Ashford’s failure to garner a point against Aylesbury United on Saturday ensured the basement spot in the league table.  As in so many matches this season, on the balance of play, Ashford deserved more but no-one was able to put the ball in the net.

The only goal came towards the end of the game and whilst it is all too easy to blame the officials, the decision by referee Nowack to award a free kick to the home side just outside the penalty area, from which they scored, was harsh to say the least.  Ashford managed to finally get the ball over the line when sub Clark Thorley, once again showing great potential, tapped home but was penalised for being offside.

It’s gone now and after a few days rest the Club needs to look to the future.  We are likely to be placed in the Combined Counties League.  It is tough for those of us involved over many years to be going back to Step 5 when just a few seasons ago we had a period sitting proudly at the top of the Premier Division of the Ryman League but those feelings will soon pass as we start to look to the future.

It is likely now that we will allow ourselves a period of reflection and the Board will sit down with Ben in a week or so to see where we go from here.  It is by no means all negative.  We will still have our football, we will be back in the FA Vase (exempted until the 2nd Round Proper, as are all relegated clubs from Step 4) and we need to come back strongly.  If effort alone was the deciding factor, we would not be going down at all and despite the overall poor results, the Club acknowledges the efforts of Ben Murray, Paul Burgess and the playing staff and management, who all did their best and nothing more can be asked.  We did not have sufficient quality this season but the present squad gave their all, especially in that March period when we suddenly started winning more games.  Sadly we were unable to sustain it.

Don’t forget that we have the Club’s Annual Dinner & Dance at the Moon in Moon Chinese Restaurant (71 Thames Street, Sunbury) on Friday 9 May (just £15) when anyone connected with the Club is welcome, especially our valued supporters and that the AGM takes place at the Club on Thursday 15 May.  If you want tickets for the Dinner please contact the Club.

Ashford face their final league match this afternoon away to mid-table Aylesbury United who play at Leighton Town FC, kick-off 3.00 p.m.

The situation is that, with Chertsey playing away to Slough and having now publicly stated that they have resigned from the League, Ashford will, in all probability, need just a single point to haul themselves off the bottom of the table.  Whether that will be enough to earn a reprieve, given the number of clubs throughout the country that have either folded or taken voluntary resignation, remains to be seen.  Were it to be offered, we will take it.  If it isn’t, we will go down with good grace, put this season behind us, and do our best to get back up again as soon as possible, although no-one should imagine it will be easy, given the much improved professionalism and capability within Step 5 compared to the past.

A battling performance from the Tangerines saw them draw two goals apiece with neighbours Egham Town on Easter Monday.  It was almost all three points with Ashford going 2-1 up close to the end, only for Egham to grab an equaliser at the death.

After several promising cameos from the bench, young Alex Fisher came in at left back and gave a confident performance.  Rhys Price was injured at North Greenford on Saturday so James Awofisan started up front.

Both North Greenford and Chertsey lost heavily but the profligacy of Saturday’s performance against the former had meant that to stand any chance of avoiding a bottom two finish, a win was required and whilst the manner of the draw was encouraging, it means that Ashford can now only overhaul Chertsey, if they can win or draw at Aylesbury United on Saturday and Chertsey lose their final game, which is away to Slough. 

Back to yesterday and Ashford’s  afternoon assumed a familiar look when, after doing quite well in the first half, a dreadful mistake by Russell Canderton ended with keeper Tobin taking out his man for a penalty to Egham.  Stanislaus for the visitors, made no mistake but perhaps of greater concern was whether the inevitable card would be red or yellow.  No doubt a biased view but referee Paterson, who was excellent throughout, with his calm unhurried approach, got it right with just a yellow.

Whatever else this Ashford squad lacks, it is not effort, and this time they were rewarded when Scott Weight poked home an equaliser on the hour mark.  Yet again Ashford’s supporters were magnificent in their support and it looked as if that support was to be rewarded when, with just  two minutes on the clock, Weight scored his second of the match to make the scoreline 2-1 in Ashford’s favour.  Within seconds James Awofisan  who had already missed one excellent chance, was clean through and had the opportunity to make the match safe but only he can explain why he put his shot so high over the bar that it ended up amongst the Esso oil tanks  behind the goal.

It was still just a question of playing out time but sadly Ashford were unable to do that, an effort from Stanislaus taking a deflection in stoppage time to ensure that the points were shared.

There is only one senior midweek match and that is this evening, Tuesday, when the Under-18’s complete their season with a visit to Potters Bar Town in the Ryman Youth League.

Also tonight though, the Sunday side are in action at Short Lane, against Wanderers FC, kick-off 7.45 p.m. and will be in good heart following a 13-3 winning scoreline on Sunday against AFC Ripley.  This is their final league match but they still have two cup semi-finals to look forward to.

A dreary performance from the Tangerines saw them capitulate to fellow strugglers North Greenford United on Saturday by three goals to nil.  The result means that it is now virtually impossible for the Club not to finish in one of the two relegation positions.  To avoid doing so would now mean winning the last two league matches, hoping that neither North Greenford nor Chertsey win theirs, and in the process a goal advantage of sixteen held by North Greenford has to be overturned.  It will obviously not happen, so Ashford’s only chance now of staying at Step 4 will be a reprieve.  There are a number of clubs at various levels from Step 4 upwards that have resigned but given our poor points per game record, a reprieve also seems an unlikely proposition although we would certainly accept it, if offered.

Yesterday’s match which seemed to lack passion throughout, (not a single caution throughout) saw Ashford starting quite well, and had Samad Kazi been able to beat the keeper when put through, things may have turned out differently as the first goal was always going to be important.  Samad was partially tripped as he advanced but kept his feet only to see his effort well saved.  A different referee might then have pulled the play back, awarded a penalty and sent the offender off but that sort of thing only happens if you’re at the top of the league.  North Greenford then took the lead before half-time.

In the second period Ashford rarely looked like getting back in the game and but for the continuing excellence of Tyler Tobin in goal, North Greenford may well have ended with more than the three goals they eventually amassed.  Somehow the passion that had been behind the recent win at AFC Hayes and earlier matches just wasn’t there and the overplayed tactic of hitting the ball long just played into the home club’s hands.

The web site is rarely over critical of the Club’s players, who invariably do their best, but with a significant number of disappointed Tangerine supporters having travelled, they need to put up a far better show in the last two matches, as points could still be crucial in the final analysis.  Egham are a good team:  their 0-3 reverse at home to Kettering on Thursday belied their performance but the game on Monday will be their fourth in seven days and Ashford really need to give a decent account of themselves.  Kick-off is 3.00 p.m.

Notice is hereby given that the third Annual General Meeting of the Company shall take place on Thursday 15th May, in Ernie’s Bar at the Robert Parker Stadium, commencing at 8.00pm.

Anyone with an interest in the club is warmly invited to attend, however only Full Members, as defined by the Company’s Articles of Association, shall be permitted to vote. The Agenda for the meeting is as follows:

  1. Apologies for absence
  2. Chairman’s Report
  3. General Secretary’s Report
  4. Football Secretary’s Report
  5. Financial Report, including adoption of End of Year Accounts
  6. Football Management Report
  7. Other reports, as submitted in advance. These may include:
    1. Bar & Social, including Membership
    2. Ground & Facilities
    3. Press Secretary’s Report

  8. Election of Directors and Management Committee
    The current Directors and Management Committee shall retire and all shall be automatically nominated for re-election, unless they have indicated they do not wish to stand. Only Full Members are eligible to be elected to the Board, unless approved by the existing Directors. The existing Board and Committee is as follows:

Position

Incumbent

President

Bob Parker

Chairman & Director

Dave Baker

Vice-Chairman & Director

Alan Constable

General & Company Secretary

Gareth Coates (not standing for re-election)

Football Secretary & Director

Geoff Knock

Directors

Bob Parker
(the maximum number of Directors is eight)

Facilities Manager

Miss Sue Thorne

Bar Manager

Ian Messenger

Website Manager

Gareth Coates (not standing for re-election)

Press Secretary

Mark Tobin

Programme Editor

Phil Marshall (not standing for re-election)

Membership Secretary

Vacant

Welfare Officer

Mrs Jacqui Poulter

General Committee
(the maximum number of Committee Members, including the officers listed above, is 18)

Nick Bailey, Chris Canderton, Graham Cooley, Mrs Sue Cooley, Tyrone Fernando, Simon Munns, Keith Nash, Darrell Watson.

Nominations should be submitted in writing to the General Secretary, either by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by post to 8 Neville Court, 555 Uxbridge Road, Hayes, Middlesex, UB4 8FF to be received no later than 1st May. The list of nominations will be published on the club’s website and displayed in the clubhouse prior to the meeting.  

 

  1. Election of Vice Presidents / Life Vice Presidents
    The role of Vice President in an honorary position, which carries no formal responsibilities but is intended to reward significant contributions to the life of the club. There are, at present, three Life Vice Presidents, specifically Messrs Alan Constable and Bob Parker, plus Ms Lynne Morgan. Any nominations should be submitted in writing to the General Secretary, either by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by post to 8 Neville Court, 555 Uxbridge Road, Hayes, Middlesex, UB4 8FF to be received no later than 1st May. The list of nominations will be published on the club’s website and displayed in the clubhouse prior to the meeting.

  2. Any Other Business, as submitted in advance, or allowed by the Chairman

Ashford, who will have had the luxury of a full week’s rest, are now preparing for the hectic Easter break that will see two season defining matches.

With North Greenford sustaining a heavy home defeat on Tuesday, there are now just three points separating Ashford, NGU and Chertsey, with all three of us having played 39 matches.  A win at NGU on Saturday would put Ashford level on points with their rivals whilst Chertsey face a difficult trip away to Barton Rovers, although they often seem to do better away than home.  On Easter Monday, Ashford entertain Egham Town (kick-off 3.00 p.m.) whilst NGU are away to Uxbridge and Chertsey at home to AFC Hayes.

The address of North Greenford’s ground is Berkeley Fields, Berkeley Avenue, Greenford, UB6 0NX.

The rest this week has allowed several Ashford players to return to full fitness, including Dan Hughes, James Awofisan, Ryan Dearden and Alex Fisher and all four will be in the squad on Saturday.  The only absentee will be Elliott Jones, whose season is now over following the shoulder injury he sustained against Slough. Elliott suffered a fractured bone and ligament damage in his shoulder and had surgery yesterday.  He will hopefully be fit and raring to go for the new season and huge thanks go to Elliott’s dad who recently made a cash donation to the club.

The Suburban side will play their final match of the season on Saturday, at home to Chessington & Hook, and indeed for sometime as finances make it impossible to continue playing reserve football at Suburban League level, unless, of course, anyone is willing to donate the £5000 it costs approximately to run the reserve side for a season.

All the hard work put in by the Management beforehand, which included watching videos of Slough and preparing for Guy Hollis’s enormous throw-ins, went out of the window in seven frenzied minutes at the start of the match, as Slough went bang, bang, bang and scored three goals, effectively winning the match before it had really started.

The rest of the game was an anti-climax.  Fortunately Ashford steadied the ship to an extent in that the final scoreline of 0-5 was not as embarrassing as it threatened to be after those early turbulent moments but Slough were able to play within themselves after that early period.  Unlike recent home matches against the top teams, there is no denying that Ashford were well beaten on this occasion and must now look to take points from their remaining three matches, away to North Greenford next Saturday, home to Egham on Bank Holiday Monday and away to Aylesbury United at Leighton Town’s ground on Saturday 26 April.

Slough looked very strong and who would bet against them finally winning the league as they are a fine run of form.  One very nice touch which was appreciated was the fact that they swept out their own dressing room at the end of the match, leaving it almost spotless.  That doesn’t happen too often, and we are probably as guilty as anyone, but little touches like that are remembered.

Ashford have no midweek matches of any kind this week so the next game is the crucial one at North Greenford next Saturday.  Even in defeat yesterday our supporters were great, clapping both teams off, and we need you all over at Greenford next Saturday please.

 

Whilst cries of “can we play you every week” would have been severely misplaced, Ashford actually completed what will certainly be their one and only double of the season on Tuesday night, winning by two goals to one at AFC Hayes.

Ben Murray had the team well and truly up for the match and it showed in the early stages as Ashford enjoyed the bulk of the possession.  There was just one change with Conor Moody returning to the team, in place of Jim Mann, on the bench, but in midfield, as Samad Kazi took the central striking role in partnership with Rhys Price.   It worked well tactically with Kazi’s pace a constant threat, allied to the craft and utter determination of both Price and Moody, although that compliment could be given to the whole team last night.

Ashford took the lead on 28 minutes when a through ball from Russell Canderton was latched onto by Kazi,  who outpaced his marker and despatched a crisp effort into the back of the net.

There were no further goals before the break and it was clear that the Hayes players were determined to improve in the second half.  They got on top and for a while Ashford had to defend desperately.  They could not though prevent an equaliser soon after the hour mark, scored by Hayes’ Mendy.

“Here we go again” may well have been a fleeting thought in more than one Ashford supporter’s mind, but the current squad seems mentally tougher and no such doubts were necessary as Kazi, yet again outstripping his marker, found himself tripped in the area for a clear penalty.  With no recognised taker on the pitch, up stepped young Jack Beadle and a confident strike restored Ashford’s lead, which they held on to with sheer determination as the home side did their darndest to level things up for a second time, although Tom Brunton could have made it safe for the visitors but he missed a glaring opportunity hitting his effort too hard and over the bar.  At the other end Tyler Tobin performed miracles in goal yet again, the defence stuck to its task and referee Chris Phillips, over maligned by one or two in this writer’s view, eventually blew the final whistle.

The win was matched by Chertsey Town who won by a similar score at Aylesbury, thanks to a winning goal from John Pomroy seven minutes from the end, but North Greenford lost what sounds a very exciting match  by four goals to three at home to Aylesbury United.  It leaves the race to avoid relegation as tight as ever and there will certainly be one or two more twists to come before it is finally settled.  On Saturday, Slough visit Short Lane and that will obviously be a tough match but hardly tougher than the games against Rugby and Daventry recently, which produced four points for the Ash Trees, whilst Chertsey and North Greenford meet.

Going back to last night, a big thank you goes to all our supporters who roared the team on throughout.  We don’t have that many and wish we had more but those we have are superbly loyal and we hope to see you all on Saturday.

Gary Tomany has provided a short report from the Sunday team, who enjoyed another good win on Sunday as follows: 

Another win for Ashford town, this time in the Quarter Final of the Surrey & Hants Border League Invitation Cup as they recorded a resounding 8-1 win over Surrey Athletic, who are currently second in the league.  The goal scorers were Tom Hall with a hat trick, Tom Chaffey 2,  plus one from Anthony Lappersonne, one from Kelvin  and finally Paul Lappersonne.

This Sunday morning, Ashford entertain Guildford Athletic in the quarter final of the Prince Albert Cup.

We may yet escape relegation but whether we do or not, we need to start preparing now for next season, irrespective of what League we may be in.  We do not want another season like this one. 

If you are in the club and committed to it, we want you to stay in!  There have been a number of off-field distractions this season, which have not helped but they are in the past now and we need everyone pulling in the same direction.  We would also welcome new blood and Gareth Coates, who is stepping down as General Secretary, has identified a number of vacancies at Board/Committee Level, for specific roles.  These are key roles that do have specific responsibilities and these need filling sooner rather than later and certainly in time for next season:

General Secretary

This role is an administrative one, which primarily deals with "non-football" items including correspondence with non-football statutory bodies, such as Spelthorne Council, Companies House, etc.

Taking the minutes at monthly meetings where possible, then preparing them for publications and distributing them as appropriate.

General administration and correspondence, such as grant applications, as appropriate

Skills required: Good IT and organisational skills.

Website Manager

This person should be able to maintain those areas of the website not currently managed by the content team. A basic knowledge of HTML is useful, but not essential, as the website is managed via a Content Management System, which means that articles can be copied and pasted from Word. Key areas of website activity include:

Results and fixtures pages for the various teams

Maintaining League Tables

Updating the graphical match boxes

Creating new pages / content as appropriate

Editing existing pages.

Skills required: Good IT skills.  An interest in website design is helpful but not essential. Training will be provided.

Programme Editor

Whoever takes on this position will be responsible for creating programmes for each home First Team match, including all required League content such as advertising. There is a lot of content available, but the Editor needs to select the right articles and prepare them for printing.

 Skills required: Good IT skills. This post would suit someone with an interest in journalism or writing.

Commercial Manager

Can you bring money into the Club by attracting sponsors etc?  We would be willing to offer a commission based wage to anyone who thinks they can.  You could work as many or as few hours as you wish either at the club or at home.

Other roles

The club never turns away a willing pair of hands! If you have any sort of skill at all, whether it's something physical like bricklaying or something more admin-based, then we would like to hear from you. If anyone can spare even an hour or so on an ad-hoc basis, please let the club know what your area of expertise is, by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

Sugar daddies also welcome!

 

Ashford gave their promotion seeking rivals Barton Rovers a good run for their money on Saturday but succumbed to another defeat when the Bedfordshire side scored the only goal of the match immediately after the break.  The goal was unfortunate as the ball ricocheted around as clearance after clearance seemed to be charged down, before it ended up on a plate for Barton’s Anderson to strike the vital blow.

It seemed that the home cause was well and truly over when Jim Mann found himself sent off for retaliation midway through the second half but Ashford seemed to get stronger after the incident and certainly seemed to enjoy the greater possession as the visitors apparently concluded that they would look after what they had got.  Ashford were without Conor Moody, injured at Kettering on Tuesday but re-introduced Harry Driver from the bench and plenty of chances were created, but no-one could put the ball in the net, sadly of course, the story of the season.

As always there were some positives, not least the performance of Elliott Jones is his new role at full back, whilst Tyler Tobin was confident in his handling especially at the start of the match when he turned over three dangerous looking efforts from the visitors.

There was additional consolation with the news that Chertsey and North Greenford had also lost, so no further ground was conceded but the matches are running out and Tuesday’s game away to AFC Hayes has assumed a greater importance as Ashford look to re-gain the determination that saw them lose just one match in eight until the last fortnight or so.

A thousand curses upon our good friends from Marlow, who, not content with doing the double over us, have now proceeded to lose to both Chertsey and North Greenford over the space of three days.  That, along with our defeat at Kettering, has dumped us back to the foot of the table again.

There is still though, all to play for, as there are just three points between ourselves, Chertsey and North Greenford.  The cudgels will be taken up again on Saturday as Ashford entertain Barton Rovers, who will arrive at Short Lane holding the final place in the play-off positions and with a successful season behind them.  They have had a busy week though, firstly beating AFC Hayes 2-0 on Tuesday and then losing 1-2 to Slough on Thursday.

Chertsey are at home to Dunstable Town while North Greenford entertain Potters Bar Town, who put seven past Chertsey last week. 

Kick-off is at 3.00 p.m. and your support is welcome.

It was a bad night for Ashford on Tuesday evening as they lost 0-4 at Kettering Town.  Ashford conceded just one goal in the first half and the scoreline didn’t change until 13 minutes from the end but a late flurry from the home side ensured a more emphatic sounding victory.

Away to Kettering on a Tuesday evening was possibly a match where anything from it would have been a bonus, but worse was the news that relegation rivals Chertsey Town increased their chances of survival with a 2-1 winner at Marlow, the winning goal coming in the 90th minute.  Well done to our neighbours but that result certainly wasn’t in the script and we can only hope that Marlow do a little better this evening (Thursday) when they meet North Greenford, the other club down at the bottom.

After doing so well over eight matches it is highly disappointing to have conceded seven goals in the last two matches and Saturday’s match at home to Barton Rovers now assumes even more importance.  More on that nearer the time.

ATFC supporters may not be aware that we have had a Sunday side up and running this season, under the managership of Gary Tomany.  After a modest start, they have enjoyed greater success in the latter half of the season and here is a report from Gary of their most recent match last Sunday.

Worplesdon Rangers VS Ashford Town

During this game between Ashford town and Worplesdon Rangers it was 7 heavens for Ashford town and they run amock against their opposition!

It wasn’t exactly the most prompt start by Ashford town after nearly conceding an early goal after the ball was lifted over the top only for the post denying them an early goal. Worplesdon also had another chance to score if only their striker had not tripped over the ball.

After the first 10 minutes Ashford Town then composed themselves. Soon after that Tom Chaffey on the 13 minute who has been consistent with his form had the ball played over the top only for him to finish with a fantastic volley from just inside the box the keeper managed to get a hand to it but the power was too much for him to keep it out.

Just soon after Tom Chaffey had scored Paul Lapersome had scored on the 17 minute after also missing a few chances. He had the play played out to him on the wing after showing some great skill to dribble past two Worplesdon defenders to then successfully using his weaker foot he slotted it into the far corner well out the way of the goal keepers dive.

It was not all to cheer about after Ashford town had scored their two goals. Out of nothing Worplesdon had a long throw in, into the box which unluckily was deflected into his own net by the right back Chris tribe on the 22 minute.

After Scoring an own goal Ashford Town where soon back to adding onto their goal scoring tally for the afternoon after Antony Lapersome brother of Paul Lapersome soon tricked his way into the box to finish sweetly into the bottom corner giving the opposition goal keeper no chance.

So after a Great first half, Ashford Town come storming out of the blocks into the second half after Paul Lapersome popped up again on the right hand side to beat the defender again and also to beat the goal keeper at his near post with a venomous shoot to make if 4-1 on the 46 min.

On the 55 minute Ashford Town where awarded a Penalty After the left back Luke Tomany had made a great run overlapping the left midfielder and bursting into the box for the opposition’s right to bring him down just as the cross was about to come in. Luke Tomany also stepped up to take the penalty but blazed it over the bar. Ashford town have not had the best luck on penalties this season after being awarded 4 throughout the season only to miss them all. Who will be the one to step up and finally end this run?.

Just 5 minutes after that penalty miss Robert Lapersome another brother Of Antony and Paul had a great effort from 20 yards only to be denied by the post.  

Finally after marauding Worplesdon Rangers goal, Tom Hall on the 66 minute with a fantastic half volley from the edge of the area beating the goal keeper’s helpless hand into the roof of the net.

Just on the 75 minute Ashford Towns centre back James Eaton was yellow carded for handling the ball a few too many times for the referees likening but luckily for James nothing came of the free kick.

Soon after the Worplesdon Free kick Ashford town broke away on the counter attack only to be finished superbly by Ashford towns leading goal scorer Tom Chaffey with a lob on the goal keeper just inside the box to make the score 6-1.

Worplesdons day was soon getting worse as they had a man sent off for an off the ball incident which involved Ashford Towns player Paul Lapersome after he was pushed in the chest which gave the ref no other option but to dismiss the player from the game.

Just soon after that red card incident Ashford town score yet another goal to finish off their scoring when Tom Chaffey dribbled past two defenders then to have the composure to beat the keeper successfully knocking it round him only for Paul Lapersome who had recently hit the post twice to deny him from his hat-trick only to nick the goal from Tom by getting the final touch before the ball found its way into the net. Even though Tom Chaffey had just been denied his hat-trick by his own player he still sees the funny side of it all.       

 

 

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