitution in an effort to shore their team up but it was Great Britain who scored just three minutes into the second half, Andrew Reay's strike proving too good for Novak.

Great Britain continued to dominate possession, although they were not creating chances in the same volume as they had during the first half and the home side would come to rue not making the most of their earlier opportunities to score. Midway through the second half, Sweden brought on Jacob Maiss for Nabil Tebibel and with fifteen minutes to go, the substitute struck what turned out to be Sweden's only shot on target, beating home keeper John Atkinson and levelling the scores.

Although Great Britain swarmed forward in search of a second goal, Novak continued to play imperiously in goal, although the visitors rode their luck at times, clearing one effort off the line and somehow surviving in the final seconds when a low cross flashed across the face of goal and the home side came agonisingly close to putting it into the net.

The Swedes celebrated enthusiastically with their supporters at the end of the game, while for Great Britain there is one final chance to make it to Germany, as the team will now play Norway in a play-off for one of the final three places at next year's European Championship. That match is to be played in September and GB will enjoy home advantage again. The date and venue of the match will be influenced by the Norwegian team's travel arrangements, as well as other factors, but regardless of that we thank Great Britain Deaf Football for giving us the honour of staging the match and hope that the day was largely an enjoyable one.    

Everything continued to go to plan on Friday evening as Ashford overcame a youthful and at times, impressive Andover Town from the Wessex League by three goals to two, thanks to an 86th minute penalty, blasted home by Rob Curtis.

A reasonable attendance of 103 saw Ashford and Andover testing each other out for the first ten minutes but as the game progressed, Ashford started to dominate possession and but for some fairly wild, or on other occasions, tame, finishing, might have developed a comfortable lead.  Nevertheless, it was the visitors who had the best opportunity but Tyler Tobin pulled off a superb save to tip the ball over.

The breakthrough came on 31 minutes and it was a goal that would have pleased manager Ben Murray.  A text book short corner was worked well and a pin-point cross from Alex Fisher was firmly headed home by Jack Mullan.

Ashford continued to enjoy more of the possession at this stage and whilst there were no further goals before half-time, they seemed to have a good grip on the match.  It took just 20 seconds though to jolt the Ash Trees out of any complacency as Andover equalised immediately and for a while the old maxim that goals change matches was never more evident as the visitors suddenly looked just like a team that had only lost three league matches all last season.  After a further six minutes they demonstrated their confidence by going ahead, with Ashford looking a little stunned by the turn of events.

Both sides made regular changes as the half went on but Ashford gradually settled down again and deservedly equalised just after the hour mark.  Again it was an excellent goal that exemplified the potential partnership this season of Mark Bitmead and Dan Fleming.  This time it was Bitmead with a stirring left wing run who crossed for Fleming to deftly notch his fifth pre-season goal to level the scores.  Without going overboard, if Ashford had possessed the goal threat posed by these two, last season, it would have been a reasonable bet that they would not have found themselves in Step 5 football this season.

Anyway, Ashford continued to press and on the run of play and numbers of overall chances, deserved the winner from the spot as mentioned.  Referee Gill administered the match with some good common sense and it was a pleasant evening all round.

The experiment of a Friday evening game was interesting and Ashford may well look to play a few more local league games on Fridays this season if their opponents are willing.

The Club is looking to recruit both an Under-18 Manager and a Club Physio.

The Under-18’s play in the midweek high quality Ryman Youth League, competing against Conference clubs down, whilst the Physio job may suit someone looking for work experience towards their qualification.  You will need to be available for most Saturday matches and in midweek upon at least one evening a week.

Anyone interested in either position should contact 1st Team Manager Ben Murray on 07903 781121

Results in themselves are meaningless but Ashford’s pre-season preparation is continuing to gain momentum and following the win over South Park on Saturday, tenants Staines Lammas found themselves on the wrong end of a 0-9 defeat on Tuesday evening, enabling Ashford to retain the Jim Richardson Trophy.

Played on the back pitch, Ashford went ahead early on through newcomer Daniel Fleming and rarely looked back.  Two more goals followed before half-time, courtesy of Fleming and Jack Beadle, and then, as Ashford introduced the likes of Mark Bitmead and Samad Kazi, etc., the floodgates opened early in the second period with five more goals in a fifteen minute spell

Lammas steadied the ship a little after that and there was only one more goal scored some five minutes from the end by another debutant, Leithan Brimah.

Overall, for the record, the scorers were Fleming (4), Bitmead (2), Beadle, Samad Kazi and Brimah  Ashford are delighted that, following the match, the impressive Fleming signed CCL forms for the Club.

Ashford continue their build-up on Friday evening, when Wessex League Andover Town visit Short Lane.  Andover have been promoted to the Premier Division of the Wessex League this season after winning the League’s Division One last time round, losing just three matches in the process.  It would seem they possess a considerable strike force having already hit six and eight goals respectively in two of their own pre-season matches.  It should be a good test for Ben Murray’s side.

With the season drawing ever closer, things are becoming busy at Short Lane!

On Tuesday, it’s landlords v tenants as Ashford play Staines Lammas.  Kick-off time is now confirmed for 7.00 p.m. and Ashford will be giving an opportunity to several potential newcomers.

On Friday evening, Ashford will entertain Andover Town, from the Wessex League, in an interesting friendly, kicking off at 7.45 p.m. at Short Lane.

On Saturday though, we have the honour of staging an International match between GB Deaf and Sweden Deaf and is a vital game which will decide if GB qualify for the European Championships in 2015.  Please come along for this unusual and interesting match., which kicks off at 2.30 p.m.  Admission is just £5, children under 12, free.

Ashford will also be sending a side to play at Wraysbury on Saturday afternoon, kick-off 3.00 p.m.

The Club said au revoir to Tori Cox last night as she is moving up to Newcastle.  Doubtless we will be seeing her again but it would be remiss of the web site not to wish her the very best of luck as she moves “oop north”.

Ashford met South Park Fc from Reigate for the first ever meeting between the clubs on Saturday and won by 2 goals to 1, coming from behind after going down one down on 35 minutes.

Considering the heat, both sides put on an entertaining display.  Ashford fielded Mark Bitmead and Rob Curtis, both looking stronger physically following their foreign sojourn.  With the forceful Max Webb also returning to the side after three seasons absence, Ashford have a strong look about them but it was the visitors who took the lead on 35 minutes when a long cross seemed to catch everyone out, leaving the scorer with an easy task of nodding the ball home, Ashford appealing in vain for offside.

It was a little hard on Ashford but the Ash Trees  enjoyed far greater possession in the second period and were rewarded for their efforts on 65 minutes when Webb sent over a cross, enabling the classy  Elliott Jones to send a looping header over the young visiting keeper’s head.

With newcomer Dan Fleming showing up well as a second half substitute, Ashford continued to look sharp and they scored again some five minutes from the end when Conor Moody  drilled an effort past the keeper.

As well as those mentioned above, Joe Hughes is back with the Club after leaving Staines Town, whilst Alex Fisher looks to be sealing his place at left back, despite his tender years.  Overall, whilst results mean little in these matches, this was an encouraging performance against the Club who dominated the CCL last season and were rightly promoted to the Ryman League, Div 1 South, where we wish them good luck.

Ashford meet Lammas in their next friendly on Tuesday evening.

 

 

Ashford made two “big” signings last night, although neither will be on the pitch!

Firstly, Angie Payne, who was with Staines Town for several years until she left at the end of last season, has joined Ashford as Commercial Manager and given her track record in attracting funding, this is likely to be a very significant step forward for the Club, as despite everyone’s best efforts, we have generally lacked a specific person with the knowledge and experience required in this area.  That gap has hopefully been filled by Angie who is also working with Virginia Water FC.  We welcome her to the Club.

Also, we can now confirm the appointment of Stuart Cooley as the new bar manager, who has assumed the role fully after “practising” over the last few weeks.  Stuart has hit the ground running and we are delighted to have him in this position.  He will continue to be assisted by Bob Parker and Sue Cox, both of whom work tirelessly to ensure that the bar is fully stocked and functioning efficiently, which is just as well given how busy the bar has been lately.  Thanks also go to Phil Marshal who has also worked extremely hard to keep things running following the resignation of Iain Messenger and Sue Thorne. 

It is right also that the Club records its thanks to both Iain and Sue for their hard work, in Iain’s case over many years.

Chairman Dave Baker is back on his feet following his triple by-pass operation and is making a steady recovery from a routine but still major operation.  He is clearly getting better though and we are pleased to see him back in action.

Too many to name them all but special thanks to Simon Munns and Gary Tomany who have been busy all week, along with their "assistants" in gradually sprucing up the ground inside and out.  There is still plenty going on but the new fencing along one side is now complete and once again we thank Messrs. Hitchcock and King for their valuable assistance in providing materials at a substantial discount.

On Saturday, the 1st Team will play their first serious friendly at home to South Park, who have just been promoted to the Ryman League after winning the CCL last season.  They will doubtless provide a stiff test for Ashford's young squad.  Kick-off at Short Lane is 3.00 p.m.  The tea bar will be open tomorrow but only for drinks and light refreshments.

The League has released the opening week’s fixtures and Ashford will be at home to Cove in their first game back in the CCL, on Saturday 2 August, kick-off 3.00 p.m.  Cove have been one of the stronger teams in the League in recent seasons, finishing in 5th place last time round.  The last time we met Cove in a league fixture was in February 2000, when neither side could break the deadlock in a 0-0 draw.  The only meeting since that time was in the Aldershot Senior Cup on 5 December 2012 when Ashford lost by five goals to three, ours coming from Mark Bitmead, Harry Roberts and Tommy Mooney.

The first away match will be on Wednesday 6 August, when Ashford will travel to Colliers Wood United FC.  Our two clubs met last season in the Surrey Senior Cup, when a late goal from Mark Gallagher gave us a 2-1 win, our other scorer being Robbie Sitch, one of only two goals he scored for the Club.

The remainder of the season’s fixtures are due to be released on 23 July.

Ashford got their pre-season under way on Saturday at Sheerwater FC winning an entertaining match by 4 goals to 1.

Manager Ben Murray said:  “Good result yesterday against a spirited Sheerwater side. Mark Bitmead scored a hat-trick and Tommy Brunton also got on the scoresheet. We were 3-0 up at half time, Mark scoring the first two goals after some quick tempo football, Tommy scoring the 3rd, before Bitmead scored from the penalty spot a few minutes into the second half. A good workout and exactly the right game for the first of pre-season. We should thank Sheerwater for their hospitality and also for the performance of the referee, who was superb. We go again on Thursday night against CB Hounslow on the outside pitch.”

Both Mark Bitmead and Rob Curtis have now received the necessary International Clearance after playing in Australia last year and both are expected to be major signings for Ashford this new season.

There was a short statement on the Sheerwater web site, which echoed Ben’s views, stating “Sheers took on the new club Ashford Town who will be playing in the CCL Premier Dvision next season.  Great game, good refereeing, Quality performance from the visitors, well done Sheerwater on an entertaining match.”

Don’t forget that there is to be a work party on Tuesday and Thursday evening this week, from 5.00 p.m. on, when Simon Munns will be co-ordinating the various tasks that need to be completed.  The next match is this coming Thursday when Ashford will again field triallists in a match at home to CB Hounslow on the back pitch

Ashford got their pre-season under way on Saturday at Sheerwater FC winning an entertaining match by 4 goals to 1.

Manager Ben Murray said:  “Good result yesterday against a spirited Sheerwater side. Mark Bitmead scored a hat-trick and Tommy Brunton also got on the scoresheet. We were 3-0 up at half time, Mark scoring the first two goals after some quick tempo football, Tommy scoring the 3rd, before Bitmead scored from the penalty spot a few minutes into the second half. A good workout and exactly the right game for the first of pre-season. We should thank Sheerwater for their hospitality and also for the performance of the referee, who was superb. We go again on Thursday night against CB Hounslow on the outside pitch.”

Both Mark Bitmead and Rob Curtis have now received the necessary International Clearance after playing in Australia last year and both are expected to be major signings for Ashford this new season.

There was a short statement on the Sheerwater web site, which echoed Ben’s views, stating “Sheers took on the new club Ashford Town who will be playing in the CCL Premier Dvision next season.  Great game, good refereeing, Quality performance from the visitors, well done Sheerwater on an entertaining match.”

Don’t forget that there is to be a work party on Tuesday and Thursday evening this week, from 5.00 p.m. on, when Simon Munns will be co-ordinating the various tasks that need to be completed.  The next match is this coming Thursday when Ashford will again field triallists in a match at home to CB Hounslow on the back pitch

After a week of intensive training, Ashford embark upon their opening pre-season match on Saturday, when they travel to CCL Division One side Sheerwater.  Although the majority of last season’s squad are back in training, there are a number of triallists at the club and it is likely that several of them will be given an opportunity tomorrow to see what they can do.

The address of the ground is Sheerwater Recreation Ground, Blackmore Crescent, Sheerwater, GU21 5QJ and kick-off is 3.00 p.m.

Ashford then have another low key friendly on Thursday evening, when they will entertain CB Hounslow at home, on the back pitch, before the first game on the main pitch on Saturday 19 July, at home to South Park FC who have just been promoted to the Ryman League, having won the CCL last season.

One additional match has now been added to the schedule:  Ashford will entertain Andover Town at Short Lane on Friday 25 July, kick-off 7.45 p.m. before sending a squad to Wraysbury FC the following day with a 3.00 p.m. kick-off.

Thanks to Simon Munns, Graham and Stuart Cooley and others, a huge amount of work has been going on at the ground in recent weeks and the new fencing, kindly supplied at very low cost by Messrs. Hitchcock and King, is now completed along the near touchline.  The home dressing room is undergoing re-decoration whilst our friends from Lammas, who will be using the away dressing room as their home dressing room, are set to decorate it over the next week or so.

There is still quite a bit to do though and THE CLUB WISHES TO ORGANISE A WORKING PARTY ON TUESDAY AND THURSDAY NEXT WEEK.  If you can spare an hour or two on either or both of those evenings, Simon will be at the ground from 5.00 p.m.  We really do need any active bodied committee personnel along with supporters, etc. to turn up to help get the ground in pristine condition for the season.

The opening week’s league fixtures will be issued next week, whilst the full list will be publicised on 23 July.  We do not have any of our County Cup draws yet but we will be at home in the FA Cup to Spartan S. Midlands side Berkhamsted FC over the weekend of 15-17 August.  Lammas have also been drawn at home, to Bedfont Sports in an intriguing local derby and Football Secretary Geoff Knock will very shortly be sorting out who will play on which days over that weekend.  It may be that Ashford will play on the Friday if Berkhamsted are agreeable, with Lammas playing on the Saturday.  If Berkhamsted don’t wish to do that, Ashford will play on the Saturday, and Lammas and Bedfont can choose whether they wish to play on the Friday or the Sunday.

The new kit has been ordered and will hopefully be available for the first match on Saturday 2 August.  It will bear the new JAS logo, with JAS having kindly sponsored this season’s kit.  A new away strip is also being ordered.

Please note that membership is renewable by 31 July.  Costs have not changed with the annual fee remaining at £25 (£15 for OAP’s).  Entry to the ground for competitive matches will also remain unchanged at £8 for adults, with concessions for OAP’s (over 65) at £5 and for children under 16 and students (with proof) at just £1.

This season’s team photo will hopefully be taken on Friday 25 July prior to the Andover match, at 7.00 p.m. and committee personnel who would like to be in it are welcome to attend.

Finally it is hoped to appoint a new bar manager in the very near future and an announcement will be made over the next few days.

Doombar is being given a rest for the next few weeks, next up on Saturday will be Wells Bombadier Burning Gold, a lighter summer version of the normal Bombadier at 4.1%. Following that we will have Youngs Humming Bird at 4.2%. Don't worry Doombar will be back soon.

Ashford have a home draw in the FA Cup and will meet Berkhamsted FC in the Extra-Preliminary Round on Saturday 16 August.  Berkhamsted were formed from the ashes of the old Berkhamsted Town and compete in the Spartan South Midlands League in which they did well last season, finishing in 5th position.

The two clubs have not previously met in senior football although Ashford did meet with Berkhamsted Town when both clubs were in the Ryman League.  Indeed, the final league match between the clubs marked the end of Dave Kent’s managerial reign when Ashford lost 1-8 at Berkhamsted on 27 March 2002 in a Ryman League Division 2 contest, Scott Todd scoring our goal in the dying seconds.  The Ash Trees did gain a measure of revenge in the final meeting between the clubs on 18 November 2003, when Ashford beat their opponents 2-0 at home in the 2nd Round of the League Cup, then known as the Bryco Cup.  The scorer on that occasion was Steve Croxford who notched both goals.

The winners of the contest will be at home to Daventry Town in the Preliminary Round and they, of course, would need no introduction, having been regular league opponents over the last few seasons.  Looking further ahead, whoever eventually comes out on top, will travel to Hitchin Town in the 1st Qualifying Round.

In the FA Vase, Ashford are exempt until the 1st Round Proper, for which the draw has yet to be made.

The Under-18’s have managed to escape both Harefield and Hayes & Yeading, both of whom we have habitually been drawn against in recent seasons.  This year, they have a bye in the Preliminary Round and will entertain Metropolitan Police U18 in the 1st Qualifying Round.  That will inevitably be a tough match with the Police members of the Ryman Youth League

Scott Weight against ChipsteadBoth teams put up a reasonable performance on Saturday, the only goal of the game coming shortly before half-time when Chipstead’s Jack Guilford was the first to react to a fiercely struck low cross from the left, turning the ball past Simon Grant in the Ashford goal.

In an even match overall, Ashford’s problem was the familiar one of taking their chances, a lament that their visitors might also contemplate.  Chances were being made regularly, which was good, but it was always going to take a decent effort to beat the visiting keeper and sadly, the shooting was either high, wide, tame or, on one occasion, a complete airshot, when the goal seemed to be gaping.  Ashford thought they had equalised through Jim Mann but the goal was disallowed for offside which must have been a close decision. 

Assistant Manager Steve Scott was not too displeased overall though and could contemplate some plus points, one being the neat control and passing of newcomer Tom Brunton, another being the pacey runs down the right from Samad Kazi.  Scott Todd, veteran of 300 matches for Ashford in the past, popped up in the second half for Chipstead and it was good to see him.  Also present was Arsenal’s Kieran Gibbs who was watching his brother play for Chipstead.  A word also for the officials and especially referee Chris Potter, who enjoyed an excellent match.

Ashford’s next friendly is in a week’s time on Saturday 3 August when they travel to meet old CCL rivals Reading Town.  More on that one during the week.

Prior to yesterday’s match, Ashford’s Reserves played a friendly against Staines Lammas, drawing one apiece, Ashford’s goal coming from Paul Scanlon.

As the pre-season programme gathers pace, Ashford will entertain Chipstead FC from Division One South of the Ryman League on Saturday, kick-off 3.00 p.m.  Older members of the club will remember Chipstead well as they were one of our main rivals for several seasons in the CCL as both clubs strove to reach Step 4.  In more recent seasons our paths have crossed more rarely although both clubs played a friendly prior to the start of last season at Chipstead which Ashford managed to win by three goals to nil, courtesy of Dan Brown, Ashley Lodge and Samad Kazi.

Only the latter of those three is still with us of course and the Chipstead squad will also doubtless be very different to this time last season with two changes of manager in the process.  In charge now is Kevin Raynor, who was appointed in the close season and who has arrived from Guildford City, along with a number of ex-Guildford players.  We have one absentee this afternoon, in the shape of manager Paul Burgess, on holiday, so Steve Scott and Ben Murray will be in charge.

Prior to the 1st Team match, there is a reserve friendly on the back pitch in which Kelvin Poulter’s boys will play a Staines Lammas team, kicking off at midday.

Entrance to the Chipstead match is just £5 and don't forget that all our junior players will be admitted free of charge.

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New Second Team Manager Kelvin Poulter has kindly provided an insight into preparations for the new Suburban League season for supporters. His thoughts are reproduced below:

Typically with Second Team football, the squad and planning take a little longer to get organised as everybody works toward building the First Team. Things are progressing well and we begin on Saturday with a noon kick off versus Staines Lammas. It will very much be a "look and see" sort of match and players will be carefully managed as for many it will be their first game for some time.
 
Off the field, I am delighted to welcome Andy Richardson who comes with a wealth of experience having coached at Bedfont Sports Reserves last season and managed Old Actonians in the Southern Amateur League for three seasons. Andy is a Level 2 qualified coach and is currently working towards his UEFA B License. On the playing side, Andy was a semi-professional player in Australia and whilst he was there, also completed numerous coaching qualifications.

In addition to Andy, we have Jack Mullan (you may know him!) Jack hasn't given up playing football, he is very keen to begin the FA Coach Licensing programme and will be working towards that with the Suburban League team. Jack is a good lad and of course a useful addition, as we will have someone that can demonstrate far more effectively many of the skills required, which is huge relief to both the Manager and Assitant Manager who, shall we say, are not as young as they used to be and we will leave it there… sshh!

Finally, in August, we will look to add two more coaches both with superb coaching credentials and former semi professional players, more details will follow. Together, we aim to provide a fun and educational environment for the Second Team which will provide a solid base for Paul and his management team which we hope will compliment the first team and push the club forward. 

Molesey

Tuesday’s friendly against Molesey, one of the favourites to win the CCL this coming season, wasn’t that friendly at times but there were some good goals, the match ending three apiece.

Both teams struggled to master the surface as the dry weather has left Ashford’s second pitch in a parlous state and the home squad will certainly be looking forward to getting on to the main pitch for the next pre-season match against Chipstead on Saturday.

This game was rumbustious from the start and it was Molesey who drew first blood as early as the fifth minute, some poor defending allowing an unmarked header into the roof of the net.  It took just three minutes for Ashford to equalise, as a deft ball from Scott Weight was headed on by Ashford’s number nine, a newcomer whose name is not yet to hand, although he certainly looked useful.  Anyway he flicked the ball on to Rob Curtis whose fierce low cross was turned into his own net by a defender.

The aggression between Ashford’s Perry Luckins and Molesey’s Craig Lewington, in particular, threatened to boil over at times but it was the visitors who went ahead for a second time.  A harsh free kick awarded against Jim Mann was quickly taken and once again the Ashford defence was flat footed as the ball ended in the net.

Four minutes before half-time Samad Kazi set off on one of his trademark sorties into the opposition penalty area.  He was far too quick for his defender whose attempted tackle was too late, the resulting penalty being calmly slotted home by Javonne Molloy, to make it two apiece at the break.

With plenty of changes, especially by Ashford, the game calmed down, a little at least, in the second period.  It was Ashford though who went ahead for the first time on 75 minutes when the returning Danny Byron found himself unmarked at the back post from a corner kick and he did exactly the right thing sending the ball back over the keeper’s head into the back of the net.

Molesey’s main weapon had become the long throw as they went long and several of them were causing consternation at the back for Ashford.  With ten minutes on the clock Molesey drew level again when yet another throw was not dealt with, albeit that it was a decent header that sent the ball into the roof of the net.

That ended the scoring, the draw for what it was worth being about the right outcome.  It is good to see both Alex Duffy and Kofi Lockhart-Adams back in Ashford colours as manager Paul Burgess looks to mould his squad and one conclusion that can be drawn is that if Ashford have Luckins and Scott Weight playing together in midfield this season, they will certainly be combative in that area of the pitch.

It will be another tough test on Saturday.  Chipstead are under the new managership of Kevin Raynor, who managed Guildford City with great success over recent seasons and a number of the Guildford players have come across with him, including Jaydon Gibbs, brother of Arsenal’s Kieran.

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The Under-11 side for next season is looking to boost its squad.

If you are of the right age and looking to play football for a Charter Standard club please contact manager Finlay Kemp or Lee Davis on 07772 865272 or 07852 320171.

In the meantime, the pre-season matches are now coming thick and fast for the 1st Team and the next one is a home game against Molesey, taking place on the back pitch on Tuesday evening, kick-off 7.00 p.m.  CCL side Molesey, like everyone else, will doubtless be trying out new players as are we and the result means little but it will be another useful workout for those involved.  Entry is free.

Staines Lammas

Ashford have started the pre-season with two low key friendly matches against local Step 6 sides Spelthorne Sports and Staines Lammas, with plenty of trialists keen to show what they could do.

Against Spelthorne on Thursday evening, there was some reasonable football but the match ended with neither side able to break the deadlock but on Saturday a dominant first half performance saw Ashford turn round three goals to the good at half-time, courtesy of goals from Perry Luckins, Mark Bitmead and Samad Kazi.  Once again there was almost a complete change of personnel soon after half-time and whilst Ashford continued to dominate, there were no further goals.

There will be a step up on Tuesday evening when Combined Counties Premier side Molesey are the visitors.  The match will again be on the second pitch, kicking off around 7.00 pm, and entry is again free.

Following Saturday’s match, two of the newcomers signed on for the Club in the shape of Tom Brunton, a young left sided player with previous experience at Hayes & Yeading and Egham Town, and Elliott Jones, a midfielder who has seen service with Hampton.

We are members of the Calor LeagueThe fixtures for the new Calor League season were issued this morning and Ashford Town (Middlesex) will start and end the campaign away from home.

The Ash Trees will commence their challenge on 17th August with a trip to Daventry Town. The first league match at the Robert Parker Stadium will be three days later, when old friends and local rivals AFC Hayes make the short trip to Stanwell. St Ives Town then visit us on August 24th and there is a trip to Marlow to look forward to on the August Bank Holiday Monday (26th). The Blues make the return journey on Boxing Day.

The local derbies with Egham Town will take place on New Year’s Day at the Runnymede Stadium and at the RPS on Easter Monday, 21st April, which is also the final scheduled home match of the season.

Other interesting dates for the diary are that on Non-League Day, 7th September, the Tangerines are at home to North Greenford United and there an oddity in so far as we shall welcome Northwood to the RPS for a Calor League match on Saturday 12th October and again just three days later in our annual Red Insure Cup tie!

The season will end away to Aylesbury United on 26th April 2014. The full fixture list is now online.  

92+1 logo

We have been contacted by the team behind the 92+1 Charity Challenge, which is in aid of Help for Heroes.

 

Simon Cox, Darren Young, Mark Burns and Mike Peters will be leaving Wembley Stadium after the England game on Friday 11th October and visiting every Premier League and Football League ground in the time allowed to get back to Wembley in time for kick off on Tuesday 15th October for the second England game travelling by car - all 2,600 miles of it! They will have 92 hours to complete their task and, as a club who have been involved in fundraising for Help for Heroes through the Middlesex Charity Cup, we are delighted to help them raise awareness of the challenge. 

To find out more about 92+1, visit their website.

Sir Bobby Robson National Football DayAshford Town (Middlesex) FC is proud to be supporting Sir Bobby Robson National Football Day — a celebration of grassroots football and the 400,000 volunteers without whom we wouldn’t have a national game.

The FA has supported and developed football over the last 150 years to be the most popular team sport in England, played regularly by many millions and supported across the country by the incredible efforts of 400,000 dedicated volunteers.

 

In recognition of the grassroots of our game, The FA has created ‘Sir Bobby Robson National Football Day’ — a celebration of grassroots football and those volunteers who do so much to support the game.

Sir Bobby Robson was one of football’s ‘good guys’ who made a huge contribution to football communities across the country. As such The FA is delighted that Sir Bobby Robson National Football Day will carry Sir Bobby’s name in turn raising awareness of the work of his cancer charity — the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

Sir Bobby Robson National Football Day will take place on Saturday 10 August 2013 to coincide with the start of the new football season. On this date Ashford Town (Middlesex) will take part in a whole game celebration that includes 150 community football events taking place across the country — giving local communities the opportunity to get involved with their local club or league. The Ash Trees are joining forces with neighbours Staines Town to stage a festival of local football, which will include meetings between the First Teams of the two clubs, as well as matches between their respective Under-18 and Under-12 teams.

The FA’s Community Partner McDonald’s is joining the celebration on Sunday 11th August 2013 at The FA Community Shield — where winners of The FA Community Awards 2013 presented by McDonald’s will be announced. These awards recognise and reward people across the country who make a difference to grassroots football in their local community.

General Secretary of the club, Gareth Coates said: “We are thrilled to be working alongside Staines Town to be staging a celebration of local football. On10th August from 11.00am, Ashford Town (Middlesex) will be holding a free FA Tesco Skills session, followed by three matches against our friends and neighbours from Staines Town to celebrate Sir Bobby Robson National Football Day. Admission to the First Team match is just £5 for adults and £3 for concessions and all paying spectators will be entered into a draw to win tickets to England v Moldova. Children under the age of 16 will be admitted free. Everyone at Ashford Town (Middlesex) would encourage our fans and supporters to help us create the game that everyone can be part and proud of by getting involved.”

You can find out more about this event by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. To find out more about Sir Bobby Robson National Football Day and The FA’s work developing football for everyone, visit www.TheFA.com/myfootball

The FA Cup with BudweiserThe FA Competition Draws have been published.

In the Preliminary Round of the FA Cup, to be played on Saturday 31 August, we have been drawn at home to Bishops Cleeve FC., from the Cheltenham area.  They are fellow members of the Calor League but play their football in the South-West Division.  Our two clubs have never met before.

The winners will then find themselves travelling to Hampton & Richmond Borough in the 1st Qualifying Round.

In the FA Trophy, we start right from the beginning and our tie could not have been more local as we make the short journey to newly promoted Egham Town in the Preliminary Round.  The winners will then be at home in the 1st Qualifying Round to either Didcot Town or Cirencester Town.

The Under-18’s have an away trip in the FA Youth Cup to Berkhamsted.

Pre-season training is now well under way and the squad is starting to take shape with all of the following having signed on:  Scott Weight, Rob Curtis, Tommy Mooney, Javonne Molloy, Tyler Tobin, Robbie Sitch, Jim Mann, Russell Canderton, Perry Luckins, Pal McCarthy, Grant Cooper, Samad Kazi.

There are also a number of highly promising triallists training and there will be plenty more registrations shortly with players returning from holiday etc. 

There is a further alteration to the friendly list which is that the reserve match away to Virginia Water on Saturday 10 August is postponed as VW have a function at their ground that afternoon.  Don’t forget that our first warm-up game will be away at Spelthorne Sports, now managed by Paul Johnson, on Thursday 18 July.

Also, just a reminder for any prospective U18 players, that there are open trials tomorrow morning (Sat 6 July) at the ground, starting at 11.00 a.m. for anyone interested in joining our Ryman Youth League Under-18 squad for next season.

PRE-SEASON TRAINING starts on TUESDAY 2 JULY.  (At ground 6.45 pm for a 7.00 pm start)

All current and prospective new players are invited to attend.

Manager Paul Burgess can be contacted on 07799 583249

With the players continuing to train hard, Ashford are not in action again until Saturday, when they make the trip to play old CCL rivals Chipstead for the first time since January 2006 when goals from Scott Todd and Scott Harris ensured a 2-0 victory in the Surrey Senior Cup.

A further pre-season friendly has now been inserted into the schedule on Tuesday 7 August, when Ashford will meet Lammas at Short Lane.  Our tenants will by then have started their league programme, as they travel to Cobham on Saturday in their opening match, but they have requested a friendly next week, to ensure they are in tip top condition for the visit of Essex Senior League side Barking to Short Lane the following Saturday in the FA Cup.

In the meantime two cup draws have come in for the Tangerines, both away, as is usually the case!  In the Red Insure Cup (League Cup) we find ourselves having to travel just down the road to Burnham, whilst the Under-18’s have been drawn away to Northwood U-18’s in their League Cup, known as the Lucas Fettes Cup.

It is pertinent to express our thanks to both Simon Munns and Nathan Wharf for their hard work in clearing out the undergrowth behind and adjacent to the main stand over the last few days.  Small supporters need no longer go in fear of their lives thanks to their worthy efforts.

Ashford were beaten again this afternoon, at home to Hampton & Richmond Borough, but could take plenty of positives from an encouraging performance.

The match was decided by a single goal, scored in the 18th minute by the Beavers' JJ Bates, who lobbed Paul McCarthy after a defence-splitting pass from Karle Calder.  However, the Ash Trees played well against higher level opposition, with Dan Brown, Mark Bitmead, Ashley Lodge and Conor Moody all testing the visiting goalkeepers.

In addition, there was some good football played by both sides and the players all got some valuable game time. There is a brief match report online.

Ashford Town (Middlesex) Football Club are delighted to announce that the club has been selected to host an international match between the Great Britain Deaf Football squad and their counterparts from Greece.  The match will take place on Saturday 22nd September and the kick-off time is dependant on the travel arrangements of the Greek side and will be confirmed as soon as possible.  It is hoped, however, that the match will kick-off at the traditional time of 3.00pm. Admission will be £5.00 for adults and £1.00 for children.

A club spokesman said: "We are honoured to be staging this important international match and are delighted that Great Britain Deaf Football have chosen the Robert Parker Stadium.  We hope that our supporters and other local football fans will turn out in force to see what should be an excellent game." 

The match is a final qualifier for the 2013 Deaflympics, which will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria.  The Deaflympics have been running since 1924, when they were staged in Paris.  The Games are sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee and run along similar lines to the Olympics and Paralympics, which is why the football involves Great Britain rather than the four home nations. Because of the specific issues facing deaf athletes, the Deaflympics are held separately to the Paralympics.

Great Britain are the most successful football nation in the history of the Deaflympics, having won the gold medal six times, including the first event in Paris in 1924 and the 2005 tournament in Melbourne and will hope to book a trip to Sofia with victory at the Robert Parker Stadium.  However, they will be vary of the Greeks, who defeated Serbia in the first round of qualifying by 4-2.  Great Britain are one of the six seeded teams in the 16 nation European qualifying competition, which ensured them a home draw.  Europe has six places in the 16 team football tournament at the 2013 Deaflympics, so the winners of the six Second Round knockout ties listed below qualify:

Deaflympic Football European Qualifying Tournament:
First Round
Italy v Spain - walkover for Spain, Italy withdrew
Greece 4-2 Serbia

Second Round
Turkey v Spain
Great Britain v Greece
Ukraine v France
Belgium v Denmark
Germany v Republic of Ireland
Russia v Netherlands

Egham TownNobody remembers pre-season results once the season starts, which is just as well for Ashford, as they went down to a second home defeat in a row, losing 0-3 to neighbours Egham Town on Tuesday evening.

Possession levels throughout were even enough and the result for what it is worth could have been rather different had the numerous chances carved out in the second half in particular not gone begging.  Not all were misses as the Egham keeper was in inspired form.  Indeed Egham look a good team all round.

From Ashford’s point of view, the fact that plenty of chances are being created assuaged the Management worries to some extent but once again the defensive frailties were more prevalent than would be hoped.  It may not have helped with new players still trying to show their capabilities and neither also the unavoidable splitting of the squad between the two halves.

Hampton & Richmond are up next, on Saturday afternoon at Short Lane and for any small supporters in danger of being engulfed in the undergrowth on the far side, we hope to have it all cleared early next week.

Walton & HershamAshford lost their second pre-season match on Saturday, going down 2-4 at the hands of Walton & Hersham.  It was a decent enough match, with multiple players being used by both teams.  The result, as always in friendlies, means little but in the first half in particular, Ashford had to fight hard to contain a lively visiting side who took the lead on twelve minutes when Phil Williams sent in a fierce effort from the edge of the area that Paul McCarthy got a hand to but was unable to keep out.

Some ten minutes later though, Ashford equalised when the speedy Alex Duffy headed the ball back across the keeper, from a superbly flighted cross at pace from Josh Andrews, whose overall performance was certainly one of the plusses for Ashford.

It was Williams again though who restored the visitors’ lead just on the half-hour mark and it was a worthy goal, a slick movement cutting open the home defence.  Ashford were not be denied though and shortly afterwards Dan Brown restored parity when Perry Luckins’ excellent run down the left flank created the opportunity for Brown to swivel and hammer home.  Just two minutes later though, Walton went ahead for the third time in the match when Ashford lost the ball and offered little resistance as Dave Lawrence slotted home with ease.

As mentioned both teams made wholesale changes in the second period and Walton looked less lively than they had in the opening half.  Ashford were looking better but could do nothing about Walton’s fourth goal, an unstoppable pile driver from Courtney Warren, to make the final score 4-2 in the visitors’ favour.

Although Ashford’s defending at times suggested that there is still some work to do before the season starts, there were plenty of positives as well, not least the performance of former Under-18 player Conor Moody, who took the eye with his strong play.  In the first half in particular, the pace of both Alex Duffy and Josh Andrews also caused the visitors some concern.

Ashford now go on to entertain Egham Town on Tuesday evening.  Please note that kick-off time is 7.30 p.m. and not the usual 7.45 p.m

The draw for the Southern Combination Cup was made on Sunday and Ashford find themselves playing away to Rayners Lane in the 1st Round, with the winners entertaining Hanworth Villa in the second round.

The Ryman Youth League fixtures for August and September have also been issued today and first up for Ashford is a home match against Northwood Under 18 on Monday 20 August.

Kofi scores v Northwood

The programme of pre-season matches got off to a good start on Tuesday evening when Ashford ran out 5-1 winners at home to Spelthorne Sports.  Ashford fielded a large squad, which included the majority of the players who took part in the two Cup Finals back in May.

The Sunbury-based side were a couple of weeks further along in their preparations and that showed in the opening quarter of the match where the Combined Counties League club were the better side and took the lead in the 15th minute after Paul McCarthy was left exposed by his defence and ended up bringing down a forward.  The resultant penalty was finished tidily.

Playing on the much-improved “back” pitch, Ashford eventually took control of the game, playing some nice football in the process.  The equaliser arrived eight minutes before half-time when Kofi Lockhart-Adams headed home while unmarked.  A minute before the interval, Kofi put the Tangerines in front with an instinctive finish to turn in a free kick.

With no floodlights to ensure good light, the referee decided to restart the game after a half-time interval of about five minutes, but Ashford hit their straps quickly and were soon 4-1 up, Alex Duffy and triallist Dave Johnson stretching the home advantage.  Paul Burgess then rotated his squad, making numerous changes.  Dan Brown and Samad Kazi both went close to scoring before Shane Graham made it 5-1 late in the game with an excellent finish.

Ashford will therefore go into the weekend’s match at home to Ryman League club Walton & Hersham in good heart.  The Swans will make the short journey to the RPS having played only five minutes of football, after their match against Dorking at Brockham FC was abandoned due to a serious injury to Walton & Hersham defender James Nicholls, who suffered a suspected double fracture to his leg.  The situation is made more poignant by the fact that Nicholls missed most of last season with a knee problem and we naturally wish him a speedy recovery.

Saturday’s game is the first of the new campaign on the “Stadium” pitch, which looks in superb condition.  Admission is reduced to £5 for adults, £3 for concessions and £1 for unaccompanied children under 16 – those attending with a paying adult/concessionary ticket holder will be admitted free.  Season Tickets are valid for this match.

Evo-Stik LeagueThe Southern League have released the fixtures for the 2012-13 season, and Ashford Town (Middlesex) will begin their campaign at home to Rugby Town on 18th August.

The Ash Trees have also been handed a home match on August Bank Holiday Monday, against Burnham, although that is subject to neither side being involved in an FA Cup replay.  Boxing Day and the final day of the season also see matches at the Robert Parker Stadium, against Chertsey Town and Beaconsfield SYCOB respectively

Although the list is, of course, subject to change, there do not look to be any unduly long midweek journeys, although the trip to Woodford United would be rearranged should either club reach the Second Qualifying Round of The FA Cup.

The full list is now online.

Spelthorne SportsAshford’s players have been training hard in preparation for their first outing of the season, which comes on Tuesday evening with a home friendly against CCL Division One side, Spelthorne Sports, who enjoyed an excellent first season at senior level last year, including being one of the very few teams to actually beat Guernsey.

The match will take place on the much improved back pitch at Short Lane, kicking off at 6.30 p.m. and one would imagine that a number of triallists are likely to be given an opportunity.

Following that, the 1st Team will go on to entertain Ryman Division One South side, Walton & Hersham on Saturday, kicking-off at the traditional 3.00 p.m.

 Ashford Town (Middlesex) FCWith Ben Murray ever more associated with the senior sides and Nick Hardy having accepted an Academy role at Fleet Town, Ashford have appointed Mark Hughes as the new Under-18 Manager for the forthcoming season.  Mark is Head of Sport at Strodes College, Egham and will be assisted by Leon Turner.  Ashford welcome both Mark and Leon to the Club.

Mark is keen to get things going and trials and training for the Under-18 side will be taking place at the Club on Tuesday 24 July, with a 6.30 start, finishing by 7.45 p.m., when the 1st Team have a friendly at home to Egham Town.  Because of the 1st Team friendly, no changing facilities will be available on this particular evening, so please come prepared.  Any prospective new players wishing to attend Tuesday’s session are asked to contact the Club beforehand on 01784 245908, just to say that they are coming to give us an idea of the numbers.

A number of players from our very successful Under-18 squad from last season are, of course, still eligible for this new season and we hope and anticipate that as many current players as possible will also turn up.

Future training sessions will be discussed on Tuesday, whilst a number of Under-18 Friendlies are likely to be arranged in the near future.

Players, officials, supporters and residents gather in opposition to the Kwarteng proposals