Vinaora Nivo Slider 3.xVinaora Nivo Slider 3.xVinaora Nivo Slider 3.xVinaora Nivo Slider 3.x
Click here for the 1st XI Fixtures and Results
Planning your first visit to the Robert Parker Stadium? Find out all you need to know here.
Click here for the Ladies Team's Fixtures and Results
Check out the newly refurbished Ernie's Bar - not just open on matchdays!

At the end of the day it was another clean sheet and three more points in the bag as Ashford beat Petersfield Town by the only goal of the game, scored by Mark Bitmead on the stroke of half-time.

It was not a match to stir the blood and the unexpectedly windy conditions certainly did not help.  Petersfield came with a plan to defend and, presumably, hit Ashford on the break and for much of the time it worked although the visitors were rarely able to offer any real threat.  Indeed, the Tangerines attacked incessantly throughout the first half and should have been comfortably ahead at the break.  Frustration was starting to settle in but with referee Pattinson preparing to blow his whistle for half-time, Bitmead, back on goal scoring form, with four goals in his last four matches, hammered home from close range.

With the strong wind largely behind them in the second half and a goal to the good, Ashford were looking to build upon some useful, if unrewarded, play in the first half but it just wouldn’t go in and visitors Petersfield came more into the match.  In truth, apart from one stunning save, they rarely looked like equalising though until near the end when Ashford became a little careless, especially keeper Tobin who dropped the ball at the feet of an attacker who was rather unfortunate to see a foul given against him.  That decision actually saved Ashford’s bacon as there would have been little time to come back.  That said though, Ashford probably enjoyed more than 75% possession and any other result than three points would have been a travesty.

With Eli Ogunseye gone as quickly as he arrived (he’s now back at Colliers Wood United), there were some rotational changes but the Ashford “man of the match” award went to Romario Jonas, who was solid at the back when he needed to be.  As always Samad Kazi took the eye with some pacy runs on the flanks, whilst  Bitmead was possibly unlucky right at the death not to increase the lead as he found himself clean through on goal but some split second timing from referee Jim Paterson saw the whistle go for full-time.  Mr. Paterson’s explanation afterwards that he thought he would miss anyway was not entirely convincing, but he remains a good referee who uses his experience to the full.

 

Ashford lost at home to league leaders Royston Town on Tuesday evening by 4 goals to 1.

On the evidence of this display there seems little doubt that Royston will take some shifting from the top of the league, looking far more convincing than when Ashford played at Royston a month or so back.  In fact Ashford did not play badly at all, taking an early lead and all the players gave their all.  Royston were just too good on the night over 90 minutes as they have been for many clubs this season.

The match though started with a bang for the Tangerines as Bayley Mummery picked up the ball widish right and hit a wicked high dipping volley from distance into the net which left the Royston keeper stranded, on just 58 seconds to be precise.

At that early stage Royston looked ragged and when Dan Fleming hit a tremendous effort quite soon afterwards which rebounded from the bar with force, one started to wonder if it was going to be one of those special Ashford evenings we have experienced so often in the past.  Sadly this turned out not be the case as their excellent opponents got themselves into the match and equalised on 13 minutes when a corner kick came in and, under great pressure Max Webb was only able to turn the ball into his own net.

This cranked up the pressure on the Tangerines and the match turned just four minutes later when Royston’s Kaan Fhemi took full advantage of an unfortunate slip by Tyler Tobin, to slide the ball home.

Ashford remained spirited but the visitors were now looking very strong and it was not a great surprise, when they increased their lead on 31 minutes thanks to a fearsome strike from Danny May that no keeper could have stopped.

There was no further scoring before the break and, despite a penalty awarded to Royston for handball which was blazed miles over the bar, Ashford did their best to retrieve the situation.  Despite a period of far better possession, they were unable to make a further impression on the visiting defence though and it was definitely game over when Royston scored their fourth on 67 minutes, substitute John Frendo finishing off an impressive move.

The match rather fizzled out after that with Royston knowing the game was won and Ashford having lost the intensity of their earlier play.

The Tangerines now go on to entertain Petersfield Town on Saturday and it is rather odd in that we play the top team one night and then the team at the foot of the table in the next match.  Nobody though will be under-estimating our visitors, as although we managed to win at their ground, they made life tough enough for us and they have certainly not generally been losing by large margins.  It will be the first ever visit to Short Lane by Petersfield and we shall look forward to welcoming them.

There are one or two milestones to report:  Max Webb has now played in over 150 competitive matches for the club, whilst Will Boye has passed the 50 mark after joining us last season.  Tommy Brunton has now made in excess of 150 starts for the 1st Team and Scott Weight now needs to play in nine more matches to record his 300th appearance.  We currently have nine regular 1st Team players who have started more than 100 competitive matches for the club, which is impressive stuff especially as the majority are still under 25 years of age.

 

Ashford secured all three points at Uxbridge on Saturday, winning by two goals to nil, to record their second “double” of the season.

It was a full blooded affair at times and Ashford were furious when Max Herbert received the first card of the match for a comparatively gentle push, after three late tackles from the home side had left Ashford players needing treatment.  Lest the writer be accused of being blinkered, the Tangerines also had cause to be grateful for some lenient refereeing in the second half when tackles from Tommy Brunton and Samad Kazi could, on another day, have seen them enjoying an early bath.

There was plenty of good attacking football as well with ex-Ashford keeper Paul McCarthy  in good form between the sticks for Uxbridge, pushing away determined efforts from the likes of Max Webb and Dan Fleming.  Tyler Tobin was in equally imperious form for the Tangerines but on balance he had less to do.  It remained goalless at the break though.

It was fairly clear that the opening goal would be significant and it did not take too long for Ashford to achieve this, just six minutes into the re-start.  A free kick from the rejuvenated Mark Bitmead was too well placed for McCarthy to hold and as it went loose Romario Jonas  was the first to react to put the ball in the net.

That was the key for a determined fight back from the home side and Ashford’s seeming insistence upon conceding silly fouls in dangerous areas did not help.  However, a combination of poor finishing and determined defensive work ensured that there was no breakthrough and in the 66th minute Ashford effectively made the game safe with the second goal, when a deft through ball from Fleming saw Bitmead doing what he does best, slipping the ball past McCarthy with aplomb.

Ashford defended reasonably comfortably after that and might even have scored one or two more themselves.  The final score though was satisfying as it meant a clean sheet and the third win from the last four matches.  Max Webb’s non-stop running and determination saw him voted the “Ashford man of the match” by supporters, but nobody did badly and the lightning pace of Eli Ogunseye provided more than one “wow” moment.

The recent form has completely dispelled some of the gloom that had started to creep in and Ashford will now go into the home match on Tuesday against champions elect, Royston Town, in excellent spirits, which they will need against arguably the best side in the division.  Our opponents have suffered only one defeat since the turn of the year, against Kidlington and are now sitting fairly comfortably at the top of the table with a five point and two match advantage over nearest rivals Farnborough.  It was only a few weeks ago though that we gave them a very close game up at Royston.  The match kicks off at 7.45 pm at Short Lane.

A big well done goes to the Under-13’s who made it to their County Cup final on Sunday morning and also to Larry’s juniors who also won their semi-final.  There will hopefully be some more details on these matches later in the week.  Also the Ladies made it through to the semi-final of the Capital Women’s Cup with a 4-2 win over AFC Phoenix Res.  The scorers were Laura Huse (2), Beth Sheehan and Charmaine Benham.  We also understand that Ashley Cheatley, recently departed to Millwall Lionesses in the Women’s Premier League scored her first goal for them today in a 3-1 win over Nottingham Forest in the SSE Women’s FA Cup.

Following their confidence boosting 6 goal haul on Tuesday, Ashford should make the short trip to Uxbridge FC in good heart on Saturday.

Uxbridge are just one point behind the Tangerines, although Ashford have a game in hand and it looks like a tight match, although whether it can match the ten goals in Uxbridge’s last match when they lost 4-6 to Egham remains to be seen.  The biggest positive for Ashford is probably the return to goal scoring form of both Mark Bitmead and Dan Fleming, the latter now with 4 goals in the last two matches.  Ashford will though have to be on their guard against Uxbridge’s Matthew Woods who scored a hatrick in the defeat against Egham and has 16 league goals to his name this season

The address of the ground is Horton Road, West Drayton, UB7 8HX and there is a large car park.  The journey, ground to ground, should not take more than 20 minutes at the most.

As always, there is a whole host of junior matches on Sunday and here they are:

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

Martin U15s v Epsom & Ewell 10am

Simon U16s v Lyne Lions 11:30am

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

Fin U14s v Esher Colts 10am

Ben U16s v Old Coulsdon 11:30

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch 1

Chris U8s v Cass U8s 10am

Neil U8s v Esher Wizards 11am

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch 2

Steve U8s v Staines Town 10am

Bill U8s v Met Police 11am

Ashford Town 9 – 9 Pitch

Joe U12s v Motspur Park 10am

Graham U11s v Nelson U11s 11am

Ashford Town – Outfield

Carl 10:30

Craig U15s v Kew Park Rangers 12:30

Away Games

Larry U13s v Old Coulsdon

John U13s v Motspur Park

Paul U13s v Ruislip (county cup)

Conor U16s v Met Police

 

Once again we wish good luck to Paul’s Under-13’s who make another attempt to play their County Cup semi-final away to Ruislip

Ashford Ladies made light of the loss of Ashley Cheatley to Millwall Lionesses and scored 13 without reply last Sunday as they beat Putney Vale Ladies.  On Sunday it’s back to Cup action as the girls take on AFC Phoenix Reserves in the quarter-final of the Capital Women’s Cup.  Unusually kick-off is at 11.00 a.m. at Clapham Common and you can read more on the Ladies own website.

The men’s social side have not enjoyed a positive season but will have another go on Sunday when they play away to Bedfont Sports, kicking off at 10.30 a.m.

More details are available now about the new "100 Club" starting in March.

It is envisaged that there will be a monthly draw with three prizes each month of £100, £50 and £25.  IN addition there will be a separate draw at the start of the season in August for a one-off £500 followed by another special draw at Christmas, when there will be a one-off prize of £1000.

The Draw Administator will be Graham Felce and you can reserve your number(s) right now by contacting Graham on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  The cost will be just £5 per month by standing order or you can pay a lump sum for the year and sit back and wait for your number(s) to come up.  We are setting up a specific bank account so please don't send any money yet.

 

Fielding a strong squad, albeit with Tommy Brunton and Russell Canderton on the bench, Ashford made further progress on Tuesday in the Middlesex Charity Cup, winning by 6 goals to 3 at North Greenford United. 

Even allowing for the fact that their opponents are at Step 5, and they are no bad side, obviously building for the future after suffering relegation at the end of last season, this turned into a match that almost deserved the accolade of scintillating, such was the quality of some of the goals from both sides.

On a heavy but perfectly playable surface, Ashford looked immediately purposeful as Dan Fleming went close but were rocked back when NGU took the lead in effectively their first attack.  A right wing surge led to a cross and NGU’s Alfie Cain was on hand to give Tyler Tobin no chance.

Fortunately there seemed to be a collective determination about the side tonight and the equaliser was not long in arriving and it was one of the contenders for “goal of the evening” as Harry Herdman combined with Samad Kazi, whose low cross picked out Dan Fleming who controlled the ball and hammered it home .

The match was even enough at this stage and some of the football on show was to be applauded but it was Ashford who went ahead on 38 minutes when, once again Herdman and Kazi combined to give Fleming another opportunity and he took it with aplomb.  Sadly, to illustrate the old adage that any team is at its most vulnerable after scoring, NGU went straight down the field and equalised within a minute through Dan Vincent.  Ashford were convinced it was offside as they stood like statues but there was no swaying the officials and the teams went in level after an entertaining first half.

We then had a “drama” during the interval with one of the assistants reporting himself unwell and there was a delay of around 20 minutes whilst a replacement was found but when the match did resume it seemed a catalyst for the Tangerines who regained the lead within four minutes.  It was a very welcome goal for Mark Bitmead from a long range free kick albeit deflected.  Mark has gone through a lean patch recently but has worked hard to come through it and he deserved his reward.  Ashford looked to have the initiative now and on the hour mark made it 4-2.  NGU could only partially clear a corner and the ball rebounded to Samad Kazi who shot home with considerable force from distance.  Ashford were cruising now and within minutes Kazi scored again, arguably an even better goal, somehow curling it in from a tight angle almost on the byeline.

To their credit though, NGU continued to play and refused to accept defeat.  Not too often, but shford still looked uncertain at the back at times and it was their undoing on 78 minutes when they conceded possession allowing Vincent to  become the next player to send in an unstoppable effort to bring the score to 5-3 in favour of the visitors.

It was Ashford though who had the last word, as the rejuvenated Bitmead got on the ball again and drove at the goal and finished with confidence,  It was certainly good to see both him and Dan Fleming back amongst the goals.

It all became too much for one NGU player whose act of dissent in front of the bench included throwing his shirt at the referee and there was a considerable delay as he took a long time to walk off the pitch following the inevitable red card.  He may well face additional disciplinary action but it did not detract from the overall showing of both sides.  NGU have consolidated this season, following relegation last season, but they look a very promising side as they rebuild their squad.

For Ashford, no-one will get carried away but the overall performance was back to their early season form and just what they needed after some incredible misfortune recently.   It is important now though that Ashford show the same determination on Saturday at Uxbridge, more of which tomorrow.  There were several contenders for “Ashford man of the match” but in the absence of the usual official vote, the writer would choose Samad Kazi, so fast and determined and with two goals to his credit.  There could be honourable mentions for just about everyone but a special word also goes to Harry Herdman who was given a start from the Under-18’s and he is starting to look like a fully fledged 1st Team player, being directly involved in two of the goals and showing up well throughout the evening.

An 88th minute goal for visitors AFC Dunstable meant a narrow defeat for Ashford on Saturday by three goals to two.

From the Tangerines’ point of view, this was a disappointing outcome but the performance overall was far better than the previous Saturday at Fleet Town.  Ashford manager Ben Murray rang the changes, forced to an extent, with the unavailability of Max Webb and Samad Kazi and also the departure of Kam English to Marlow earlier in the week.  The Club did not have to release the player as Marlow failed to sign the player within 21 days of their original approach but there is little point holding on to a player who thinks his future will be better elsewhere so he has gone.  Romario Jonas returned to the starting line-up at right back whilst Eli Ogunseye and Theo Alexis both made their full debuts for the club.  Against their high flying opponents, Ashford looked determined from the start to put the previous week behind them but that intent suffered an early blow when the visitors took the lead on 7 minutes, a low cross evading Tyler Tobin’s grasp, leaving Jermaine Hall to stroke the ball into the net.

Despite the recent indifferent form there is no lack of spirit within the team and Ashford got well on top after that and equalised on 24 minutes.  An effort from Mark Bitmead proved too difficult for Dunstable keeper Gary Malone (who played a single match for Ashford a few seasons ago) and as he spilt it Dan Fleming was on hand to force it home.

This was Ashford’s best period of the game and just six minutes later, Fleming did it again, as he put the Tangerines ahead from close range as Malone once again failed to gather from Bitmead’s effort.

The match was largely end to end and Ashford were indebted to Tobin for a superb stop from an effort by Jermaine Hall for the visitors.  Fleming almost then notched his hatrick but it was Dunstable who had the last word of the first half when in the second minute of 1st half stoppage time Will Boye made an attempt to tackle an opponent who was actually going away from goal at that moment.  Both players fell but it was adjudged a foul by referee Kyle and Hall made no mistake from the spot.  It was ironic as the additional time had largely come from an injury suffered by Bailey Mummery who was tackled with incredible force on the edge of the Dunstable penalty area earlier on.  His opponent may well have got the ball but the tackle was made with no concern for the safety of the player and Mummery was down for a long time receiving treatment.  Incredibly, the referee had allowed play to go on, for yet another injustice at the hands of officialdom suffered in recent weeks by Ashford.  That solitary incident should not though overshadow the fact that generally Mr. Kyle had a reasonable match and the game was played in good spirit.

At two apiece at the break, it was anyone’s match and the general view was that there would be further goals.  There certainly could have been with chances at both ends.  For Ashford, Dan Fleming was so unlucky not to score again when an astute lob over the keeper just went wide, whilst Mummery’s fierce effort suffered the same fate.  A draw had started to look inevitable and would have been fair but with just two minutes left, AFC scored the goal that gave them all three points.  A break down the left and a pin point cross gave Nathan Frater an almost unmissable opportunity to head home.

Despite the defeat, Ashford should remain in good heart for forthcoming games as it was arguably the best performance for some time.  There was no “Ashford man of the match” award this week but had there been one, Bailey Mummery would have been one of the main contenders, along with Dan Fleming.  Devante McKain had his best game for the club since joining on loan from Staines Town, whilst Ogunseye looked even faster than the departed English.  Alexis also showed some excellent touches in midfield.

On Tuesday evening, Ashford make the short but traffic ridden journey to meet North Greenford United in the 2nd Round of the Middlesex Charity Cup, kick-off 7.45 p.m.  North Greenford’s game at home on Saturday was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch and we did offer them the opportunity to come to Short Lane, as they did last season, but they feel that everything will be OK tomorrow evening, so we should be on.

The address of the ground is Berkeley Fields, Berkeley Avenue, Greenford, UB6 0NX.  The draw for the 3rd Round does not appear to have been made or at least it doesn’t show on the County web site, which has not always been up to date this season but we can worry about that when and if we have to.

Sadly Ben Murray’s Under-16’s were defeated on Sunday in the semi-final of their County Cup losing by three goals to one whilst the Under-13 County Cup semi-final was postponed at Ruislip, so they will go again next Sunday.  The other junior results from yesterday were:

Larry U13s 0-2 Whitton

Craig U14s 1-4 Whitton

Ben U16s 1-3 Conquest (county cup)

Conor U16s 3-0 Met Police  

 

The Ladies duly won their league match against Putney Vale by 13 goals to nil, despite the loss of top scorer Ashley Cheatley who left the club last week, having signed a contract for Millwall Lionesses in the Women’s Super League.  There will a separate article on this in due course but in the meantime we all wish Ashley every success.

 

Weather permitting, Ashford are back in action on Saturday with a home match against AFC Dunstable, kick-off 3.00 p.m.  This will be the first ever visit to Short Lane by AFC Dunstable, not to be confused with Dunstable Town whom we have met on several occasions.

Our opponents, who were also promoted at the end of last season, have enjoyed a good campaign and will arrive in 5th position in the table with 49 points from 30 matches played.  We played at Dunstable on a Sunday earlier in the season and lost heavily by four goals to one, ours coming from Dan Fleming and just like last week it was not a match that will linger long in Ashford minds as Dunstable could have scored several more on the day.  It’s not an excuse, of course, but we have still never had an explanation as to why the match was on a Sunday.  We are aware, of course, that the two Dunstables share the ground but there are sufficient Saturdays through the season to accommodate that.  The writer’s best guess is that it was an undiscovered “cxxx-up” that didn’t come to light until it was too late to change, as to re-arrange the match for another Saturday would have had a disproportionate effect upon other fixtures.  Whatever it was, we hope we are not selected for any more Sunday fixtures. 

After today, we are due to play away to North Greenford United on Tuesday evening in the quarter final of the Middlesex Charity Cup.  It is the last cup we are left in for this season, of course.  Our opponents’ ground is more susceptible than most to the weather so there is a possibility that, if both sides agree, it could be switched to Short Lane.  Keep your eye on the web site for details of any change.

Finally, with the weekly prediction competition now ceased, there is to be a brand new 100 club completion starting in March.  There will be fuller details very shortly on the website and around the club.

There are plenty of junior matches on Sunday, of course, and below are the fixtures.  We send the very best of luck to our two sides competing tomorrow in their respective County Cup semi-finals, namely Ben’s Under-16’s and Paul’s Under-13’s

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

Conor U16s v Met Police 10am

John U13s v AFC Ewell 11:30

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

Ben U16s v Conquest 10:30 (County Cup)

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch 1

Michael U7s v Colin U7s 10am

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch 2

Neil U8s v Walton Casuals 10:30

Ashford Town 9 – 9 Pitch

Graham U11s v Matt U10s 11am

Ashford Town Stadium

Ladies v Putney 2pm

Away Games

Matt U9s v FC Sunbury

Joe U12s v Kew Park Rangers

Larry U13s v Whitton Wanderers

Paul U13s v Parkfield (County Cup)

Craig U14s v Whitton Wanderers

Fin U14s v Shelton Athletic

 

The Ladies are at home in the League to Putney Vale (2.00 p.m.) in the Greater London Women’s League whilst the Sunday social men’s side are at home to Armenian Youth on the back pitch, kick-off 10.30 a.m.

 

REMINDER:  On Tuesday evening, from 8.00 p.m. manager Ben Murray will be on hand to answer questions from supporters along with members of the 1st Team squad.   It will be a social evening with everyone welcome, especially members of the juniors.   Come and ask questions – don’t just use the forum or Facebook.   You can be sure that Ben will answer honestly as he sees it.

Ashford suffered an ignominious defeat on Saturday, losing 0-3 at Fleet Town.

The opening period of the match was even enough, but on 16 minutes Fleet were awarded a penalty kick when keeper Tyler Tobin was adjudged to have committed a foul.  The writer was too far away to take too definite a view on it although from the far end it looked as if Tobin had taken the ball.  The referee was probably right but it seems a fair bet at the moment that any decisions with any hint of controversy will go against Ashford.

Six minutes later though Fleet made it two and frankly, never looked back from that moment on, looking stronger and more determined than their visitors, even after they had a man sent off for a very poor tackle on Max Webb

There was no addition to the scoreline before half-time, but playing down the slope in the second half, Fleet made it three within six minutes of the resumption and it was definitely match over from that point as Fleet rarely looked like squandering their advantage.  Ashford’s best effort came from Dan Fleming, whose fierce effort was well saved but in truth the Tangerines never looked like pulling it back despite the man advantage.

That isn’t to say they didn’t play some neat football at times, especially when Tommy Brunton was in possession, but in the vital areas of defending they were found wanting too often whilst up front, the goal famine continued to the point where the result became inevitable long before the end.  All that said, nobody was playing that badly and both Tommy Brunton and Samad Kazi were outstanding at times whilst Will Boye showed up well when he came on, but the overall sparkle was missing for much of the match which was a shame after the previous week’s win.

There is no 1st Team midweek match so the squad and management have a full week on which to galvanise the squad and get back to that early season form which had showed hints of returning the previous Saturday.  The visitors this week will be AFC Dunstable, a strong side, who also enjoyed a resounding home win when they played Ashford earlier in the season.  It is time for a determined response from the Tangerines so let’s hope we get it.

Most of the Sunday junior sides were in action and here are the results:

Michael U7s 5-3 Wolves

Cass U8s 6-1 Whitton

Steve U8s 8-2 Halliford

Andy U9s 2-6 Staines

Matt U9s 3-2 Carshalton

Graham U11s 2-2 Esher

Joe U12s 1-11 Farncombe

John U13s 1-4 Claygate

Paul U13s 7-2 Chipstead

Craig U14s 5-3 Hampton Youth

Fin U14s 2-4 Ruislip (County Cup)

Martin U15s 2-3 Sandgate

Ben U16s 3-1 Ewell Saxons

Conor U16s 2-0 Woking

Fin’s Under-14’s lost their county cup semi-final against Ruislip but they fought back from 3 down at half time to bring it back to 3-2.  They were chasing the equaliser when Ruislip broke away with the killer goal, losing 4-2 on the day.   It was a praiseworthy achievement for the side to reach the county cup semi-final though and they will come back all the stronger for it.  Good luck to Ruislip in the Final.

The Ladies, as so often, won again, this time beating Greenhouse Sports by 8 goal to 1.  Here is a brief summary from manager Will Boye:

The Tangerines began the game in fine form and took the lead after the half hour mark when Charmaine Benham delivered in a cross for Sequoia Belworthy to head in at the back post.  That goal appeared to be exactly what Ashford needed as they began to turn on the style with Ashley Cheatley doubling the lead only a few minutes after with a well taken goal.  Cheatley scored again just before Greenhouse struck.

H/T: 3-1

Lavana Neufville was a constant threat to the opposition and delivered another pinpoint cross met by Cheatley to volley in her hatrick.  Lauren Restel managed to find Benham who had space to pick out a pass through the defensive unit to release Neufville who's shot was too hot for the goalkeeper to keep hold of.  Neufville found space in behind the oppositions defence once more and calmly finished, what was a replica of her previous.

Cheatley then scored another two goals before the full time whistle with her pick of the goals being a sublime chip over the on-rushing goalkeeper.

F/T: 8-1

LINEUP: L Restel, J Boyd, A Luzar, L Huse, N Jacobs, V James, C Benham, S Phillips-Hines, L Neufville, S Belworthy, A Cheatley

SUB: B Sheehan, L Richardson

The Sunday social side were without a match.

 

 

Fleet Town have confirmed that their pitch has passed a morning inspection and that this afternoon's game is ON

Weather permitting, Ashford will make the reasonably short trip to meet Fleet Town on Saturday.  The address of the ground is Calthorpe Park, Crookham Road, Fleet, Hants, GU51 5FA.  Kick-off is 3.00 p.m. and it is a journey of 24 miles down the M3 leaving at Junction 4A.  The weather forecast is not great as we all know but hopefully the game will go ahead.

Fleet are currently five places below Ashford in the table but that is deceptive as just three points separate the two clubs.  They have possibly suffered more than most in terms of postponemnts in January, in which their record shows a 6-1 home win over Kidlington, a 0-2 defeat at Royston and, last week, a 4-4 draw away at Beaconsfield.  Back at our ground in September we rather threw the match away eventually losing 3-4.  All in all, therefore, it will be a tough match.

A quick well done goes to Bailey Mummery who, last Saturday, celebrated his 50th 1st Team competitive start with our first goal in the win over Arlesey.

Earlier this week, our Under-18 side, under Will Boye, pulled off a tremendous win at Hayes and Yeading, winning by three goals to nil, the goals coming from Harry Herdman (2) and Keegan Stewart.  After some very unlucky defeats this season, usually by the odd goal, this win will serve as a major boost for the remainder of the season.  Their next scheduled match is on Wednesday 15 February, when they will be away to Hampron & Richmond U18.

There is another full Sunday of Junior fixtures this weekend and here they are:

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

Martin U15s v Sandgate 10am

Simon U16s v Kew Park Rangers 11:30

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

Conor U16s v Woking Cougars 10am

Ben U16s v Ewell Saxons 11:30

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch 1

Cass U8s v Whitton Wanderers 10am

Michael U7s v Wolves 11am

Bill U8s v Spelthorne 12pm

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch 2

Neil U8s v Lyne 10am

Chris U8s v Moormead 11am

Steve U8s v Halliford 12pm

Ashford Town 7 – 7 Pitch

Matt U9s v Carshalton 10am

Rhys U9s v Hampton Rangers 11am

Ashford Town 9 – 9 Pitch

Kirk U11s v Rocks Lane 10am

Nelson U11s v Molesey 11:15am

Joe U11s v Farncombe 12:30pm

Away Games

Andy U9s v Staines Town

Ryan U9s v Rocks Lane

Matt U10s v Mayford

Graham U11s v Esher Wizards

Larry U13s v Old Coulsdon (Cup)

John U13s v Claygate

Paul U13s v Chipstead

Craig U14s v Hampton

Fin U14s v Ruislip (County Cup)

Fin’s Under-14’s are due to play their County Cup semi-final this week away to Ruislip, whilst Larry’s Under-13’s will travel to play Old Coulsdon Colts Blazers in their own semi-final in the Surrey Invitation Cup this Sunday, following a 1-0 win over Epsom & Ewell Colts in the quarter-final.

 The Ladies are away to Greenhouse Sports in a Greater London Women’s League fixture.

 

We have agreed with Chessington & Hook United this evening that the League Cup tie on Tuesday evening will be switched to our ground, as their own is still waterlogged at present.  Kick off, therefore, will be 7.45 p.m. as usual, at Short Lane.

Due to the short period of time, it is unlikely that there will be time for a programme to be produced.

With over three quarters of the match having passed, and no goals, few would have predicted the eventual outcome, which saw Ashford racking up another away win by three goals to nil at Hanworth Villa on Saturday.

With most of the missing players from Tuesday evening back in the squad, Ben Murray named a strong team, despite the absence of skipper Russell Canderton, who sustained a knock against Enfield Town and Dan Fleming, unavailable.

In a biting wind both sides struggled to put any meaningful moves together in the first half.  It is fair to say that Ashford enjoyed the greater amounts of possession and chances but neither keeper was in serious trouble.  The second half followed much the same pattern.  Villa always looked dangerous on the break but as the match went on, it was the visitors who looked more likely to make the break through, and so it proved in the 80th minute when excellent work by Mark Bitmead was thwarted by the ever competent Terry Buss in the Villa goal.  The ball ran loose though and it was Jack Beadle, later afforded the Ashford “man of the match” accolade, who finally latched on to it and struck home.

Villa had little time to react as within three minutes Max Webb elegantly slotted home the second goal.  Quite frankly it looked as it may have been offside but the assistant waved play on and it did not detract from the excellent finish.

To emphasise it was Ashford’s day a third goal arrived shortly afterwards and it was Beadle again whose curiously looped effort caught Buss out as it landed in the back of the net.  Again there was a touch of good fortune about the goal but the win keeps Ashford very much in the title race.  After conceding six on Tuesday, albeit at a Ryman Premier club, the defence was solid throughout with Will Boye and Samad Kazi dominant at the back, whilst Tyler Tobin’s handling was immaculate in goal.

The next match is due to be away to Chessington & Hook United in the quarter final of the League Cup on Tuesday but due to the problems they are experiencing with their pitch, the match may be transferred to Short Lane.  As soon as a decision has been reached, sometime later today, the information will be put on here.

It is much closer to home but Ashford face another tough away match on Saturday, away to Hanworth Villa.

Last season the Villains endured a troubled season but have been doing far better this time round and they currently hold 5th place in the table with 15 wins and 9 defeats from their 27 league matches to date.  Last time out they surprisingly lost by 3 goals to 1 at home to Guildford City but prior to that had been in good form and Ashford know they can expect a tough match.  In the Tangerines’ favour though is the fact that, against Hanworth Villa in two previous games this season, one in the League and one in the Middlesex Senior Cup, they have played some of their best football of the season.

Personnel wise, along hopefully with others, Ashford should be able to welcome back both Perry Luckins and Samad Kazi to the squad, both missing the midweek epic against Enfield Town, due to Perry being cup tied and Samad suspended. 

For anyone who doesn’t know the address of the ground is Rectory Meadows, off Park Road, Hanworth, TW13 6PN and kick-off is 3.00 p.m.  There is ample parking but it may be wise to allow a little extra time with the England v Ireland Rugby match taking place later in the afternoon at Twickenham.

There is a fairly full junior programme on Sunday and here are the fixtures:

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

Tim U16s v Kew Park Rangers 10.30

Craig U13s v Kew Park Rangers 12pm 

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch

Billy U7s v Epsom Athletic 11am

Andy U8s v AFC West End 12.15

Ashford Town 7 – 7 Pitch

Graham U10s v Kew Park Rangers 10.30

Ashford Town – Outfield

Marco U15s v Staines Lammas 10am 

Ashford Town– Stadium

No fixture 

Away Games

Neil U7s v Rocks Lane

Tommy U7s v Spelthorne

Matt U8s v Esher Colts

Matt U9s v CB Hounslow

Nelson U10s v Hanworth Sports

Larry U12s v Motspur Park

Fin U13s v G4G

Ben U15s v Sheen Lions

Conor U15s v G4G

Marco U15s Staines Lammas

Carl U17s v Imber Court

Gary Sunday Men v Bedfont Sunday 

No Game

Martin U14s

Last Week;s Results

Larry U12s 2-2 Kingstonian Youth

Craig U13s 6-1 Meadow Sport

Fin U13s 5-0 G4G

Martin U14s 1-2 Wallington Wanderers

Ben U15s 4-2 Royals Elite

Conor U15s 7-1 Woking Cougars

Carl U17s 3-5 Horsley

Ladies 3-0 Greenhouse (for full report, go to ATFC Ladies’ web site)

 

 

Ashford finally exited the Middlesex Senior Cup for another season on Tuesday evening, but only after a momentous battle against Ryman Premier side Enfield Town, eventually losing by six goals to four after extra time.

Although Ashford’s players all arrived on time, kick-off at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium was sadly delayed until 8.00 p.m. due to a fatal accident further along the A10 in which a motor cyclist lost his life.  The art-deco ground is possibly one of the most interesting in the country from an architectural point of view, resembling an old London Underground station from the outside and full of character.  The same cannot be said for the pitch, which was in fine condition for the time of year but surrounded by a wretched athletics track.

Playing opponents from higher levels rarely phases Ashford even though Ben Murray found himself with something of a depleted squad and the visitors started brightly enough.  It was evident though right from the start that Enfield possess that little extra quality that is not often seen in the CCL and they were quick to pick up on any defensive errors which is exactly what they did, with goals from Bobby Devyne and Vance Bola seemingly putting them on the road to a straightforward victory in the opening 18 minutes.

As always though the third goal in any match is often decisive and Ashford were rewarded for their perseverance when the excellent Bailey Mummery got on the end of a low cross and took the opportunity to equalise just before the half-hour mark.  Sadly for the Tangerines, poor defending let them down again just four minutes later and Micky Parcell restored Enfield’s two goal lead.

So it remained at half-time although an immaculate piece of control on the stroke of the whistle from Dan Fleming had seen him control the ball and attempt a deft lob over the home keeper which just cleared the bar.  It would otherwise have been the goal of the night.

As the temperature dropped Ashford made an explosive start to the second half.  Within seconds Mark Bitmead was fouled in the area and made no mistake from the spot, and then, just five minutes later, another excellent move saw Scott Weight send in a low cross for Fleming to equalise at three apiece.

The match ebbed and flowed but once again it was Enfield who went ahead, this time through Devyne on 70 minutes and one wondered if that signalled the end for the visitors.  The answer was no, when they equalised with five minutes on the clock.  Bitmead was impeded as he tried to get on the end of a through ball and the Enfield defender was sent off for denying a goal scoring opportunity.  It had looked that the ball would have run through to the keeper and it was an extremely harsh decision.  Bitmead who had come to life in the second half hit the back of the net from the resulting free kick.  Just before the end he almost won it for Ashford with another effort that went narrowly wide.

At four apiece though and the home side down to ten men, the advantage was with Ashford in extra time and again they almost made it pay at the start but an obvious tiredness, hardly surprising after facing such a talented opposition, was manifesting itself and, despite being a man down, it was the home side who were now looking distinctly more menacing.  So it proved with Enfield scoring their fifth goal in the first period through Corey Whiteley and the writing was finally on the wall.  A sixth and final goal at the death, again from Whiteley ensured that it would be Enfield who would go through to meet Northwood in the Final, following their win by two goals to nil against Staines.

Enfield Town still have to visit Short Lane in the quarter final of the Middlesex Charity Cup and we shall look forward to entertaining them after their excellent and friendly hospitality on Tuesday evening.

Ashford duly returned to winning ways on Saturday with, what in the end, was a fairly straightforward victory over bottom side Cove by three goals to one.

Cove, of course, have a new manager and plenty of their present squad have more than sufficient senior experience.  In a nut shell they were not the best side we have faced at Short Lane this season but neither were they the worst and it took three goals of real quality to ensure the points, despite Ashford probably enjoying at least 80% of the possession.

The first essential was patience and Ashford needed it yesterday, faced by an organised defence and a niggling reluctance to turn chances into goals.  Indeed, with no goals in the first 20 minutes, despite chances galore, one wondered if this would be another frustrating afternoon but a glorious move on 26 minutes saw the Tangerines take a deserved lead, the final part of which saw a super cross from Alex Fisher to the head of Dan Fleming whose powerful header gave the generally efficient Cove custodian Sam Freeman no chance.

Ashford certainly looked in the mood with the football flowing beautifully sometimes from the Tangerines but a rare aberration from young Fisher saw him give the ball away under no pressure just nine minutes later and with Ashford caught by surprise, the visitors notched a decent enough equaliser through Karle Carder.

There was no further scoring before half-time but a completely out of character incident soured the period leading up to half time when Josh Andrew did so well not to over retaliate when he was spat at in the face by a Cove player.  This report will not name the player, although we know who it was, but it is hoped that Cove might take some action as there is certainly nothing worse in football.  Sadly the incident spilled over into the tunnel as the teams left the field at half-time but common sense prevailed in the end and there were no further problems in the second half, especially as Cove substituted the offender very quickly after the break.  Indeed referee Brown who refereed the match in a benign, generally cheerful, and certainly unrushed manner saw fit not to take a single name throughout the proceedings and after one or two of the card wielding zealots we’ve endured in certain recent matches, it was quite refreshing in a way.

It took Ashford just six minutes after the re-start to re-gain the lead.  Once again it was a superb goal.  Andrew picked up the ball deep in the right back position and as he is prone to do, went on one of those long mazy, fast paced runs going past one defender after another before slipping the ball inside to Fleming who deftly beat the keeper.  It really was top notch stuff.

It was mostly all Ashford after that although the visitors almost conjured a second equaliser when Samad Kazi had to clear from the line but a third goal for the Tangerines was always beckoning with Fleming having more than one opportunity to complete his hatrick, whilst Mark Bitmead and Jack Beadle also both went close.

The third goal and Fleming’s perfect hatrick, his third in Ashford’s last eight games, did eventually come in the 82nd minute when Fisher was once again the provider to ensure a 3-1 win and three more points.

It may be sometime before we face Cove again as they accept they are doomed to relegation but they will surely pick up a few points before the end of the season and should not be under-estimated by anyone.  Ashford, therefore can be more than satisfied with a return to form and some exquisite passing at times throughout the match.  Dan Fleming rightly took the ATFC “Player of the Match” award but Scott Weight gets an honourable mention for his hard work, as do full backs, Josh Andrew and Alex Fisher, who were both excellent going forward yesterday.

It will be a different match on Tuesday when Ashford head off to play Enfield Town in the Semi-final of the Middlesex Senior Cup, their reward for beating Harrow Borough 3-0 in the quarter final.  It was hardly the draw we wanted, given the journey and the quality of our opponents but we will give of our best.

The address of the ground is:  The Queen Elizabeth Stadium, 3 Donkey Lane, Enfield, EN1 3PL, telephone 07787 875 650.  It is a journey of around 43 miles ground to ground, involving coming off the M25 at Junction 25, going down the A10 (Great Cambridge Road) until you reach Donkey Lane, via Carterhatch Lane.  Kick-off is 7.45 p.m.

Some of our players have achieved praiseworthy milestones in recent matches.  On the goal scoring front, Mark Bitmead has now become one of a select band to have scored 100 competitive goals for Ashford, whilst Dan Fleming went past the 50 mark on Saturday.   In appearances, Jack Beadle has now achieved 100 competitive starts for the club, whilst Max Webb now has a total of 100 appearances along with Scott Weight who made his 200th 1st Team start on Saturday in his two spells with the Club.

The Under-18’s have produced some excellent performances lately without getting their due reward but will travel to meet Hayes & Yeading FC U18 tomorrow evening in a Ryman Youth match, kick-off 7.30 p.m.

 

Ashford will look to return to winning ways on Saturday when they entertain Cove FC.  Last season the opening match of the season was at home to Cove, who went away with a 2-1 victory and for a long time it looked as if they would win the League.  Sadly for the Club there was something of a slump after Christmas although they still managed to finish in 4th place.  That squad largely deserted the club at the end of the season and they began the current campaign with a very young side which sadly did not prove to be up to the job but with much of that side also now departed, the club appointed the experienced Paul Duncan to take charge and he has done well in recruiting new players at short notice.

Although results have not yet borne fruit, Cove are generally no longer suffering the “hammerings” and we are aware that they are now well organised and difficult to break down.

Kick-off as always is 3.00 p.m.

Following last night’s result, we now know that we will be entertaining Enfield Town in the quarter final of the Middlesex Charity Cup as they beat Harrow Borough by 3 goals to 2 in their 2nd Round clash last night.  We are already going to Enfield Town next Tuesday in the semi-final of the Senior Cup.

Sadly we have lost our video appeal against Samad Kazi’s unjustified sending off against Knaphill last Tuesday week.  That’s twice now we have thrown our money away to Middlesex FA.  We are awaiting the written reasons for that decision.

Ashford suffered a narrow defeat on Monday evening at the hands of a well organised Aldershot side losing by 4 goals to 3.

Aldershot started the brighter side and used the heavy pitch to their advantage, hitting the ball long into the channels which we simply struggled to deal with.  The first half finished 3-1 to Aldershot with our goal coming from a Keegan Stewart penalty and their three goals coming from a well struck free kick and two long balls.

Into the second half Aldershot hit us with an early goal and grabbed their fourth on the 48th minute and further misery was chucked our way when we were reduced to 10 men on the 55th minute when Aaron Lovett received his second yellow of the game with a mistimed tackle.  In a nutshell, we had given ourselves a mountain to climb.

For some reason the loss of a man and a system tweak seemed to benefit us and it wasn’t long before our possession and direct play carved open the Aldershot defence. Harry Herdman scored a wonderful solo goal on the 78th minute giving us hope as the game had swung in our favour.

Four minutes later we scored again, this time from an in swinging corner which found the head of Ilia Perovic 4-3, we could all sense an equalizer and the Aldershot players were clearly feeling the pressure with 8 minutes still left to play.

Our final chance came in stoppage time when we were awarded a free kick just outside the area and everyone piled into the box as we knew this would have to be it, Keegan Stewart stepped up but could only direct the ball into the keeper’s arms, the relief from the Aldershot bench and players was clear to see as the final whistle blew.

Two very different halves of football, we were punished for starting slowly once again and not creating enough chances in the first half. The second half was different, maybe the lads felt that they had nothing to lose, maybe Aldershot felt that the game had already been won but overall we almost came away with a point purely based on our fighting spirit and belief that we could get something out of the game.

Next up it’s an away trip to Hayes & Yeading in the league, Monday 22nd 19:45 KO.

A disappointing result on Saturday saw Ashford lose by the only goal of the game, scored on the hour mark by Westfield’s Matt Jackson.  The goal itself was disappointing as it came from a poorly struck corner kick, almost bobbling towards the near post, which really should have been cleared before Jackson flicked it home

This second consecutive defeat has put a dent in Ashford’s promotion ambitions but talk of giving up on the idea is totally premature, when there are still 42 points to be played for this season.  We had just gone 12 matches without defeat, winning most of them, and Saturday’s setback must be looked upon as a hiccup, nothing worse.  Neither will there be any criticism from this quarter of our excellent squad who have given Ashford supporters huge pleasure this season, even if they could not reach the heights of recent weeks on this occasion.

Every club in this League can beat their rivals on the day and that most certainly includes Westfield who, on Saturday, whilst not threatening too often, were well organised and hard to break down and all credit to them for scoring the vital goal and holding on to it for all three points.  Although we firmly lay the blame for the defeat at Knaphill at the referee’s door, the same could not be said of Saturday’s referee who did a good job.  We did have a penalty shout turned down near the end which looked clear to many of us but the officials saw it otherwise.  

Josh Andrew rattled the bar with a fierce effort whilst Mark Bitmead had an excellent chance at the death to rescue a point but he was unable to keep his effort down.

We now look forward to Saturday’s home clash against Cove FC and there will be more on that one later in the week.

Thanks to Westfield who swept out their changing room at the end of the match, a small gesture that always goes so far, when it happens.

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

Ashford look forward to entertaining Westfield on Saturday.

Our visitors gave Woking a good run for their money it would seem on Tuesday, in the Surrey Senior Cup, when they took the lead very early on but lost 1-4 in the end.  Westfield’s season has been tarnished rather by the weather and other factors with their ground suffering multi-postponements to the extent that they have played less matches than anyone else in the League and will only make the halfway mark if tomorrow’s match goes ahead.  As a result they are undoubtedly in a false position in the table in 19th place.

Even back in the halcyon days of the 90’s, we have never found matters easy against our opponents.  They beat us earlier in the season even though we had taken a two goal lead in the first half, so it was rather criminal from our point of view.  They also won the last time they played here in the League, just over a year ago, by 2 goals to 1, our goal coming from Samad Kazi, although we did manage to win at Westfield last season, and in the Surrey Senior Cup here at Short Lane.

With Hartley Wintney winning 4-2 at home to Chertsey (both Chertsey goals coming in the last few seconds) we lost a little ground on Tuesday, but with Hartley and Camberley meeting each other tomorrow, at Hartley Wintney, one or both of them will drop points so if we can get the better of our visitors we can claw some of that ground back.

Junior Chairman Nick Bailey has provided all the Junior fixtures for this weekend, as below plus last Sunday’s results:

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

Craig U13s v Martin U14s 11am 

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch

Tommy U7s v Neil U7s 10.30 

Ashford Town 7 – 7 Pitch

Graham U10s v Staines Lammas 10.30 

Ashford Town – Outfield

Gary Sunday Men v Hamilton 10.30

Marco U15s v Spelthorne Sports 12.30

Away Games

Larry U12s v Kew Park Rangers

Craig U13s v Kew Park Rangers

Fin U13s v Met Police

Ben U15s v Leatherhead

Conor U15s v Kingstonian

Tim U16s v Wallington Wanderers

Ladies v Leyton Orient

No Games

Bill U7s

Tommy U7s

Matt U8s

Andy U8s

Matt U9s

Graham U10s

Nelson U10s

Results for Sunday 7 February 2016

Billy U7s 2-2 Kingston Town

Matt U8s 6-6 Esher Colts

Matt U9s 3-1 Met Police

Graham U10s 5-4 Hampton Youth

Larry U12s 3-1 SCR Colts

Craig U13s 9-0 Kew Park Rangers

Fin U13s 6-0 Worcester Park

Martin U14s 5-1 Oxshott Royals

Ben U15s 3-3 Raynes Park Vale

Conor U15s 3-1 Rushmoor

Marco U15s 7-1 Badshot Lea

Tim U16s 1-3 Corinthian Casuals

Carl U17s 3-2 West Byfleet 

 

 

Criticism of the referee is inevitably seen as sour grapes if a club loses the match in question, so firstly let the appropriate amount of credit be given to Knaphill who inflicted a first defeat on Ashford in eleven matches, the previous defeat also being at the hands of Knaphill in the Surrey Senior Cup.

Matches between the two clubs this season and this was the third, have all been extraordinary in one way or another, but this one stood out for an rather bizarre performance by the referee, Mr. Stoyanov.  His first decision was whether or not the match should go ahead at all with quite a large area of the pitch resembling a bog.  Many would have called it off but he decided to play it.

Just as they had in the County Cup match, Ashford found themselves back on their heels as Knaphill made all the early running and they were rewarded with an early goal, with less than three minutes on the clock,, the scorer being Charlie Postance.  Ashford seemed to weather the storm though and then we had the first incident.  A Knaphill defender attempted a back pass on the bog and inevitably it stuck in the mud.  Scott Harris was first to it but he was taken out by Knaphill keeper Richard Shelley who had come rushing out.  Given that all the Knaphill team had been pushing up, there was little doubt that Harris would have scored into an empty net and in Ashford’s eyes, it had to be a red card for the keeper, who had been sent off in the previous match between the sides for a similar offence but probably one that was not as clear cut as last night.  The sending off could just as easily have been for violent conduct as the keeper knew exactly what he was doing and whilst Harris had gone slightly to the left as he went past, or attempted to go past the keeper, he had absolute control of the ball until taken out and it was a clear red card offence in the visitors’ eyes.  Sadly not in Mr. Stoyanov’s who saw fit only to issue a yellow.  There is no need to accept this report as gospel as there is some excellent footage on You Tube

The decision had a huge impact on the match as Shelley, who is without doubt a fine goalkeeper, made any number of good saves during the rest of the game.  Ashford’s sense of injustice was only heightened when, within minutes Knaphill scored their second courtesy of Scott Costello.

There was no further scoring before half-time although Shelley had made a point blank stop from Dan Fleming when a goal had seemed inevitable.  Knaphill though had played better than Ashford and it would have been hard to say that they did not deserve their lead although what would have happened if they had gone down to ten men is impossible to say.

A storming come back was required if Ashford were going to get anything from this match but in all honesty it did not look as if it would materialise and the home side could have put the issue beyond doubt on more than one occasion.  That said, everyone knew that if Ashford could get one back, things would change, and they finally managed it with just fifteen minutes left on the clock, when Fleming smashed it home after good work from Mark Bitmead.

Now the fun and games started in earnest.  Very quickly, Ashford were awarded a penalty even though the foul on Fleming was committed quite noticeably outside the box.  Before the penalty could be taken, Knaphill had a player sent off for his re-action and given the speed of the red card, there was little doubt that his language merited the decision, although frankly it needed a saint not to react in some way to a blatantly incorrect decision.  The player then took some two minutes to trudge down the length of the pitch without any action being taken.  To be fair, at least the referee added on a reasonable period of stoppage time at the end of the match, unlike the previous time this had happened in the County Cup match between the sides.

The delay did not phase Mark Bitmead who calmly struck home the spot kick to level the scores.  Within minutes Knaphill suffered again at the hands of Mr. Stoyanov.  This time there was a late tackle on Scott Weight, which was definitely a foul and probably a yellow.  The player could not believe it when the referee produced another red card.  Unless he had seen something that nobody else had, it seemed unbelievable that the offence merited the ultimate punishment but Ashford now had their tails up against nine men and sensed another goal in the closing minutes.

It came alright but it was the home side who scored it.  Ashford had rather thrown caution to the wind in looking for the winner and a huge clearance from Shelley found a lone attacker closing in on goal.  A super effort from Samad Kazi saw him get back and seemingly take the ball off the attacker’s toes only for Mr. Stoyanov to strike again. He deemed it was a foul and sent Kazi off and awarded a penalty to Knaphill, who missed it, thanks to a fine save from Tyler Tobin, only for the taker, Rob Kersley, to be first to the rebound and give Knaphill an unlikely winner, based solely on the events of the last fifteen minutes.  A fourth goal for the home side deep in stoppage time from Costello as Ashford heads dropped just rubbed further salt in.

After some of the superb displays in recent weeks, Ashford were far from their best last night.  Despite the refereeing performance, he wasn’t responsible for Knaphill scoring four goals (one  maybe!) and winning the match following a poor defensive performance by the visitors.  Well done to our opponents but things move on and Ashford now look forward to entertaining Westfield on Saturday on what will doubtless be a very welcome pristine surface.

Assuming Samad’s red card was for denying a goal scoring opportunity, he will now receive a one match suspension which unfortunately for him will be the semi-final against Enfield Town in the Middlesex Senior Cup.  The coffers of both Middlesex and Surrey FA’s will benefit from the referee’s decisions last night, especially given the over the top fine system introduced by the Football Association this season but Mr. Stroyanov is unlikely to give that much of a thought.

This evening’s match away to Knaphill is subject to a pitch inspection around 3.00 p.m. although the tweet from our friends at Knaphill suggested that all should be OK.  Let’s hope so.

Ashford and Knaphill have met twice already this season, once in the League at Short Lane and once in the Surrey Senior Cup at Knaphill.  Both were high scoring matches and we have seen enough of our opponents to know that they are capable of some excellent football.

Having beaten us in the County Cup (we will draw a veil over the referee’s time keeping in that match), they went on, after two postponements, to beat Chipstead and would have been entertaining Sutton United this evening, but for the fact that the latter drew in the FA Trophy on Saturday and now have a reply this evening which takes precedence.

The address of the ground is the Brookwood Country Park, Redding Lane, Lower Guildford Road, Knaphill, GU21 2AY and kick-off is 7.30 p.m.

On a heavy but perfectly playable surface, Badshot Lea and Ashford found their main problem was not the pitch but the fierce wind that was blowing more or less straight down the pitch.

Ashford had it behind them in the first half and wasted little time in taking the lead on 7 minutes.  Jack Beadle and Alex Fisher conspired to set the latter free down the left flank and his low cross was met by the unmarked Mark Bitmead who carefully steered the ball into the net.

The remainder of the half though did not go so well from Ashford’s point of view.  Badshot Lea defended well but often they didn’t have to, as too many balls went astray in the wind, with crosses and shots sailing over the bar.  Scott Harris was rather unlucky to see his determined header ruled out, which would have given Ashford a second goal but there was no further scoring at half-time and the view prevailing amongst Ashford supporters was that one goal may well not be enough in the conditions.

They need not have worried though as Ashford found it far better against the wind, playing the ball on the ground as much as possible, and defending with purpose, with Will Boye and Samad Kazi at the heart of it, whenever they were required.

The Tangerines doubled the lead just before the hour mark with a goal of some class.  Bitmead started the move, finding Harris, whose clever ball behind the defence saw Dan Fleming the first to react and his quite deliberate lob to the far post gave the keeper little chance.

The home keeper had in fact kept his side in the match, making two point blank saves in rapid succession at one point but just five minutes after the second goal, he conceded again when it looked as if he might have done better, although there could have been a slight deflection.  Again the move came down the left with Tommy Brunton feeding Jack Beadle just inside the opposition half.  Unchallenged he carried the ball, cut inside the full back, as he does so often, and his low accurate effort went in at the near post.

To their credit, the home side did not relax their own efforts and probably should have pulled one back when a long ball caught Ashford out for once but the final effort sailed over the bar.

With the visitors generally dominant though, they had the last word in stoppage time, albeit with a little assistance.  Alex Fisher found himself wide right and with time to cross, he sent in a perfect ball.  Lea defender Elliott Hobden got to it first but miscued his header and sent it into his own goal to make the final score 4-0 in favour of the visitors and a very pleasing clean sheet.

Ashford’s travelling supporters voted for Tommy Brunton as “Ashford Man of the Match” but again there were any number of candidates.  The strength of the squad at the moment was perhaps demonstrated by the bench yesterday, composed entirely of players who would often be automatic starters, one being Max Webb who came on for the final quarter and was immediately in the heart of things.

Looking forward, Ashford’s match away to Knaphill on Tuesday evening is now back ON, as Sutton United could only draw in the FA Trophy yesterday and will thus not be available to play Knaphill in the Surrey Senior Cup, due to the replay taking precedence.  Please note that kick-off at Knaphill is 7.30 p.m.  There will be more on the match in due course but it would seem from the two previous matches this season, that goals will be guaranteed, the first game in the Surrey Senior Cup being won by the home side by 4 goals to 3, and the league match at Ashford a few weeks ago resulting in a 6-4 win for the Tangerines.

Next Saturday sees a welcome return to Short Lane, when Westfield will be the visitors.

Also, the Under-18’s have an attractive looking home match on Wednesday evening in the Ryman Youth League when Hendon U18’s will provide the opposition.  Kick-off is 7.45 p.m.

Ashford are due to travel to Ash United’s ground this afternoon, to play against their tenants, Badshot Lea.  They will be hoping to improve upon last season’s debacle when the Tangerines lost by three goals to nil on perhaps the heaviest surface they played on throughout last season.  That is no excuse though and on the day Badshot Lea certainly had no problems.

Badhsot Lea were certainly one of the pre-season favourites to do very well this season and are never easy to beat but the season has not gone as well as they would have hoped and they currently find themselves in 18th place in the table, with 8 wins and 14 defeats in their 23 league matches to date.  They have though recently strengthened their squad, including the dangerous Adam Nditi, who has moved over from Guildford City recently, and who has already scored against Ashford this season for his previous club.

Ashford will be at full strength, as far as the writer is aware, and will be keen to take advantage of the fact that leaders Hartley Wintney are engaged in the FA Vase this afternoon against Hereford.  We wish them all the best in that one as they try to join Camberley in keeping the CCL flag flying in the competition at this advanced stage.

The address of the Ash ground is the Shawfields Stadium, Youngs Drive, Ash, GU12 6RE.  There is a reasonably sized car park and kick-off, as always, is 3.00 p.m.  The weather forecast is not exactly encouraging for today so keep an eye on the website up until around 1.00 p.m.  After that if you think the match may be in doubt, the phone number of the ground is 01932 320385.

LAST WEEK’S JUNIOR RESULTS

Matt U8s 8-1 Halliford

Andy U8s 2-2 Hampton Rangers

Matt U9s 4-8 Carshalton

Graham U10s 8-1 Whitton

Larry U12s 3-4 FC Sunbury

Craig U13s 2-5 Croygas

Fin U13s 2-1 Meadow Sports

Martin U14s 5-3 SCR Colts

Ben U15s 3-2 Met Police

Conor U15s 4-1 Leatherhead

Carl U17s 3-2 Lyne Youth

Ladies 3-3 Hammersmith 


THIS WEEK’S JUNIOR FIXTURES

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

FC Hatton 10.30

Fin U13s v Worcester Park 12.30

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

Martin U14s v Oxshott Royals 10am

Ben U15s v Raynes Park 11.30

Craig U13s v Kew Park Rangers 1pm

Ashford Sports Club – 9 – 9 Pitch

No fixtures  

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch

Matt U8s v Esher Colts 10.30

Tommy U7s v Halliford Colts 11.45

Ashford Town 7 – 7 Pitch

Graham U10s v Hampton Youth 10am

Matt U9s v Met Police 11.15

Nelson U10s v Halliford Colts 12.30

Ashford Town – Outfield

MARCO - 10am 

Ashford Town Stadium

No fixture

Away Games

Billy U7s v Kingston Town

Andy U8s v Mitcham Park

Larry U12s v SCR Colts

Conor U15s v Rushmoor Saints

Marco U15s v Badshot Lea

Tim U16s v Corinthian Casuals

Carl U17s v West Byfleet

No Games

Gary Sunday Men

Ladies 

Results

Matt U8s 8-1 Halliford

Andy U8s 2-2 Hampton Rangers

Matt U9s 4-8 Carshalton

Graham U10s 8-1 Whitton

Larry U12s 3-4 FC Sunbury

Craig U13s 2-5 Croygas

Fin U13s 2-1 Meadow Sports

Martin U14s 5-3 SCR Colts

Ben U15s 3-2 Met Police

Conor U15s 4-1 Leatherhead

Carl U17s 3-2 Lyne Youth

Ladies 3-3 Hammersmith  Starz

 

 

Ashford Ladies  3    Hammersnith Starz  3


Ashford have won their division in the Greater London Women's League in their first season.  On Sunday last, they entertained 2nd Placed Hammersmith Starz, the match ending in a draw and here is the report of the match from the Ladies' web site.

 

 

League Fixtures Draw To a Close

 

Ashford Ladies twice had to come from behind to earn a hard fought draw against Hammersmith Starz in their penultimate league fixture of the season.

 

Hammersmith went ahead on the 15 minute mark with a long range strike that eluded Lauren Restel before they found themselves two goals up shortly after.

 

The fighting spirit of Ashford Ladies had never been called into action before in the season however the ladies knew they had to dig deep to get any sort of result from this game.

 

Top goalscorer, Ashley Cheatley grabbed her first of the game and minutes before the half time whistle grabbed another to send both sides in level at the break.

 

The second half was played in similar fashion, with both teams creating chances however when Hammersmith were awarded a penalty late on it felt a harsh result in the context of the game.

 

Ashford equalised with five minutes left to play of the game when Lavana Neufville lashed in a superb volley in the penalty box.

 

A 3-3 draw seemed a fair result on the day with both teams playing some great football.

 

LINEUP: L Restel, C McGregor F Larsson, A Luzar, B Sheehan, T Prior, V James, C Samuels, L Neufville, A Cheatley, C Benham

 

SUBS: P Pantlin

 

Ashford Ladies still have cup fixtures to play against Leyton Orient Development, away, on 14th February in the Sue Sharples Memorial Trophy and Greenhouse Sports FC on 21st February in the Capital Womens Cup at The Robert Parker Stadium.

We look forward to your support!

Our Middlesex Senior Cup Semi-Final, away to Enfield Town, is now confirmed for Tuesday 23 February.

The League match away to Sutton Common Rovers on Monday 22 February will be re-arranged.

Following a pitch inspection, this afternoon's match at home to Horley Town is ON.  Only prolonged rainfall between now and kick-off would change that.  The pitch looks excellent although doubtless it will cut up during the game as it is still quite wet.  Superb effort by the groundsmen.

 

Groundsman Steve Honey has reported that the pitch is looking better this morning and is playable in his view as at 9.00 a.m.  However, an inspection has been arranged for 11.00 a.m. as a precaution as anything more than a shower is likely to result in a postponement.

If you want to know whether or not the match is on, please phone the Club on 01784 245908 after 11.15 am

Whilst writing, the Club's congratulations go to Liam and Chloe, whose baby was born a little earlier than expected yesterday at St. Peters.  No doubt grandad Balmer will fill us in with more details in due course.

Ashford hope to end February on a bright spell when they entertain Horley Town on Saturday at Short Lane.  The two most recent league matches have seen Ashford score nine goals and take maximum points against Hartley Wintney and Colliers Wood United respectively but Horley, whilst not in the upper reaches of the table, have pulled off some good results at times this season and they will certainly not be taken lightly.

The enforced rest through waterlogged pitches has been good in some ways, allowing time for some  minor knocks to clear up and Ashford will also be able to welcome back  Alex Fisher, fresh from playing for Middlesex County FA last week up in Lancashire and helping them to secure a place in the FA County Youth Cup Final, which is due to be played on Saturday 11 April.  We will doubtless be without Alex’s services once again, although we can hardly begrudge him the opportunity, especially as it is many years since Middlesex reached the Final.

Horley are currently in 18th place in the table having won six but lost fifteen of their league matches to date.  Like us, the weather has seen them idle for a fortnight but prior to that they drew three goals apiece at Guildford City, having previously lost heavily at Spelthorne Sports by four goals to nil.

Kick-off tomorrow is at 3.00 pm as usual.  The pitch took a hammering in midweek with both the Lammas match on Tuesday evening and the Ryman Youth game against Aldershot going ahead on Wednesday butSteve and Liam will have done their best to get it playable today, although it may not be quite as good as it has been for much of the season.

Don’t forget to buy your tickets for the Meat Draw on Sunday, kindly sponsored this week by Nick Bailey.  They are available over the bar at just £1 each and we will put your prize in the freezer if you are not in the Club around 3.00 p.m. when the draw will be made.   It is a huge day on Sunday also in terms of televised football.  We will be showing the Liverpool v Manchester City match, kicking off at midday, followed by Arsenal v Everton, at 2.05 pm and after that, the League Cup Final between Tottenham and Chelsea.  All three games will be shown in the clubhouse, and as an added incentive, the winner of the first piece of meat drawn out, will also receive a bottle of wine with the Club’s compliments but only if you are there at the time of the draw.

We have been advised by Farnham Town that their pitch is waterlogged and therefore tonight's match is OFF.

Ashford though will be showing the Manchester City v Barcelona match on the television if you still fancy getting out.

Also, the Lammas match at home to Sheerwater is ON.  groundsman Steve Honey hasn't been able to do much to the pitch as it is too wet but it is playable.  Kick-off is 7.45 pm

 

 

Weather permitting, Ashford will travel to Farnham Town on Tuesday evening, for their first visit since 12 October 1999, when the result was a rather dull nil-nil draw.

Farnham’s form has generally been good in recent times, if a little topsy-turvy, amply illustrated by their last two results, namely a 0-1 home defeat against Raynes Park Vale, followed by a 5-1 victory away at Spelthorne.  They are currently in 9th position in the table with 12 wins and 11 defeats in their 28 league matches to date.  They are also still in the Premier Cup, in which they will entertain Cove next week in the Quarter Final.

The address of the ground is the Memorial Ground, West Street, Farnham, GU9 7DY.  Coming along the A31, it is best to stay on that road until you get to the roundabout where you turn rght onto West Street (A325).  Your sat nav may want to take you off earlier but then you will end up going through the town.  Having turned right into West Street, proceed for about half a mile and the ground is on the right.  The club and very small car park are approached by a very tight right hand turn, past the Jolly Sailor,  but it is probably easier to turn right at the first roundabout once you come down West Street and park in the Memorial Hall car park on the other side of the ground.

Farnham is probably unique in that the actual dressing rooms are situated outside the ground in the Memorial Hall but you have to walk right across or around the pitch to get to the clubhouse.  Indeed it is quite an unusual ground and well worth a visit.

Ashford will be close to full strength and hopefully it will be an exciting match.

We are looking for Ball and/or Match Day Sponsors for our final five home matches, including this coming Saturday’s at home to Horley Town.  If anyone can help (rates negotiable) please come forward.

Please note that this afternoon's match away to Mole Valley SCR has been postponed as the pitch is waterlogged.

The clubhouse at Ashford is open all afternoon though and as far as the writer is aware Lammas are at home to Cobham, kick-off 3.00 p.m.  Why not come down and help Lammas get a decent gate and enjoy a beer or two as well.

 

 

Goals from Keji Adenive and Jamie Walters helped Ashford’s Under-18’s to a 2-1 victory away at top of the table Staines Town on Thursday evening in the Ryman Youth League

 

Fielding a squad consisting of six first year players plus four Under-16’s, which bodes well for the next two seasons, Ashford scored their two goals in the opening 20 minutes and could have scored more.  Staines though pulled one back some 10 minutes into the second period, following which Ashford had to do plenty of defending, although they still had chances of their own.  It was an excellent win though and well done to Sean Caldwell and his management staff.

 

Just to show what a tough league it is in which they play, Ashford’s next match is at home to Aldershot Town U18 next Wednesday, kick-off 7.45 p.m.  It would be good if a few people could come along and support this new look team.

 

On to the senior side and firstly is the news that Ashford have been drawn away to Merstham, who beat Colliers Wood 2-0 on Wednesday evening, in the semi-final of the Surrey Senior Cup on a date to be advised.  The other tie will see Badshot Lea or Molesey entertaining Met Police.  We actually played at Merstham in last season’s competition when we lost 1-3, our goal being a penalty scored by Cyril Ocansey, after Scott Weight had been sent off for a very bad tackle.  Merstham are an excellent side pushing strongly this season for promotion to Step 3 but it will be a very different Ashford side that takes the field this season.

 

Back to this week and on Saturday Ashford make the short trip (they’re all short this season!) to Cobham to meet Mole Valley SCR.   Two goals from Mark Bitmead (one a pen) and one from Jack Mullan enabled Ashford to win the home game by three goals to one  but Mole Valley are a long way from being the worst side in the CCL and on their own patch, or rather Cobham’s, they will undoubtedly provide stiff opposition.  The address of the ground is the Leg of Mutton Field, Downside Bridge Road, Cobham, KT11 1AA.  There is very limited parking at the ground and the pathway leading to it is heavily rutted as you get closer to the ground, so unless you arrive early, it may be sensible to park halfway along the approach road and walk the last 200 yards or so.  Cobham’s pitch used to be such that it was very rare for a match to be postponed there but that has not been the case for some seasons now so it might be worth checking before travel, given the recent rainfall.  The ground phone number is 01932 866386.

 

Ashford have to do without the services of young Alex Fisher on Saturday as he has been selected to play for Middlesex County U18’s in their FA County Youth Cup semi-final match away to Lancashire FC, to be played at their County ground in Leyland near Manchester, kicking off at 1.00 p.m.  We obviously wish Alex and the County the best of luck but why these sort of matches have to be played on a Saturday, depriving senior clubs of their players, when they could surely be played on a Sunday, who knows.

 

On to matters more positive and discussions went well yesterday evening as a result of which it looks very promising that we will once again be fielding a senior Ladies’ side next season.  We have made it clear that we do not want to be let down this time in terms of player availability and that seems unlikely with what we have been told.  The potential new side though need to appoint a Ladies’ Secretary and it may be that someone already with the Club would be interested in this doubtless rewarding position.  If so, please make contact.

 

 

Ashford made it into the semi-final of the Surrey Senior Cup on Tuesday evening for the first time since the 2008-2009 season, when they went on to win it.  The final scoreline showed a 3-1 victory in favour of the Tangerines but due credit must be given to a hard working and efficient Westfield side who totally belied their 17th position in the League table.

The visitors were on top for much of the first half and a close range goal from John Mepham had given them a deserved lead.  Some excellent defensive work by Mitchal Gough and one or two smart saves from keeper Tobin prevented the visitors from going further ahead and it is a fair bet that the home dressing room walls came close to melting at half-time.

If they did, it seemed to do the trick with Ashford far more prominent at the start of the second period.  Westfield though defended competently and the game became even again some 20 minutes in.  Both teams produced some excellent football at times with Tobin preventing a certain goal on one occasion.  Ashford’s usual cutting edge was being nullified and with just five minutes left on the clock, supporters were more or less convinced that, after beating both Woking and Leatherhead in earlier rounds, Ashford were on their way out.

Then it all happened:  in the 85th minute it was Samad Kazi, Ashford “man of the match” who scored from close range to level up the tie and just a minute later Dan Fleming hit an unstoppable effort to put Ashford ahead.  Westfield had no time to recover and in the 5th minute of stoppage time it was the lively Kazi who ensured Ashford’s passage and also became the fourth player this season to go into double figures in terms of goal scoring for this season.

The other club definitely through to the semi-final is Metropolitan Police, whilst Colliers Wood meet Merstham this evening.  The final place will be between Molesey and Badshot Lea, who rather hammered Corinthian-Casuals in a delayed 3rd Round tie last night by four goals to one.  It is not known yet when the draw will take place.

The Under-18’s are also in action this week being due to travel to Wheatsheaf Lane on Thursday evening, to play Staines in a Ryman Youth League match, after the game had been postponed on Monday evening.

The 1st Team now turn their attention back to the League and will travel to Cobham FC on Saturday to play Mole Valley SCR, kick off 3.00 p.m.   Mole Valley found themselves on the end of a disastrous result last night, losing 0-6 to neighbours Bedfont Sports but more on Saturday’s match later in the week.

Ashford are to re-launch their weekly Meat Draw, which will be drawn each week in the Clubhouse on Sundays around 3.00 p.m.  The first draw will be on Sunday 1 March and tickets will be available very shortly

Ashford’s match away to Molesey was postponed shortly before kick-off on Saturday following the arrival of the match referee Jonathan Blower.  The pitch was certainly very wet and although Molesey had followed the correct procedure it was a little bit of a surprise that an earlier inspection by local referee Darren Sheldrake had not come to the same conclusion although there are always differing opinions concerning the fitness or otherwise of pitches.The game will now be played on a midweek evening later in the season.  The postponement was not too unwelcome for Ashford with one or two players suffering knocks, now able to enjoy a further few days rest.

Attention now turns to Tuesday evening when Westfield are the visitors to Short Lane in the Quarter Final of the Surrey Senior Cup.  Westfield have been hampered in recent weeks with pitch problems of their own but they won at Ryman League Redhill in the previous round of the competition and last Saturday week they won at Windsor, 2-1, in the League, so they have been in generally good form when they have been able to play, although they did lose narrowly to Cove (2-3) after extra time in the League Cup last Tuesday.   Ashford will also be keenly aware that Westfield took all three points away from Short Lane quite recently, which balanced up Ashford’s win at Westfield at the start of the season.

Recent signing Bobby Dormer is ineligible and suspended but other than that, apart from one or two long-term injuries, Ashford should just about be at full strength and it could be a great game, which will go to extra time and penalties if required.  Kick-off is 7.45 p.m.

In the meantime, and apologies for the delay, we have a report from the Sunday side, which is doing really well this season under manager Gary Tomany.  Last week they beat Wayfarers by 2 goals to 1 and here is a brief report:

Ashford Town 2 Wayfarers 1
08.02.15

On a bright sunny Sunday morning, manager Gary Tomany led his Ashford Town Sunday team into action against a Wayfarers team that had won their last 3 games. Ashford started strongly moving the ball around nicely. There positive play was rewarded in the 11minute, when a quick taken corner found Bryan Kerr unmarked 6yards out and he smashed to ball into the middle of the goal. Ashford maintained the high tempo throughout the 1st half and would have wrapped up all 3 points, but for a Wayfarers goalkeeper on top form pulling off a number of impressive saves. Not to be outdone at the other end, Wayfarers looked to equalise when a cross turned shot seem to be looping over Keith smith in goal but somehow Smith shuffled back outstretched his left hand and tipped it over the bar.

Ashford went looking to make the game safe in the second half with the next goal, but were repeatedly kept at bay by the keeper.  Wayfarers improved after the break themselves and equalised with a fine finish to the bottom right corner. Their joy was short lived though as Ashford responded straight away. A free kick by Callum Makay, was pushed onto the post only for Ashford's centre back David Jones to drill the ball home for a deserved winner as the game ended 2-1.

This win kept Ashford 4 points clear at the top and in their next game this Sunday (today 15 Feb) they face a daunting away trip to AFC Feltham, whose only loss this season was 1-0 to Ashford back in November.

 

Ashford make the short trip to Molesey on Saturday.

Whilst the outcome will not settle anything, with plenty of matches still to be played, it is obviously an important fixture, with Molesey effectively having nudged ahead of Ashford in the battle for the Championship.  Ashford still retain a five point advantage but Molesey have four matches in hand.  When the two sides met at Short Lane in early December, Molesey won by the only goal of the game but in truth they deserved to win by more on that occasion, dominating much of the match, with Ashford strangely out of sorts.

Ashford have hit nine goals in their last two league matches and seem to have recovered their best form but it will be tough against an excellent Molesey side who suffered a rare blip last Saturday, losing at a much improved Farnham Town side by 4 goals to 3, their first defeat for some time.  Both clubs were due to have been in action in midweek, which Ashford managed but could only draw at CB Hounslow in the S. Comb. Cup, eventually losing on penalties.  All credit to CB whose harrying and willingness to run throughout the game was frankly impressive, as indeed were their penalties, not one giving Tyler Tobin any chance.  That said, one suspects that it will be a more committed Ashford that takes the field tomorrow.

Sadly in Molesey’s tie at Hanworth Villa, the match had to be abandoned in the very first minute of the game when George Windsor, a Molesey player suffered a broken leg and a dislocated ankle, and he could not be moved until an ambulance arrived.  It goes without saying that we wish him a full recovery as soon as possible.

The address of the ground for tomorrow is 412 Walton Road, West Molesey, KT8 2JG and kick-off is 3.00 p.m.   There is parking at the ground but it is a little restricted, so get there early if you wish to get a space.

Ben Murray made a number of changes for Tuesday evening’s Southern Combination Cup match away to CB Hounslow but after 120 minutes of football it was the home side who went  through on penalties after a 1-1 draw, both goals coming in extra time and both being penalties.

The hosts attacked the match with considerable gusto and probably deserved to win on that basis alone as they ran and harried all night long on a bobbly and drying surface that defied anyone to play much football.  Neither side though was able to break the deadlock after 90 minutes but Ashford finally went ahead in extra time from the spot, converted by sub Mark Bitmead.  That probably should have been that but some minutes later CB were also awarded a penalty, again for handball.  The culprit was Elliott Jones who claimed he had been shoved as he went up to head a ball that was actually drifting out for a corner.  His protests were to no avail though and CB duly equalised.

And so to penalties to decide the match.  CB took the first and after nine generally unstoppable penalties were in the lead by 5 goals to 4.  Up stepped Tom Brunton who had stood out on the pitch as one of the few players to master the surface but a weak effort gave the home side the victory and a semi-final tie away to Walton Casuals or Chipstead.  Ashford scorers were, in order, Max Webb, Jack Beadle, Mark Bitmead and Rob Curtis.  Despite his miss, Brunton was named as “Ashford Man of the Match”.

Ashford, of course, have two rather bigger matches in their sights when they travel to Molesey in the League on Saturday and then entertain Westfield next Tuesday in the quarter-final of the Surrey Senior Cup.  Molesey were also due to be in action last night in the S. Comb. Cup but a serious injury to a Molesey player very early in the game caused an abandonment and we send our best wishes to the player concerned for a speedy recovery.  We also wish CB well in this competition.

This evening (Wednesday) the Under-18’s are at home to Frimley Green U18 in the Ryman Youth League, kick-off 7.45 p.m. and will hope to build on their fighting 3-3 draw with Northwood last week.  Also, the Chelsea v Everton match will be showing live on BT Sport in the Clubhouse.

 

Ashford seem to be right back on form and certainly gave an excellent performance on Saturday, beating 7th placed Hartley Wintney by 5 goals to 1 on a day when the margin of victory could have been higher.

Two goals in the opening ten minutes for the Tangerines gave them a great start.  The first saw Rob Curtis sweeping the ball out to Samad Kazi on the left flank and his pace as he cut inside, saw him leave two defenders behind, before he pulled the ball back for ace marksman Mark Bitmead to score from close range.

Two minutes later Max Webb won a tough tackle in midfield and found Bitmead, this time on the right flank and his superbly angled cross found the speedy Kazi running in to score at the far post.

The visitors understandably looked a little shell shocked at this stage and Ashford, playing some lovely football at times, created plenty of further chances, none of which were taken.  As the match went on Hartley steadied themselves and showed that they were capable of some good football themselves but Tyler Tobin, in goal, was rarely threatened.

There was no further scoring before the break but Ashford were jolted out of any complacency within two minutes of the resumption.  Hartley’s main striker, Ross Cook, made no mistake with a second effort following a good save from Tobin.  It was a sloppy moment for the Ashford defence and one wondered if the failure to finish more of the chances that came their way in the first half might come back to haunt them.

Those fears were allayed just seven minutes later when Dan Fleming got himself in on the act, scoring Ashford’s third goal and then, just three minutes later it was Fleming again who finished off what may well be a candidate for goal of the season with numerous players involved in a flowing movement, with Tommy Brunton, later awarded an extremely tight “Ashford Man of the Match Award” prominent.

Soon after, any hopes that the visitors might have had of getting back in the game were extinguished when Cook found himself sent off for an alleged headbut after Alex Fisher had been upended on the edge of his own area.  Jack Mullan was cautioned for his part in the aftermath. Sadly, Cook rather lost his head and then reacted to some fairly innocuous comments, vaulting the fence to get at a group of spectators.  Fortunately, his own goalkeeper and other colleagues were sensible enough to block him off and he was eventually persuaded to leave the pitch.  Doubtless he will be subject to an additional misconduct charge in addition to the ban he will receive for the dismissal but it should be said that the match overall was played in a generally excellent spirit and that this was very much an isolated incident.

Ashford dominated possession for the final 20 minutes or so, although the visitors never stopped trying to play football and the icing on the cake was a fifth goal from Rob Curtis who smashed home from the edge of the penalty area.  Sam Baffour came on and with both him and Kazi on the field, Ashford currently have some incredible pace down the flanks.

The attendance was down yesterday which was surprising after last week’s win against Colliers Wood but still the second highest in the Division.  Camberley are continuing to look unbeatable and won again yesterday at Epsom & Ewell by four goals to two.  They led 3-0 at half-time but a fight back by the home side saw them claw the scoreline back to 2-3, before conceding a further goal at the death.

Cove also won but both Molesey and Windsor were surprisingly beaten which only goes to show that on their day any team in the League can beat anyone else.  That statement leads naturally to Ashford’s midweek match on Tuesday away to CB Hounslow in the Quarter Final of the Southern Combination Cup, to be played at Bedfont & Feltham FC.  CB are enjoying a rich vein of form at the moment in Division One and will present tough opposition, compared perhaps to previous seasons.  Although there may be a change or two, Ashford Ben Murray has his sights on this competition and will field a strong team.  Kick-off is 7.45 p.m.

Ashford welcome Hartley Wintney FC to Short Lane on Saturday for their first visit since February 2000. 

Ashford would happily settle for the result that day when the Tangerines gained a 5-2 win, courtesy of goals from Andy Sherwood, Lee Holman, Des Vertannes (pen), Darren Smith and Anthony Eggington but it is likely to be somewhat tougher tomorrow with Hartley enjoying another good season and arriving in 7th place in the table.  Apart from a 1-4 reverse at Camberley in the Aldershot Senior Cup, they have been in good form with two wins out of three in their recent matches. The wins coming against Frimley (3-1), Horley (3-2) with a 1-1 draw at Raynes Park Vale sandwiched in between.

Back at Hartley earlier in the season, both clubs played out a rare 0-0 draw on a day when the heavens opened and when probably the match should have been postponed, or at least abandoned, as the conditions became farcical in the closing stages.

Ashford have no new injury problems for tomorrow and should be close to full strength, although the postponement of Tuesday’s match at CB Hounslow means that Jack Beadle still has one match to go to complete his suspension.  The match at CB has been re-arranged for next Tuesday, 10 February.

Finally the Club extends its best wishes to Conor Moody, who sadly broke his leg in two places during Spelthorne's match against Horley Town on Tuesday evening.  He underwent an operation on Wednesday and we will all hope he is back in action sooner rather than later.

Ashford welcome Hartley Wintney FC to Short Lane on Saturday for their first visit since February 2000. 

Ashford would happily settle for the result that day when the Tangerines gained a 5-2 win, courtesy of goals from Andy Sherwood, Lee Holman, Des Vertannes (pen), Darren Smith and Anthony Eggington but it is likely to be somewhat tougher tomorrow with Hartley enjoying another good season and arriving in 7th place in the table.  Apart from a 1-4 reverse at Camberley in the Aldershot Senior Cup, they have been in good form with two wins out of three in their recent matches. The wins coming against Frimley (3-1), Horley (3-2) with a 1-1 draw at Raynes Park Vale sandwiched in between.

Back at Hartley earlier in the season, both clubs played out a rare 0-0 draw on a day when the heavens opened and when probably the match should have been postponed, or at least abandoned, as the conditions became farcical in the closing stages.

Ashford have no new injury problems for tomorrow and should be close to full strength, although the postponement of Tuesday’s match at CB Hounslow means that Jack Beadle still has one match to go to complete his suspension.  The match at CB has been re-arranged for next Tuesday, 10 February

Ashford’s Under-18 side has had something of a torrid time this season in the highly competitive Ryman Youth League but a battling performance on Wednesday evening saw them drawing three apiece with Northwood U18.  Following a change of emphasis to an extent, no less than 7 of the 14 man squad for last night’s match are regular members of the very successful Sunday Under-16 side and the decision to involve them bodes well for the future.

Last night, our first goal was scored by Gabriel Bediako, a screamer we understand and definitely the “goal of the game”.  The second came from Keji Adeniyi, who had only been on the pitch for two minutes, and he had a hand in the third when he was fouled for a penalty, struck home by Mason Roseboom.

Ashford had been a goal down but equalised before the break.  Northwood then scored twice early in the second period to give them a two goal cushion but Ashford came back with two goals of their own.  Either side could have won the match with chances at both ends but a draw was a fair result.

The Under-18’s are next in action on Wednesday 11 February when they will entertain Frimley Green U18, kick-off 7.45 p.m.

The 1st Team take on Hartley Wintney on Saturday at Short Lane and there will be a preview of that match on line tomorrow at some stage.

The Under-18 side are due to be at home this evening (Wednesday) against Northwood FC in the Ryman Youth League, kick-off 7.45 p.m.

In addition the FA Cup replay between Liverpool and Bolton will be on in the clubhouse.

After seeing a comment on the CCL forum, it should be made clear that the Lammas home match due last night was only postponed following a referee’s inspection, as he felt that the pitch was frozen in places.  That particular match has been re-arranged for Tuesday  3 March, which is the first date that both sides, especially Chessington, are available.

This is to confirm that this evening’s match between Staines Lammas and Chessington & Hook United has also been postponed.

However, if you wish to watch the FA Cup Replay between Cambridge United and Manchester United, which is only being shown on BT, that will be on at the club, kick-off 7.45 p.m.

In the meantime our adult Sunday team are continuing to do well in their first season in the West Middlesex Sunday League.  Manager Gary Tomany has sent a report from the two previous matches:

Hampton Rovers - 3  Ashford Town  - 2

On the 18th January Ashford Town travelled  for a difficult away trip to Hampton Rovers.   Ashford started the brighter ,  playing good  football but just lacking the final ball inside the box.  Nevertheless, after half an  hour Ashford went in front from a corner when a David Jones flick found Grant Kelly who controlled  the ball with his first touch and  finished with his second.

Into the second half and Hampton stepped up a gear, as the game became more  open with chances  at either end. A wayward pass in the middle of the park and a fast break meant Hampton equalized with a fine finish to the bottom corner. Two minutes later and Ashford fell behind, this time from a close range effort.  With the game becoming stretched Ashford went looking  for the 2nd goal, whilst leaving themselves open to conceding a 3rd.

Neat build up play and a good run by Jordan Smithers led to a penalty.  Smithers stepped up to smash the ball down the centre.  With the game drawing to a close, Ashford thoug conceded a third goal.  A wayward leader in the box landed  straight at the centre forward’s feet  who duly obliged and left Ashford Town ruing their opportunities.

Isleworth Working Mens  Club – 3  Ashford Town - 5

On Sunday 2nd February Ashford looked to get back to winning ways.  On a windy morning Ashford dominated the 1st half leading 2-0 at half time with  two goals from the League,s top scorer Levi Jefford. Instead of pushing on and killing the game Ashford started the 2nd half slowly, allowing Isleworth to hit back with 2 goals of their own.   The 2nd goal was a 30yard free kick in to the top corner.

Isleworth sensed a shock victory but Ashford stepped up again and the lead was restored with a dubious penalty award by the ref and finished by Cullum MacKay.  Again Isleworth hit back this time with a powerful header to the bottom corner, from a corner.   3-3 and 15mins to go. Isleworth broke down the right. Lee Evans conceded a free kick on the edge of the box, and earned himself a booking. Tom Brooks in goal saved well pushing the ball over the bar. This time Ashford dealt with the corner, breaking fast in numbers and Levi Jefford collected his hatrick, with a cool finish from 10yards. Ashford sealed the game with a 5th goal from Keiran Moore.  With this win and the team in 2nd non active Ashford moved four points clear at the top.

Next up is a home game this Sunday vs Wayfarers.

 

This evening's match away to CB Hounslow has been postponed.

We have been advised that the pitch is both snowbound and frozen.  With the temperature likely to be below freezing again tonight, there is little prospect of improvement.
 
The game has been re-arranged for next Tuesday 10 Feb.

Ashford secured three valuable points on Saturday, beating a resilient Colliers Wood United side by four goals to one.

With Jack Beadle (suspended) and skipper Russell Canderton (injured) missing, the side had something of a new look to it with full back Bobby Dormer, signed from Camberley Town, starting at right back whilst up front Mark Bitmead and Dan Fleming were both fully recovered from injury and able to resume their fruitful partnership.  Mitchal Gough partnered Jack Mullan in central defence, whilst recent signing Sam Balfour, who would have an explosive impact later in the match, started on the bench.

Ashford had some good early chances to score but failed to do so and paid an early price when the visitors went ahead from the spot on 21 minutes, when Mario Embalo made no mistake.  It was Dormer who gave away the penalty as he tried to make a last ditch tackle and he was cautioned for his trouble although the excellent video of the match on the Fans Focus suggests that he actually got something on the ball.  To be fair, it did not look like that as it happened and nobody argued about the award.  The main feeling from the Ashford point of view was relief that Dormer was not dismissed as it must have been a close call.

Was it going to be another of those days when Ashford came to rue missed chances?  Fortunately for the men in tangerine, it was not.  The equaliser arrived just six minutes later, again from the spot, when Dan Fleming was bundled over in the box.  Again it was not totally clear cut and whilst the defender could himself have been red carded, the sensible decision was a yellow.  Mitchal Gough made no mistake.

The scores remained level to half-time but Ashford had the ball in the net shortly after the break only to be ruled out for what must have been the tightest of offside decisions.  It did not take too long though before Ashford did take the lead, when Alex Fisher swung in a dangerous free kick.  It was only partially cleared and Max Webb smacked home the rebound from the edge of the penalty area.

The killer goal that gave Ashford a two goal cushion arrived just two minutes later when Bitmead, wide on the right, found Fleming who held it well before stroking it into Bitmead’s path for him to hammer home. 

Colliers Wood still looked good when going forward and when Dormer found himself dismissed for a second yellow, once again supporters’ nerves were a little frayed.  With the combative Elliott Jones now on in midfield and sub Sam Baffour starting to make his pace and presence felt down the right flank, it turned out there was no need to worry as a determined Ashford rearguard were never in serious danger and it was Baffour, who may be even faster than Samad Kazi, which is saying something, who ensured victory close to the end when he finished off a move involving Fisher and Bitmead, the latter somehow keeping the ball in play on the goal line before sending in a low cross.

4-1 may have been a little hard on the visitors who clearly have goals in them but they did not look so strong at the back at times and Ashford, unlike one or two previous matches, took their chances when they came and could have had more.  The Wood hit the bar on one occasion but Ashford were generally competent at the back yesterday.  Max Webb once again was voted the Supporters’ “Ashford Man of the Match” but Mitchal Gough, supreme at the back with Mullan, must have run him close.

On Tuesday evening, Ashford make the short trip to Bedfont & Feltham FC, to play their tenants CB Hounslow United in the 3rd Round (Quarter Final) of the Southern Combination Cup, with the winners drawn away to either Bedfont & Feltham, Walton Casuals or Chipstead in the semi-final.  Kick-off is 7.45 p.m. and the address of the ground in case anyone doesn’t know it is The Orchard, Hatton Road, Bedfont, TW14 9QT.  CB Hounslow are up to 7th place in CCL Division One and have only lost one of their last six league matches so cannot be under-estimated.

Royston have confirmed this morning that this afternoon’s match is ON

Ashford are due to visit 6th placed Royston Town on Saturday but we have been advised that an inspection will be required as their pitch is still very wet.  If there is time, further information will be posted here but if not please telephone the Ashford clubhouse (01784 245908) for the latest news.

Royston have done well since coming into the League and will certainly be thinking of a play-off place this season at th every least although they have suffered heavy defeats in two of their last three league matches, namely 0-5 at Kettering last week and 1-6 at Rugby Town.  Sandwiched between though was a 2-0 win over Aylesbury, who will be visiting Short Lane next Tuesday.

The address of the ground is 8A Garden Walk. Royston, Herts, SG8 7HP.  A mini-bus has been arranged for the players.

There is no Suburban League match tomorrow.

It seemed for quite a long while on Tuesday evening that Ashford would finally break their losing run against Harefield United in the Middlesex Senior Cup but a 90th minute penalty for the visitors ensured another defeat.

Nobody could question the commitment of the side that Ben Murray put out and with Harefield equally committed it was a far better match than the one against Uxbridge on Saturday, at least as far as Ashford supporters were concerned.

Ashford took the lead inside three minutes when James Awosifan took advantage of some dogged work by Conor Moody to beat the visiting keeper from close in.  Sadly that was as good as it got, although as the match was heading to its conclusion Harefield, apart from one thunderous effort superbly saved by Tyler Tobin,  had not really looked like equalising despite greater amounts of possession.  The game had become a little fractious and when the visitors went down to ten men following a straight red with around 20 minutes left, it seemed their hopes may have gone.

Just as in the very first match of the season at Daventry though, the dismissal seemed to galvanise the visitors and they got well on top for the final quarter.  An equaliser came with some fifteen minutes left and Ashford just could not steady the ship.  Extra time was looming but in the final seconds a rash tackle from Jim Mann gave away a penalty from which the visitors notched the winner, and a match away to Wealdstone in the semi-finals.

Ashford lost by four goals to nil against Uxbridge on Saturday. Unlike the previous defeat by the same scoreline at Egham, which was harsh on the Tangerines, it was difficult to find too many positives, as Uxbridge, aided and abetted by some severe defensive errors, romped to a three nil lead, including a penalty, at half-time, effectively winning the match in the opening half.

Ashford battled quite bravely in the second period but despite having plenty of the ball, they rarely troubled the Uxbridge defence, leaving the visitors to break near the end from an Ashford corner, to rub it in with a fourth goal.

Ashford can perhaps take some solace from the performance of two of their subs, namely Tom Brunton, who has had very little football recently but came on to provide Ashford’s best two efforts late on, both saved, and debutant Greg Ngeno, who showed one or two cultured touches.  One could reasonably assume that both may be in line for a starting place on Tuesday evening, when Ashford entertain Harefield United in the Quarter-Final of the Middlesex Senior Cup, for the right to play Wealdstone in the semis.  Harefield are members of the Spartan S. Midlands League, in which they currently hold 14th position.  On Saturday they lost 0-2 at AFC Dunstable.

Before that, the Under-18’s will entertain Northwood U18’s in a Ryman Youth League match on Monday evening, kick-off 7.45 p.m.  There is no Suburban League match this midweek.

The Suburban side defeated Knaphill Res by three goals to one on Tuesday evening, thanks to goals from Russell Canderton, playing his first game in ages following his skiing holiday, James Owosifan and Jack Beadle.

Ashford led by a solitary goal at half-time, but Knaphill equalised with around twenty minutes to go with an excellent finish after a mix-up in the home defence.  Owosifan restored the lead soon afterwards though when he chased down a poor back pass, eventually tapping the ball into an empty net and Beadle made it certain with a decent effort just minutes later.

The pitch was sticky but played quite well and the prognosis for Saturday’s 1st Team match at home to Uxbridge is good at the moment.  Three goals in the last five minutes gave Uxbridge a 5-1 win earlier in the season but they have not been in good form recently though, with just one win in their last nine league matches.  We may, of course, see former Ashford keeper Paul McCarthy between the sticks for the visitors.

The Middlesex Senior Cup match at home to Harefield will now be played next Tuesday (25 Feb) and will replace the scheduled away trip up to Kettering Town for which there is no new date as yet.

The Suburban side are in action again on Saturday when they make the reverse trip to Knaphill.

We are glad to report that the pitch has dried out sufficiently to enable this evening’s Suburban League match at home to Knaphill to go ahead, kick-off 7.45 p.m.  We have real ale in the clubhouse and the Arsenal v Bayern Munich match will be on in the clubhouse.