Ashford ended 2014 on a bright note with a fairly solid victory against neighbours Spelthorne Sports, winning by three goals to one, at Short Lane.
Matches sometimes have a certain look about them and right from the start on Saturday, Ashford were at it, taking the lead after just two minutes when Dan Fleming got on the end of a cross from Rob Curtis to steer the ball past Gary Phillips in the Spelthorne goal.
A decent match ensued though and although Spelthorne were without player/manager Paul Johnson, serving out a one match suspension, the visitors played some neat football at times, with the lively Jessie Atiase a fairly constant threat. It was fair to say though that Ashford generally held sway and after one short corner had almost produced a goal, the visiting defenders still did not catch on and an identical piece of play in the 33rd minute saw Alex Fisher, given acres of time, swing in an excellent cross allowing the energetic Max Webb to get up and power the ball home.
The second half continued in the same vein with both teams playing their part in the entertainment but it was Ashford who scored the vital third goal on 65 minutes and it was Fleming again, who was given too much space, allowing him to look up and send a ball over Phillips and into the net. It was a superb goal from Ashford’s point of view and effectively settled the match, although Ashford keeper Tyler Tobin, as he had had to be throughout the match, still needed to be sharp on more than one occasion. Jack Beadle, on from the bench for the Tangerines, took the eye with his direct running and twice should have had the ball in the net with only Phillips to beat but twice shot narrowly wide, and on the day Ashford possibly deserved a slightly greater margin of victory.
It was Spelthorne though, who had the last word, when Atiase reduced the arrears in stoppage time, to make the final scoreline, 3-1. In the meantime Ashford had introduced 16 year old Illia Petrovic into the fray for his first senior outing, stepping up from the Under-18’s.
Fleming took the “Ashford Man of the Match Award” although there were plenty of other contenders, especially at the back, with Alex Fisher looking ever more assured on the ball, whilst Jack Mullan and skipper Russ Canderton generally kept the potentially dangerous Spelthorne strike force at bay.
Other results saw both Camberley and Windsor win to keep up the pressure, whilst Molesey’s match at home to Chertsey was postponed. The big surprise of the day though was Farnham’s 6-2 win at Cove, five of the six coming in the second half, which has opened the League up to an extent although Cove still retain top spot.
There are no midweek matches for Ashford as the New Year approaches, so the next outing will be next Saturday away to Farnham Town, in what will be no easy affair. More on that in due course.
May we wish a happy New Year to all readers. The usual New Year Bash will be taking place at the Club on Wednesday 31 December when everyone will be very welcome, including children. Unlike many pubs, there is no cost of entry and you are guaranteed a good evening.