WMSFL Div 2, as at 14/12/14

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

Ashford Town (Middlesex)

8

6

0

2

29

21

18

Marble Hill

6

5

1

0

24

12

16

AFC Feltham Sunday

6

5

0

1

22

8

15

Marble Hill Twickenham

7

5

0

2

24

14

15

Hampton Rovers

6

4

1

1

33

17

13

Continental Boys

8

3

1

4

26

25

10

Load of Gold

7

3

0

4

24

33

9

Bedfont Sunday

6

2

1

3

17

19

7

The Hare and Hounds Sunbury

9

2

1

6

22

37

7

Wayfarers

6

1

1

4

11

19

4

Langdon Park

5

1

0

4

10

15

3

Isleworth Workingmens Club

8

1

0

7

11

33

3

Unfortunately, Ashford have had to cancel the planned friendly against Wokingham & Emmbrook on Tuesday evening, due to the fact that tenants Staines Lammas drew their FA Vase tie away to Irchester United on Sunday afternoon, and now have to replay the match at Short Lane on Tuesday.  Our apologies to Wokingham but the Vase tie has, of course, to be given priority.

Ben Murray has moved fast, as always, and has quickly arranged instead to play a low key friendly at Hanworth Villa on Tuesday, kicking off at 7.30 p.m.  Thanks go to Gary Jenkins, manager of Villa and the club for making these arrangements.

With the Under-18’s not having a match, that is the only midweek football involving Ashford’s senior teams in midweek, the next game being the home league match this coming Saturday against Guildford City.  More on that one later in the week.

SHBL Invitational Cup, Group E

P

W

D

L

GF

GA

Pts.

Knaphill WMC

4

4

0

0

56

21

12

Ashford Town (Middlesex)

4

2

1

1

17

9

7

West Addlestone

4

2

1

1

20

13

7

Woking Tigers

4

1

0

3

10

15

6

Woking Rangers

4

0

0

4

3

30

4

 

 

Ryman Youth League West, 2013-14

P

W

D

L

GF

GA

Pts.

C Hayes & Yeading United

18

13

3

2

55

18

42

Camberley Town

18

10

4

4

29

23

34

Aldershot Town

18

9

5

4

48

21

32

Bedfont Sports

18

7

7

4

42

35

28

Staines Town

18

8

3

7

39

38

27

* Woking

18

7

6

5

44

31

24

Potters Bar Town

16

5

3

8

43

38

18

Northwood

16

2

6

8

13

34

12

* Hampton & Richmond Borough

16

4

1

11

18

45

10

Ashford Town (Middlesex)

18

2

2

14

19

67

8

               

* = Woking and Hampton & Richmond Borough both deducted three points for fielding ineligible players.

 

 

Surrey & Hants Border League Div 4

P

W

D

L

GF

GA

Pts.

Guildford Athletic Reserves

18

14

2

2

56

21

44

* Surrey Athletic

18

13

2

3

74

34

40

Ashford Town (Middlesex)

18

12

1

5

75

47

37

Mayford

18

10

2

6

50

36

19

AFC Egham Reserves

18

8

3

7

39

35

17

Wanderers

18

8

2

8

45

35

17

Stoughton & Westborough RBL

18

4

5

9

31

44

9

Worplesdon Rangers

18

4

3

11

29

66

8

AFC Ripley Reserves

18

3

2

13

28

76

30

Woking Rangers

18

1

4

13

34

67

30

               

* Surrey Athletic deducted three points

Worplesdon Rangers v AFC Egham Reserves - home win awarded

Mayford v Woking Rangers - home win awarded

Wanderers v Woking Rangers - home win awarded

Stoughton & Westborough RBL v Wanderers - recorded as a draw

 

 

Final Table  P W D L GF GA GD Pts
C  Ashford Town (Middx) 16 12 3 1 45 18 27 39
Woking Whites 16 7 7 2 33 15 18 28
Cobham 16 8 3 5 36 30 6 27
Hayes & Yeading United 16 7 5 4 27 20 7 26
Walton & Hersham 16 6 4 6 40 31 9 22
Corinthian-Casuals 16 5 4 7 28 27 1 19
Raynes Park Vale 16 4 6 6 23 30 -7 18
Colliers Wood United 16 3 3 10 24 50 -26 12
Molesey 16 1 3 12 16 51 -35 6

Following last Saturday’s impressive victory over Kempston Rovers, Ashford travelled to Aylesbury on Saturday and came away with a point in a 2-2 draw.

The fixture list has been such that most of the clubs we have played in recent games have either been fighting for their lives to avoid relegation or to get into the play-offs.  With the possible exception of the match against Histon, it is of great credit to the Ashford squad that they have shown every bit as much determination as any of their opponents in those games.

The match on Saturday was played on a typical end of season pitch, which had plenty of grass but was bumpy, no doubt due to the recent lack of rainfall.  The strong breeze also played a major part with players needing to take two or three touches before they could bring the ball under control.  As a result it was never going to be a spectacle.  The Tangerines started well enough but Aylesbury, as they had to be with relegation still a possibility, were in determined mood, and drew first blood when they went ahead through Alex O’Brien on 21 minutes.

Aylesbury looked stronger after this and deserved their half-time lead but Ashford came out in determined mode in the second period and were instantly rewarded when Mark Bitmead restored parity.  It was so quick that many of us missed the goal.  Within three minutes though Aylesbury re-took the lead through ex-Ashford player Brian Haule after a poor defensive error led to a failure to make a simple clearance.

It is morale sapping to get an equaliser only to give another goal away immediately afterwards but Ashford, boosted by the entry of subs Tommy Brunton and Max Webb, kept plugging away and Dan Fleming hit the bar.  The momentum was now largely with the visitors but not too many clear chances were being created and it looked as if it would be a disappointing defeat but on 89 minutes, Ashford forced a corner and Max Herbert was in a good position to notch a deserved equaliser.  Referee Cox didn’t play anywhere near the amount of additional time there should have been but with the realisation that Aylesbury had secured their place at Step 4 once again and Ashford happy enough with a point, nobody was too unhappy.

As a footnote Aylesbury’s hospitality was superb but it was strange to be there without ex-Chairman Danny Martone who we know is ill and we take this opportunity to send him our best wishes and hope to see him next season.

 

Ashford begin their Easter weekend with a visit to Aylesbury on Saturday, kick-off 3.00 p.m.

The address of the ground is the SRD Stadium, Haywood Way, Aylesbury, HP19 9WZ.  Ground to ground it is a journey of 44 miles, using the M25 to Junction 20 and then the A41 to Aylesbury, where there are plenty of roundabouts to navigate!

Sitting in 19th place, our opponents cannot yet be sure of avoiding relegation, although with a six point gap between them and Histon, and just three matches each left to play, they look fairly safe now, especially with Northwood also in dire straits just above Histon.  For their part, Ashford have achieved the 50 point target set at the start of the season and but for something of a mid-season slump would have done better.  As it is, an 8th place finish could still be achieved, although that would require maximum points over the last three games with other clubs needing to drop points.  A more realistic target at this stage would be to achieve a top half finish, i.e. 11th or better.

Aylesbury are currently managed by ex-Ashford player Davis Haule and in previous matches against them, the record is fairly even with Ashford slightly ahead with 4 wins against 3 defeats, with 3 draws.  Earlier this season we managed to take the points with a solitary goal from Alex Fisher, now back and playing after his operation had threatened to keep him out until next season.

On Monday we will be entertaining Farnborough FC, as well as nurses from the HASAG charity, which has been of immense help to Chairman Dave Baker in recent months.  They do a marvellous job and we hope you will be able to find a few pennies to make a donation for their excellent and specialised charity, which helps people who have diagnosed with cancer arising from exposure to asbestos.

Also, it is a special day for our own Pat Munns, who is retiring from active duties with the club after 50 years service going back to 1967, when he was a young goalkeeper.  Pat proved his worth as a keeper over many seasons with only his loyalty to this club keeping him at Ashford's then level.  He played his final match competitive match well into his 50's albeit a one-off but he didn't let anyone down.  In more recent seasons Pat has been on the bench in the physio role and what player wouldn't get up when they saw Pat racing out to treat them!  Pat will have members of his family here this afternoon, to see him receive a presentation from club chairman Dave Baker, including two of his youngest grand children, Alfie and Hope, both aged 5.  Pat, thank you for all your hard work over many years on behalf of this football club.

We congratulate Farnborough who will now finish in 2nd place no matter what, so with the pressure off, both sides can concentrate on their football and give us a game worthy of the occasion.  The writer cannot quite resist referring again to the match at Farnborough when we had Will Boye sent off when he was nowhere near the ball, as Farnborough’s Perry Coles slipped and collided with the advancing Tyler Tobin.  Will showed incredible self control that afternoon, a fact that was largely overlooked, as he made his way off totally bemused.  An apology afterwards from the referee once he had seen the video was welcome but it was a horrendous error, even more so as one of the assistants was equally close to the incident and either had his eyes closed or decided not to intervene.  We can take this opportunity to thank Farnborough for helping us with the video evidence that the FA used to clear Will in just about the fastest appeal hearing ever!

Lots of dates are coming up in the next few weeks.  One is the club AGM to be held on Thursday 11 May at 8.00 p.m. when all club members are very welcome to attend.  The following evening we have our Presentation Evening at the Meadhurst Club.  Another is Saturday 20 May when we have the Michael Buble and Neil Dymond tribute act.  Tickets are just £10 each but selling out fast.

On the field, Larry’s Under-13’s have their League Cup Final on Sunday 23 April, kicking off at 10.00 a.m., at Met. Police FC, Imber Court.  The other side is Mitcham Park Stripes who play two divisions higher so the lads need your support.  There will be a barbecue and party back here at the club afterwards.

Looking ahead, next season will start competitively on Saturday 12 August when we can expect to see some different clubs lining up against us, possibly including:  Thame United, London Colney, Hartley Wintney, Hayes & Yeading and Cambridge City, although all such movements are under the control of the FA, who usually manage to spring a few surprises.

There are no junior fixtures on Sunday due to the Easter Holidays but the Club will be open as usual.

 

Friday 12th May - Meadhurst Club, Chertsey Road, Sunbury, TW16 7LN. 

 

7.00pm - 12.00am. 

 

Ticket only. Price is £20 per ticket. 

 

Smart dress code. 

 

This Year’s Annual Presentation Evening will take place at the Meadhurst Club, Chertsey Road, Sunbury, TW16 7LN

 

We are indebted to Graham Cooley who has taken on the organisation of the event and he’s done a superb job already securing the venue at a cheap price.  A DJ and food have already been arranged and we understand that the bar prices are extremely reasonable.

 

The absolute maximum number of tickets available is 140 and more information upon who and how to pay will be publicised after this Thursday’s committee meeting.

Ashford bounced back to form on Saturday beating promotion chasing Kempston Rovers, who had been on a long unbeaten run, by 3 goals to 1 at Short Lane.

Ashford were expecting a tough match and with the visitors starting strongly, it looked as if it would materialise exactly as envisaged, especially as they almost scored in their very first attack when Jake Newman hit the post.  That set the tone for the opening 20 minutes, with Kempston having more of it.  Ashford were gradually getting into the match though and on 23 minutes took the lead following a well worked move which culminated with a superb through ball from Tommy Brunton to Mark Bitmead who lobbed the keeper with some precision.

The goal seemed to change the direction of the match as Ashford generally remained on top from then until the last 15 minutes.  That is not to say Kempston were out of it by any means at this stage and Tyler Tobin in goal had to be at his most alert soon after the goal.  Dan Fleming twice went close at the other end but the lead was eventually doubled on 54 minutes when Bailey Mummery took advantage of a poor clearance, picking up the ball and finding Jack Beadle who moved forward in his usual industrious manner before sending in a cross for Bitmead who made no mistake.

It was by no means over but Kempston’s attacks seemed to lack a little belief and Ashford coped fairly well with everything thrown at them and then effectively sealed the result on 75 minutes when Fleming was put through by the hard working Beadle and poked the ball past the keeper as he came out.

It could have been four soon afterwards when Fleming seemed to be blatantly pushed just inside the area but the referee waved play on.  We then had a fairly curious incident as an assistant put his flag up as Kempston attacked and everyone stopped only for realisation to dawn that the referee had not blown his whistle.  Somehow Ashford scrambled it away but there were repercussions as Kempston claimed that the player in the offside position was not involved in the play.  This led to a member of the visiting bench being removed, after the referee decided it should be a free kick to Ashford after all, although it was not clear from the other end whether it was for the offside or another offence. 

As the moments ticked away, a rare clean sheet looked on the cards but Kempston had the last word as, under pressure, skipper Russ Canderton conceded an own goal.  This was on 86 minutes and as the referee played a full ten minutes stoppage time, which even allowing for some time wasting, was a bit over the top, there were a few uncomfortable moments before the final whistle went and Ashford could reflect upon another three points, this time against one of the best sides in the Division who had beaten the Tangerines comfortably at their own ground just a few weeks previously.

Being Easter, it’s a double bubble next week, with Ashford travelling to Aylesbury next Saturday and then entertaining Farnborough on Easter Monday, both matches kicking off at 3.00 p.m.

The Middlesex Charity Cup semi-final at home to Hampton & Richmond Borough has been arranged for Tuesday 25 April

No details are available yet but we understand that the Ladies came though their latest semi-final against New London Lionesses winning 4-2 on penalties for a second cup final. 

Ashford are at home again on Saturday when Kempston Rovers will be the visitors to Short Lane.  It will be as tough a match as last week’s albeit for a different reason as Kempston have their sights on a play-off place by the end of the season.  They are currently just one point away with a match in hand over Marlow, who currently occupy the final play-off place.

It was only recently that we visited Kempston, on a Tuesday evening, when we lost 0-2, both goals coming in the second half.  We can point to a little bit of a patched up side on the night but we defended well in the first half.  Kempston scored though, soon after half-time and were deserved winners on the night.  Last week’s defeat has seen us drop back to 13th place but a win today could see us back to 11th.

We now know that we will be entertaining Hampton & Richmond in the semi-final of the Middlesex Charity Cup on Tuesday 25 April, as they beat Spelthorne with some ease earlier this week by 5 goals to nil.  The Final will be between ourselves or Hampton against Wealdstone or Uxbridge and is to be played on Bank Holiday Monday, 1 May, at Hanwell Town. 

Next Saturday we go to Aylesbury in what will be another important match for the opposition with them trying to stave off the challenge of Histon at the bottom of the League and we then play Farnborough here on Easter Monday, kick-off 3.00 p.m.  Farnborough will almost certainly have clinched 2nd place in the Division by then but it will be a big day for us, with it having been designated “Charity Day” when members from the HASAG charity who have given great help to our Chairman Dave Baker, will be present.  We hope that your generosity will help us to swell their coffers in a very worthwhile cause. 

We shall also be saying goodbye as far as the Physio role is concerned to Pat Munns, who has now given this club 50 years’ service, both on and off the field.  Take the writer’s word, Pat was as good a keeper as we have ever had at Ashford, which is saying a huge amount, and it was only his loyalty that prevented him playing at a far higher level.  Pat will have two of his grandchildren, Alfie and Hope, here on the day, to act as mascots.

As most will be aware, Royston have now clinched the divisional title and we send them our congratulations.

There are myriad junior fixtures on Sunday including our County Cup winning Under-13’s who will be gracing the main pitch tomorrow as a reward for their efforts

These are the games:

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch 1

Chris U8s v Bedfont Eagles 10am

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch 2

Neil U8s v Whitton 10am

Steve U8s v CB Hounslow 11am

Ashford Town 7 – 7 Pitch

Ryan U9s v Hampton Youth 10am

Ashford Town 9 – 9 Pitch

Graham U11s v Kingston Town 11am

Ashford Town – Outfield

Simon U16s v Ashtead 10am

Ben U16s v Sheen Lions 11.30

Conor U16s v Ashtead 1pm (double header)

Ashford Town Stadium

Paul U13s v Woodmansterne 10am

Ladies v New London Lionesses 2pm

Away Games

Cass U8s v Manorcroft

Matt U10s v Sandgate

Kirk U11s v Met Police

Larry U13s v Corinthian

Fin U14s v Shelton Athletic

 

The Ladies’ match is in the semi-final of the GLWFL Trophy against New London Lionesses, kicking off at 2.00 p.m.

 

 

Ashford are at home again on Saturday when Kempston Rovers will be the visitors to Short Lane.  It will be as tough a match as last week’s albeit for a different reason as Kempston have their sights on a play-off place by the end of the season.  They are currently just one point away with a match in hand over Marlow, who currently occupy the final play-off place.

It was only recently that we visited Kempston, on a Tuesday evening, when we lost 0-2, both goals coming in the second half.  We can point to a little bit of a patched up side on the night but we defended well in the first half.  Kempston scored though, soon after half-time and were deserved winners on the night.  Last week’s defeat has seen us drop back to 13th place but a win today could see us back to 11th.

We now know that we will be entertaining Hampton & Richmond in the semi-final of the Middlesex Charity Cup on Tuesday 25 April, as they beat Spelthorne with some ease earlier this week by 5 goals to nil.  The Final will be between ourselves or Hampton against Wealdstone or Uxbridge and is to be played on Bank Holiday Monday, 1 May, at Hanwell Town. 

Next Saturday we go to Aylesbury in what will be another important match for the opposition with them trying to stave off the challenge of Histon at the bottom of the League and we then play Farnborough here on Easter Monday, kick-off 3.00 p.m.  Farnborough will almost certainly have clinched 2nd place in the Division by then but it will be a big day for us, with it having been designated “Charity Day” when members from the HASAG charity who have given great help to our Chairman Dave Baker, will be present.  We hope that your generosity will help us to swell their coffers in a very worthwhile cause. 

We shall also be saying goodbye as far as the Physio role is concerned to Pat Munns, who has now given this club 50 years’ service, both on and off the field.  Take the writer’s word, Pat was as good a keeper as we have ever had at Ashford, which is saying a huge amount, and it was only his loyalty that prevented him playing at a far higher level.  Pat will have two of his grandchildren, Alfie and Hope, here on the day, to act as mascots.

As most will be aware, Royston have now clinched the divisional title and we send them our congratulations.

There are myriad junior fixtures on Sunday including our County Cup winning Under-13’s who will be gracing the main pitch tomorrow as a reward for their efforts

These are the games:

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch 1

Chris U8s v Bedfont Eagles 10am

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch 2

Neil U8s v Whitton 10am

Steve U8s v CB Hounslow 11am

Ashford Town 7 – 7 Pitch

Ryan U9s v Hampton Youth 10am

Ashford Town 9 – 9 Pitch

Graham U11s v Kingston Town 11am

Ashford Town – Outfield

Simon U16s v Ashtead 10am

Ben U16s v Sheen Lions 11.30

Conor U16s v Ashtead 1pm (double header)

Ashford Town Stadium

Paul U13s v Woodmansterne 10am

Ladies v New London Lionesses 2pm

Away Games

Cass U8s v Manorcroft

Matt U10s v Sandgate

Kirk U11s v Met Police

Larry U13s v Corinthian

Fin U14s v Shelton Athletic

 

The Ladies’ match is in the semi-final of the GLWFL Trophy against New London Lionesses, kicking off at 2.00 p.m.

 

 

Following two successive wins on the road, Ashford suffered a disappointing loss on Saturday, conceding victory to Histon Town by 2 goals to 1 at Short Lane.

The visitors, deep in relegation trouble, but sniffing a possible escape, showed their intentions right from that start and in the first half Ashford failed to cope, conceding two goals within the opening 20 minutes.  Inconsistent refereeing did not help and the match threatened to get out of control at times but that is a smokescreen as the defending was just not good enough.

Matters improved in the second half as Ashford finally got to grips with what they were facing and eventually pulled one back through Romario Jonas, whose deft header from Mark Bitmead’s free kick gave the keeper little chance.  At that point there was still 30 minutes left and with Ashford having far more possession, it seemed that an equaliser would not be too long in coming.  It just didn’t happen though despite everyone’s best efforts and another home match was lost.  Credit must go to Histon for their determined defending and they certainly didn't have the look of a side facing relegation.

There is no midweek 1st Team match so the next game is on Saturday at home to Kempston Rovers.

It was a better story on Sunday as Paul’s Under-13’s put the icing on a fine season winning their County Cup Final against Hanwell by 6 goals to nil, five of them coming in the first half.  Played at Northwood, Hanwell looked a very decent side in possession but they had no answer to the more physical play of the Tangerines whose finishing was an example to any side.

Sunday was a good day all round, duly celebrated under the big new marquee, with the Ladies obtaining a vital draw at closest rivals Godalming Town, thanks to a last minute goal from Sequoia Belworthy.  Ashford “Lady of the Match was Lauren Restel.  The ladies now need just a point to be crowned champions of their division with two games still to play.  Not to be outdone the Sunday social side celebrated a rare win as well

After two successive victories on the road, Ashford are back at Short Lane on Saturday when the visitors will be Histon FC from Cambridgeshire, who will be playing at Short Lane for the first time ever.

We were made extremely welcome at Histon earlier in the season and will aim to reciprocate that tomorrow but it has not been a happy season for our visitors who sit on the edge of relegation, eight points behind Aylesbury the 3rd bottom club, with both having five matches left to play.  It is a bridge that could be crossed though and we are well aware that Histon will be fighting to avoid dropping into Step 5.

We have been in good form recently with three wins on the spin, two in the League and one against Ryman Premier opposition in the shape of Wingate & Finchley so an exciting match looks in prospect.

We had never previously met Histon at any level until this season when we managed to win at their ground by four goals to one.  After a shaky start when Histon could easily have scored more than once, we hit a purple patch which secured the result although our opponents came back at us strongly in the later stages without success.

We are at home again next Saturday, when Kempston Rovers will be the visitors.

Our opposition in the semi-final of the Middlesex Charity Cup is now down to two:  it will be either Spelthorne Sports or Hampton & Richmond Borough, who are playing each other this coming Wednesday at Spelthorne.  We have already arranged that, should Spelthorne win, we will play them here on Tuesday 11 April.  It won’t be that date if Hampton win, as they have a re-arranged match in the Middlesex Senior Cup that week against Hanworth Villa.

We wish the best of luck to our Under-13 side who are playing in their County Cup Final on Sunday morning against Hanwell U13 at Northwood FC, kick-off 10.30 a.m.  If you can get over to support the lads, they will be pleased to see you.  The address of the ground is Northwood Park, Chestnut Avenue, Northwood, HA6 1HR.

Finally we getting up a new Ashford 100 club up and running under the expert eye of Graham Felce.  It costs just £5 a month and we need to get the remaining numbers allocated as quickly as possible.  Please pick up a form from the clubhouse and let us have your first payment (cash or cheque or direct transfer or standing order) as soon as possible.  There are two big prizes to be won, in August and at Christmas plus monthly draws.

Here are this week’s junior fixtures:

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch 2

Michael U7s v Twickenham 10am

Ashford Town 7 – 7 Pitch

Matt U10s v Molesey 11am

Ashford Town 9 – 9 Pitch

Kirk U11s v Kew Park Rangers 10am

Ashford Town – Outfield

Gary 10:30am

John U13s v Kew Park Rangers 12:30

Fin U14s v Ascot 2pm

Away Games

Chris U8s v Hampton Youth

Cass U8s v Moormead

Neil U8s v Woking Cougars

Steve U8s v Walton Casuals

Andy U9s v Esher Colts

Ryan U9s v Lyne

Paul U13s COUNTY CUP FINAL at Northwood (10.30 a.m.)

Conor U16s v Camberley (D/H)

 

Last week’s results were:

Michael U7s 2-5 Rocks Lane

Cass U8s 5-3 Hampton

Matt U9s 2-1 CB Hounslow

Dave U12s 0-6 Corinthian

Larry U13s 6-1 Whitton

John U13s 0-2 Motspur

Paul U13s 4-1 Sutton

Fin U14s 5-2 Carshalton

Martin U15s 6-3 Kew

Ben U16s 0-2 Met Police

Conor U16s 1-2 Wandgas

Simon U16s 0-3 Lyne 

 

Thanks to the efforts of Club Treasurer, Jason Brown, we once again have BT Sport at the Club.  New negotiations have allowed us to take it up again and we hope that all members will take advantage.

Ashford’s much improved performances of late continued on Saturday with a 2-1 victory at Beaconsfield SYCOB, the winning goal coming as late as the 5th minute of additional time

The winning run now sees the Tangerines into the top half of the table but it was a hard fought encounter played in terribly difficult windy conditions.  Ashford were without both the unavailable Dan Fleming and Samad Kazi, enabling Conor Moody to make his first start since returning to the club and he gave a good performance holding the ball up well.

The first half ended goalless and although Ashford had made more chances than their opponents, nobody had come too close to breaking the deadlock.  The second half was different as both teams seemed to get to grips, to an extent at least with the conditions. It was far from one-sided but Ashford were putting more pressure on and finally broke the deadlock on 59 minutes with arguably the best move of the match.  Max Herbert got on the ball from his left back spot and drilled a diagonal crossfield ball behind the Beaconsfield defence to  enable Mark Bitmead to get on the ball and he cut in and sent a low hard shot into the net that gave keeper no chance.

Ashford were looking for a second but it was the home side who equalised on 71 minutes from the spot when skipper Russell Canderton was adjudged to have fouled his opponent just inside the area for a somewhat soft penalty.  That didn’t worry Beaconsfield’s Charlie Lassaso  who drove home to put his side level.

Ashford were a little aggrieved and even more so when referee Turner put his whistle to his lips for a foul only to see if any advantage accrued, which it quickly didn’t and instead of bringing the play back, allowed it to continue and Beaconsfied quickly went up the other end and almost took the lead. Borders were repelled though and only Hakim Hammami, who had come on at half-time for Scott Weight and had played well, could tell you how he missed what looked an open goal as the ball was crossed.

In the end it didn’t matter, as in the 5th and final minute of stoppage time a scramble in the goal area saw the Beaconsfield boys unable to clear their lines and Ashford’s “man of the match” Mark Bitmead crashed it home for his second goal ensuring all three points at the same time.  Beaconsfield had by this time had a man sent off for two cautions but many of us missed it.

There is no midweek match so the next game will see us playing at home to Histon next Saturday, kick-off 3.00 p.m.

Our possible opponents in the semi-final of the Middlesex Charity Cup have now been narrowed down to two, following Spelthorne’s victory over Rayners Lane 2-0 last week.  Spelthorne will now entertain Hampton & Richmond Borough to see who comes to us in the semi-final.  There are no dates as yet.

Also we have the Under-13 County Cup Final next Sunday, at Northwood FC, kick-off 10.30 a.m.  It is not easy reaching any County Final and the side deserve a lot of support if we can plenty of Ashford people to attend, More on all the forthcoming matches over the next few days.

Ashford make the fairly short trip to play Beaconsfield SYCOB on Saturday and a win would not only see the Tangerines leap frog over their opponents, but could also propel them into the top half of the table, depending upon other results.  After two hard fought victories in their last two matches Ashford’s confidence is high, especially as Beaconsfield have not been in great form recently, without a win in March.  Their only point though was a “good one” when they drew at Potters Bar recently.

In 11 previous matches against SYCOB, we have 7 wins, three defeats and one draw.  However, the three defeats have come in the last three games against our opponents, including a loss by 2 goals to 1 at Short Lane back in December.

The address of the ground is Holloways Park Windsor Road Beaconsfield Buckinghamshire HP9 2SE and it is within two minutes of Junction 2 of the M40.  It is 16 miles from ground to ground and there is a large car park.  Kick-off is at 3.00 p.m. as usual.

All tomorrow's junior matches can be found on the Ashford Facebook Page

 

After a very decent performance against Aylesbury United on Saturday, Ashford produced one of their best performances of the season on Tuesday evening, beating Wingate & Finchley from the Ryman Premier Division by two goals to nil, to advance into the semi-final of the Middlesex Charity Cup.

We don’t know who we will be playing yet as much of the information on the County web site concerning cup competitions seems to have been removed but there will be information here as soon as have it.

The match started at a fast pace with both sides striving to play good football.  Ashford always seemed to have a little edge though and the pressure was rewarded on just 10 minutes when Mark Bitmead was on hand to a reach cross first and slam the ball home.

Although Tyler Tobin was busy throughout the evening, in goal, Wingate were unable to create too many real opportunities and it wasn’t really a surprise when Ashford doubled the lead on 37 minutes.  Max Herbert took a short corner, soon got the ball back and resisted pressure to send the ball into the corner via a slight deflection, to give Ashford a comfortable half-time lead.

The pace died to an extent in the second half and the visitors certainly had more of the game but were unable to make a telling impression.  Ashford were generally pleasing supporters with a tremendously committed display and, although there were no further goals, saw the match out reasonably comfortably to take their place in the last four.  Although everyone performed well, one player stood out for many and that man was Bailey Mummery, who easily won the “Ashford Man of the Match” award as voted by supporters.

It’s back to the League on Saturday with the short visit to play Beaconsfield SYCOB, who have just a one point advantage over the Tangerines, but are three places ahead in the table.  A win could see Ashford moving up the table by up to three places  but more on that match later in the week.

Some of our younger sides from Under-7 upwards, namely the U-7's, 8's Colts, 9's Colts, Warriors and Juniors and the 11's. put in a long stint packing bags at Tescos last Saturday and made a huge impression, with their manners and helpfulness, raising no less than £600 in a Day.  Having raised far more than anticipated, it has been decided that £300 should be passed to local lad Alfie, whose story can be read at:  https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/HelpAlfiethecham

This is Alfie’s story from his mum:

Alfie needs antibody therapy to get him the life that he deserves....
My little boy Alfie was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma when he was 5. He completed 18 months of treatment to be classed as in Remission. Remission was short lived bacuse he relapsed at the age of 9, he was subjected to another 18 months of treatment and classed as NED.
Sadly in April 2016 Alfie relapsed for the 2nd time....
Alfie so far has had 8 rounds of chemotherapy and have managed to shrink his tumour. He is starting oral chemo in the next feed days to keep his tumour stable while the plan and organise the next stage of treatment.

He will be having Mibg therapy late March.

I spoke with Alfie's consultant today and asked what we really need to do to get Alfie the life he needs to live.... she said antibodies. I knew this was coming and said if I was to fundraise how much would we need. We need £600,000 to save my beautiful boy.

Alfie is such a lovely boy, at 14 he's already been through enough. He's spent 10 years of his life fighting this awful disease. So knowing what I know now I'm asking for your help to fundraise to give him the chance he deserves.

Shelley... Alfie's mum x

Shelley has already written a thank you to the lads which you can read on the Ashford Facebook page but It may be that a few more of us at the Club would like to help this very worthy cause and anyone who wishes to should head for the special fundraising site at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/HelpAlfiethechamp?utm_id=108&utm_term=P9QA49ady

Back to our lads and well done to all the players involved and their managers, who did a superb job.

 

 

Ashford travelled to meet Aylesbury United on Saturday and returned with all three points in a 2-1 victory, a win that leaves the Tangerines mathematically clear of relegation although it was virtually assured anyway.

The match was played in windy conditions but both sides made the best of it and there was some excellent football all round at times.  With the wind behind them in the first half, Aylesbury started strongly and used the wind to their advantage, putting Ashford’s back four under considerable pressure and it was deserved when they took the lead on just 11 minutes when a low cross was swept in by the unmarked Lee Coulter.

Ashford though fought back well and equalised within two minutes when Mark Bitmead saw his first effort well saved but he got to the rebound and smashed it home.  The scoreline was now even and so was the match as Ashford started to get their game together.

In the second period Ashford had the wind largely behind them and gradually got on top although both sides still had opportunities.  It was Ashford who clinched it though when skipper Russell Canderton scored from a corner kick, with ten minutes or so left.  Once again his first effort was blocked but he was able to hook the rebound into the net.

It was a good day for the Tangerines not least because Jack Beadle and Conor Moody are both back with the club, Jack playing the full 90 minutes and Conor coming on quite early in the second half.  Although players obviously come and go, the club has always been fairly tight knit in terms of players, witnessed by the number in the current squad who have played 100 matches or more (10 of the current squad) and this seemed very much a home coming, clearly much welcomed by the Ashford supporters present.  We should like to thank both Egham Town and Bedfont Sports for allowing the two moves to go through so quickly.

The hospitality at Aylesbury was excellent as was the referee, Mr. Lewis, who controlled the game very well and there wasn’t a caution in sight, the second consecutive match that this has happened.  The only drawback was to find when we got back to the Club that the bitter had run out due to an oversight on the ordering front.  It didn’t spoil an excellent day though.

We now turn our attention to the Quarter Final of the Middlesex Charity Cup, in which we are at home to Wingate and Finchley on Tuesday evening, kick-off 7.45 p.m.  Although they suffered defeat on Saturday, they are doing well this season in the Premier Division of the Ryman League and it is likely to be a tough test for us but one to relish.  We have only played each other on six previous competitions, mostly cup matches, the most recent meeting being in October 2008, when we lost at Wingate by four goals to two in an FA Trophy replay, after drawing one apiece at Short Lane three days earlier.

There won’t be any extra time tomorrow.  Should the match be level at 90 minutes, we go straight to penalties.

The Ladies and junior results, etc., will be on here shortly, along with a special article about the excellent work done by some of our younger sides on Saturday.

Ashford make the journey to play Aylesbury United on Saturday and will be hoping to have their full squad available, following Tuesday’s rather difficult trip to Kempston Rovers.

Few, if any of us, will have visited the ground before as Aylesbury ground share at Thame United and their ground is a new one and not the one in which we met Thame in earlier seasons.  The address is:  Thame United FC, The ASMN Stadium, Meadow View Park, Thame, Oxfordshire, OX9 3RN.  Ground to ground it is a journey of around 42 miles along the M40, leaving at Junction 7, on to the A329, towards Thame. From there it is just over 4 miles to the ground.  Kick-off is 3.00 p.m.

Earlier in the season we drew one apiece at Short Lane, our goal being a penalty from Mark Bitmead.  In league terms, until this season our two clubs only met in the 2013-2014 season, when we lost both games by the odd goal.  That is balanced and doubtless well remembered by our older supporters when 13 years ago, when our opponents were a far bigger club than ourselves, we went to their old ground and won in the FA Cup by one goal to nil.  Our scorer was Ryan Lake.

After tomorrow we have our last chance for this season of any cup success, when we entertain Ryman Premier side Wingate & Finchley in the quarter-final of the Middlesex Charity Cup.  They are in the same position so will probably field a strong team but such matches tend to bring the best from us sometimes and we will certainly harbour though of victory.

Here are Sunday’s junior fixtures:

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

John U13s v Hampton Youth 10am

Paul U13s v Ascot United 11:30

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch 2

Bill U8s v Sutton Unites 11am

Ashford Town 9 – 9 Pitch

Kirk U11s v Halliford 10am

Nelson U11s v Claygate 11am

Dave/Joe U12s v Westside 12pm

Ashford Town – Outfield

Carl 10:30am

Simon U16s v Claygate 12:30

Ashford Town Stadium

Middlesex County Cup Final 10:30 U15s 

 

Away Games

Michael U7s v Bedfont

Chris U8s v Whitton Wanderers

Cass U8s v Hampton Rangers

Neil U8s v Twickenham Tigers

Steve U8s v Spelthorne Sports

Andy U9s v Sandgate

Matt U9s v Sheen Lions

Rhys U9s v Whitton Wanderers

Ryan U9s v Woking Cougars

Matt U10s v Esher Colts

Graham U11s v Roehampton

Larry U13s v Spelthorne

Fin U14s v Corinthian Casuals

Ben U16s v Worcester Park

Conor U16s v Wandgas

 

Ashford Ladies have a big match on Sunday away to New London Lionesses in the semi-final of the Capital Junior Cup.

Ashford made the 60 mile trip into Bedfordshire on Tuesday evening to play Kempston Rovers but came away losing by two goals to nil.  Although generally, the League schedules its fixtures well, a few midweek longer trips are part and parcel of this level of football but it can be problematic and Ashford’s squad was stretched to the limit on Tuesday, with key players unable to make it, including top scorer Mark Bitmead.

It was the first visit to Kempston whose facilities are excellent.  They are also looking to get into the play-offs but in the first half, which was relatively even, the visitors stood up to the task even though the home side had a greater number of chances.  Although always a little prone to the long ball behind, the back four were coping well with some lively forward play from the home side and Tyler Tobin in goal was superb all evening, with some excellent goalkeeping.  On one occasion, three successive corners in quick succession led to some last ditch defending but the Tangerines stood firm at this point.

There were chances for Ashford, the two main ones falling to Dan Fleming, ploughing at times a lonely furrow up front and, on another day, he would have taken them.  One effort was hit hard and true but it was straight at Kempston’s diminutive keeper and he was able to push it away, whilst the other came crashing back off the bar.  There was no scoring at the break.

The second half was a different story.  It was another match where the first goal looked as if it would be significant and within five minutes it was scored by Kempston.  The ball was not properly cleared and an attack down their right flank led to a low cross and the ball was stabbed home by Ashley Fuller.

That really settled the match even though there was plenty of time left, as it became largely a matter of repelling boarders for Ashford with the home side intensifying their attacks.  By hook or by crook, Ashford kept them out for a long time and had Theo Alexis been able to make more of an excellent but isolated opportunity it might have turned out differently but a defender got in a tackle at the last moment.

On 73 minutes the match was definitely settled when Kempston scored their second through Jake Newman.  Ashford did not let their heads drop but with Fleming isolated up top until the last few minutes when Samad Kazi pushed up, they did not look like scoring and it was another defeat, even though it would have been difficult to criticise any one Ashford player as they gave their all against a very good side, whose distribution from the back was excellent.  Young Keegan Stuart made his senior debut with just a few moments to go.

The game was played in a good spirit and neither side incurred a caution and the refereeing was good.  The League Chairman was present as he had not yet seen Ashford this season and we had a very interesting talk with him before the match.  We face Kempston at home in a few weeks when we will have a few more supporters.  It is difficult for supporters to travel longer distances in midweek so well done to Dan Weight who was the only one who made it, (we think) apart from committee members.

We have another away match on Saturday when we travel to Thame United’s new ground to meet Aylesbury United, who ground share there.  Although we have played Thame in the past, we have not played at their present stadium so it will be another new experience.  There will be more details on here tomorrow.

In the meantime here are last Sunday’s junior results:

Michael U7s 6-5 Molesey

Andy U9s 3-2 Whitton

Matt U9s 3-1 Walton

Matt U10s 2-1 Sheen Lions

Graham U11s 6-1 Kingston Town

Kirk U11s 5-1 Kew Association

Joe U12s 1-1 Walton Casuals

Paul U13s 6-3 Woking

Craig U14s 6-1 Kew Park

Fin U14s 4-1 Kings Park

Ben U16s 1-1 Croygas

The Ladies carried on their merry way, with a 10-1 home victory over Crystal Palace Development on Sunday and now sit five points behind Godalming (their match against them the previous week was a cup-tie by the way, so apologies for assuming it was a league match) with three matches in hand.

The Ladies have been drawn at home against New London Lionesses in the semi finals of the Greater London Women's Football League Trophy.  Elsewhere Battersea & Hammersmith will face Putney Vale away in the other semi final.

The semi-finals are scheduled to be played on Sunday 9th April and will be a single leg only going to penalties if the scoreline is a draw after 90 minutes.

The final is due to be played on 21st May 2017.

 

Ashford suffered a disappointing defeat at home to Potters Bar Town, on Saturday, losing at home by three goals to nil.

Every game in this League is very different and it is never easy to predict beforehand just how a particular match will go.  Ashford came into this game in reasonably good form whilst their opponents, although higher in the table, had not had that great a time recently.

Despite the eventual scoreline, the game was much of a stalemate with Ashford, despite their best efforts, struggling to break down a very competent and well organised defence.  Inevitably there were close things at both end but it remained scoreless at half-time and it certainly started to look as if the first team to score would probably go on to win.

So it proved.  Potters Bar got their noses in front just after the hour mark and it was controversial.  Rusell Canderton was the alleged guilty man although he was livid, claiming that his opponent had dived.  Once the inevitable fracas had died down, the resulting penalty kick was calmly despatched and the away side were on their way.

As the match went on two more incidents had a bearing on the match.  As Ashford attacked, a foul on his full-back by Mark Bitmead saw the visiting right back jump up and clearly retaliate with a considerable degree of violence.  It was a poor foul and Bitmead was rightly cautioned but the violence of the retaliation seemed a clear sending off to everyone bar Mr.Bandara who only issued a yellow card.  We get players sent off when they’re nowhere near the ball whilst this player got away with it  but nothing we can do.

The other major incident that could well have made all the difference from Ashford's point of view was a superb effort from Dan Fleming that beat the keeper and crashed back into play from the bar.  That would have levelled the scores had it gone in but very quickly the visitors broke and ended up by doubling the scoreline.

Ashford pushed more men forward as the game drew to its conclusion but as they did so, and as so often happens, Potters Bar broke away again and emphasised the three points with a third goal.  So not the greatest day in Ashford’s history.  Although it was obviously the same for both sides the pitch did not help Ashford on the day, being unusually bobbly and it could have clearly done with some water on it, such is the drainage which at times is a boon but it wasn’t on Saturday.  That said, Ashford managed a perfectly competent display on a worse surface at Barton the previous week.

We can only move on and on Tuesday evening we make the 60 mile trip to meet Kempston Rovers at the third time of asking.  The address of the ground is shown in the previous article and kick-off is at 7.45 p.m.  It is a longer trip, especially in midweek, but the lads will certainly appreciate your support if possible.

A round up of the junior games and the Ladies, etc., will appear tomorrow.

Following last week’s stirring draw at Barton Rovers, Ashford are back at Short Lane on Saturday when the visitors will be Potters Bar Town FC.  They have been enjoying a generally successful season although their form has slipped a little in recent weeks.  They will arrive in 9th place in the table with a nine point advantage over Ashford although the Tangerines have a match in hand.

Earlier in the season we lost 2-3 at Potters Bar when the match ended rather controversially, following two refereeing decisions that went against us near the end.  This will in fact be only the second visit that Potters Bar have made to our ground, the last one being in November 2013 when they went away with all three points in a 2-0 victory.

Kick-off as usual is at 3.00 p.m.

We have picked up more than sufficient points in recent weeks to ensure there are no relegation worries (for what it’s worth mathematically, we need six more points to be absolutely certain, or for Histon to drop just six more) and we will look to the remainder of the season to win as many matches as possible to get ourselves into the top half of the table.

On Tuesday we travel to meet Kempston Rovers for the first time this season.  The address of their ground is Hillgrounds Leisure, Hillgrounds Road, Kempston, Bedford, MK42 8SZ and it is a journey of 60 miles, leaving the M1 at Junction 13, and then the A421 to Kempston.  Kick-off is 7.45 p.m.

Thoughts will start to drift to next season, at the end of which big changes are planned by the FA with the formation of an extra division at both Steps 3 and 4, the latter being our current level.  The two extra divisions are likely to be Midlands based but it should, overall, mean less travelling and inevitably there will be changes.  We could even find ourselves back in the Ryman League.  It is likely that just one side will be relegated from each of the Step 4 divisions at the end of next season and there may be enhanced promotion opportunities.  Overall though each division at Step 4 will have just 20 sides.

It is now definite that next season will commence on Saturday 12 August and thanks to some nippy work by the manager we already have one pre-season game lined up, away on Saturday 5 August to South Park FC from the Ryman League Division One South.

Ashford Under-18’s have a home match this evening against Hayes & Yeading U18, which is always a difficult fixture.  Kick-off is 7.45 p.m. although there will be a cursory pitch inspection this afternoon.

Following Will Boye’s resignation as U18 manager, 1st Team supremo Ben Murray will be running the side for the final 8 matches this season, assisted by Conor Moody.

As a side note, we are missing our usual gateman this evening, so if there is anyone who could step in, please come forward (phone 07956 930719)

Also, just to re-confirm, the 1st Team re-arranged match at Kempston Rovers takes place next Tuesday, 14 March, whilst the 1st Team home game against Wingate & Finchley is scheduled for the following Tuesday, 21 March.

Ashford came within two minutes of beating 3rd placed Barton Rovers on Saturday, but a goal in the 88th minute from the home side left the match tied at one apiece.

On a heavy and unpredictable surface, meaning that quality football was always going to be at a premium, Ashford nevertheless had a determination about them from the start which possibly surprised their high flying opponents.

Ashford closed down well throughout, with Mark Bitmead and Dan Fleming setting the example from the front.  Neither keeper had been seriously troubled in the opening exchanges but the Tangerines went in front on 13 minutes, when Bitmead, receiving from Samad Kazi, advanced down the right and, under pressure, delivered a superb cross, met by Fleming who knocked it into the net in an instant before neither his closest marker nor the keeper could intercept or get a tackle in.

Ashford survived a penalty scare shortly before half-time when referee Hart quite rightly adjudged that Kazi had not handled deliberately, if atall, although Barton may have taken a different view.

The anticipated fight back from the home side did not really materialise after the break and the game remained generally even, with arguably, the visitors still looking the more likely to score.  Bitmead was unlucky not to double the lead when a fierce effort was goal bound but one of Barton’s giant defenders managed to head the ball over the bar possibly more through luck than judgement.  As the final minutes approached Ashford were generally looking comfortable, and had a huge penalty shout in the dying minutes when Fleming was bundled over quite blatantly it seemed, but Mr. Hart thought otherwise and waved play on.  Within seconds, a long clearance was flicked on and for the first time in the match Ashford found themselves caught out as Barton debutant Danny Watson got the final touch, despite Kazi’s best efforts to get it off the line.

Mark Bitmead was voted by Ashford supporters as their “Ashford Man of the Match” but just about anyone would have had a claim and it was a far better performance than the one the previous week when Ashford had just scraped home against Petersfield.  In particular, a dominant performance by central defenders Russell Canderton and Romario Jonas, now seemingly back to full match fitness, was notable.  The midfield competed for every ball and Ashford now look forward to their next home match against Potters Bar Town on Saturday.

There are no details yet but the Ladies came out on top yesterday in their top of the table clash against Godalming Town Ladies, winning by 2 goals to 1, giving themselves an excellent chance of winning their division for the second season in a row.

The junior results are to hand as follows:

Cass U8s 5-6 Whitton

Bill U7s 1-1 Epsom

Michael U7s 3-0 Kingston

Chris U8s 6-5 Walton & Hersham

Andy U9s 1-3 AFC Walcountians

Matt U9s 3-2 Carshalton

Ryan U9s 0-1 Kew Association

Matt U10s 2-5 Bedfont

Joe U12s 0-3 South Park

Larry U13s 2-3 Corinthian

John U13s 5-3 Kew Park

Paul U13s 4-2 Woking Cougars

Craig U14s 3-1 Stoneleigh

Fin U14s 4-2 Kings Park

Martin U15s 6-1 Mitcham Park

Ben U16s 5-3 Croygas

Conor U16s 0-0 Meadow Sports

We wish Will Boye well as he has decided to return to his previous club, Colliers Wood United, although he is still running the Ladies’ side.  Will played 52 times for the Tangerines, five as sub, scoring just the one goal, since joining us last season.

On the other side of the coin, giant Frenchman Dylan Duby has joined us.  He played only a cameo role on Saturday coming on in stoppage time, following International Clearance being granted two days earlier, but he looks a real find.

Ashford have been drawn at home to Wingate & Finchley in the quarter-final of the Middlesex Charity Cup, and the game has been fixed for Tuesday 21 March.

 

Finally, we would like to thank Barton for their excellent hospitality on Saturday which was greatly appreciated.

 

Ashford travel to 3rd placed Barton Rovers on Saturday in what will be a tough match.  Barton’s recent form shows a 1-1 draw at Bedford Town last Saturday, preceded by two home wins over Northwood (5-1) and Aylesbury (3-2),  Before that, they lost 2-3 at Beaconsfield SYCOB.  Back in October, Ashford managed to beat their opponents in a high scoring match, winning by six goals to three, ours coming from Mark Bitmead (2), Dan Fleming (2) and Kam English (2).

We first met Barton in the 2001-02 season in what was then Ryman League Division 2.  There have been eleven matches over the years between us, with both clubs winning five each and one draw.

The address of the ground is Luton Road, Barton Le Clay, Bedfordshire MK45 4LQ and it is a journey of around 42 miles from ground to ground using the M25 and the M1 (leave M1 at Junction 11), although there are various alternative roads that can be used.  Kick-off is at 3.00 p.m.

As usual most of our junior sides are in action on Sunday and here are the fixtures:

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

FC Hatton 10:30

Larry U14s v Corinthian Casuals 12:30

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

Conor U16s v Meadow Sports 10am

Ben U16s v Croygas 11:30

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch 1

Cass U8s v Whitton Wanderers 10am

Chris U8s v Walton & Hersham 11am

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch 2

Neil U8s v Spelthorne Sports 10am

Steve U8s v Twickenham Tigers 11am

Ashford Town 7 – 7 Pitch

Rhys U9s v Barnes Eagles 10am

Ryan U9s v Kew Association 11am

Matt U10s v Bedfont Eagles 12pm  

Ashford Town 9 – 9 Pitch

Joe U12s v South Park 10am

Ashford Town – Outfield

Gary 10:30am

Craig U14s v Stoneleigh 12:30

Ashford Town Stadium

Ladies v Godalming 2pm 

Away Games

Michael U7s v Kingston Town

Bill U8s v Epsom Athletic

Andy U9s v AFC Walcountians

Matt U9s v Carshalton

Graham U11s v Elm Grove

Kirk U11s v St Helier

Nelson U11s v Carshalton

John U13s v Kew Park Rangers

Paul U13s v Woking Cougars

Fin U14s v Kings Park

Martin U15s v Mitcham Park

Simon U16s v Lyne Lions

 

The Ladies have what might be called their “crunch” match on Sunday when they entertain Godalming Ladies at Short Lane , kick-off 2.00 p.m.  Godalming are top of the league five points ahead of Ashford but have played three matches more.

 

 

Ashford have been drawn at home to Wingate & Finchley in the 3rd Round (Quarter Final) of the Middlesex Charity Cup.  There is no date yet but Wingate & Finchley are in the Ryman League and they currently sit in 5th place in the Premier Division table.

We have not played them since October 2008, when we lost 2-4 at home in an FA Trophy replay, after drawing one apiece at their ground.  Our scorers in the replay were Scott Todd and John Palmer.  At Wingate, it was Byron Harrison who got our goal.

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 been advised by Kempston Rovers that Tuesday's match may be in doubt due to a waterlogged pitch.  An inspection is planned for 1.00 p.m. and as soon as we have further information it will be put on here.

UPDATE:  Pitch inspection delayed until 2.00 p.m. but very doubtful,

Further update:

This evening’s match is postponed, pitch waterlogged

Some impressive football at times on Saturday eventually saw Ashford complete their first double of the season as they beat Arlesey Town by two goals to one.

The match saw the debut of central defender Davente McGain, signed on loan from Staines Town, and who  looks a player who certainly doesn’t mess about at the back which, given Ashford’s propensity for conceding daft goals at times may be just what was needed.

Arlesey looked a considerably better side than they had when Ashford played at their ground near the start of the season but the Tangerines were generally playing it around well.  Bart Pedrycz in the Arlesey goal was proving a tough nut to crack though and after several near things one wondered if it was going to be one of those days again.  On 36 minutes though, it was Bailey Mummery who broke the deadlock with a crisp finish having been put through by Dan Fleming.

As always, Kam English popping up on either flank was his usual nuisance but it was not all one way traffic and both full backs, Samad Kazi and Max Herbert, the latter stepping in for Alex Fisher, whose operation we understand has been a success, were highly prominent at times.

There was little controversy in the match with neither side picking up so much as a caution but Ashford were aggrieved when the visitors equalised on 55 minutes when seconds earlier English had looked to be quite deliberately  baulked as he threatened down the left flank.  It wasn’t given though and within seconds the ballw as switched to the other end and Ariel Amu equalised.

There was no panic though and although it took a while, Ashford restored their lead on 73 minutes when a deft through ball from Herbert found Tommy Brunton in the clear and he smashed it home with considerable aplomb, to seal a much needed victory.  That said the three points were almost squandered late on when a decent effort was certainly going in but skipper Russell Canderton was on hand to clear it from the line.

There was more than one candidate for “Ashford man of the match” but in a very close vote it was won by Max Herbert who was almost neck and neck with Samad Kazi.  The lean patch in terms of goal scoring by Mark Bitmead and Dan Fleming went on but it was not for the sake of hard work, with both players and indeed the whole team giving their all to ensure the win against tricky opponents.

The next match is tomorrow evening (Tuesday) when we travel to Kempston Rovers, the original game having been postponed due to a frozen pitch.  The address of the ground is Hillgrounds Leisure, Hillgrounds Road, Kempston, Bedford, MK42 8SZ and kick-off is 7.45 p.m.  It is a trip up the M1 to Junction 13 and then the A421 to the destination, about 60 miles all told.

Most of the junior sides were in action on Sunday and here are their results.  Particular congratulations go to Paul’s Under-13’s who beat Old Isleworthians by two goals to nil, to reach the semi-final of their County Cup

Michael U7s 3-4 Corinthian Casuals

Andy U9s 3-3 CB Hounslow

Matt U10s 8-0 Kew Park Rangers

Graham U11s 0-0 Doverhouse

Nelson U11s 5-0 Sutton United

Joe U12s 1-6 Doverhouse

Larry U13s 4-2 Surrey Predators

John U13s 1-6 Raynes Park

Paul U13s 2-0 Old Isworthian (county cup)

Craig U14s 2-4 Kew Park Rangers

Fin U14s 1-3 Worcester Park

Martin U15s 4-3 Ewell Saxons

Ben U16s 4-3 Dorking

Conor U16s 1-4 Worplesdon

Simon U16s 0-7 Hanworth  

 

Ashford Ladies were back to their usual form, beating Colne Valley Res by ten goals to nil and here is Will Boyes’s report:

Holly Isaacs put the Tangerines ahead with a trademark strike in the first minute of the game. Lavana Neufville doubled the lead soon after when she flicked in Laura Huse's volley from a Vicky James corner.

 

Sequoia Belworthy joined in on the action after great play from Neufville on the right who produced a pinpoint cross for Belworthy to virtually run the ball into the net.

 

Charmaine Benham along with the her central teammates always looked a threat when driving forward so when Benham delivered a cross from deep for Isaacs running in from the left, it was inevitable she was to get her second of the game.

 

Belworthy popped up again in the box to score the fifth goal of the game.

 

H/T: 5-0

 

Colne Valley came out in the second half a rejuvenated side and began to take the game to the home side forcing saves from Lauren Restel in the Ashford goal.

 

Restel's distribution continued to impress and when she found Benham who combined with James and Mills before playing through Belworthy the young striker maintained her composure to score her first ever hatrick in Ashford colours.

 

Neufville scored a delightful goal after rolling her marker before smashing home another, the excellent Benham drove through the Valley Reserves defence to grab another before Neufville completed her hatrick.

Samara Phillips-Hines scored late on to round off a comfortable victory for Ashford Ladies.

 

Ashford's dominance this season has been almost total, with only four points dropped in the entire league campaign to date.

 

F/T: 10-0

 

LINEUP: L Restel, J Boye, B Sheehan, N Jacobs, L Huse, V James, S Phillips-Hines, C Benham, H Isaacs, L Neufville, S Belworthy  SUBS: T Mills

 

The Sunday Men’s Social team lost 2-5 to Armenian Youth FC.

 

Finally the Under-18’s are away this evening (Monday) to Hayes & Yeading

 

With the cold snap hopefully gone or going, football should be able to take place once more at Short Lane on Saturday when the visitors will be Arlesey Town from Bedfordshire.

Our opponents will arrive in 19th place in the table.  Their last outing was on 10th January when they drew one apiece at Kempston.  The two league matches before that saw them suffer 0-2 defeats at the hands of Uxbridge and Royston respectfully.  We travelled to Arlesey in the early part of the season and managed to win by three goals to nil, our scorers being Scott Weight, Jack Beadle and Mark Bitmead.

Kick-off tomorrow is 3.00 p.m.

There will be more on the web site tomorrow morning about our other teams in action this weekend.

This evening's Ryman Youth League match at home to Aldershot Town U18 has been postponed due to the ongoing frozen pitch.

With the weather due to warm up a bit towards the weekend, we anticipate that Saturday's match at home to Arlesey Town will go ahead as normal.

A live band Purple#9 will be performing at the club on Friday evening from 8.00 p.m. on in what we hope will become a regular feature.  They are a local band with an excellent reputation and all members and guests are welcome.  Ent