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

The details are as follows:

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

Ends: around 9pm

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

  • Full Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Preferred Playing Position/Positions
  • Email address
  • Mobile number

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ashford meet Lammas in their next friendly on Tuesday evening.

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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