This afternoon's match at home to Colliers Wood United is ON.  There is no standing water on the pitch.

Ashford return to Short Lane on Saturday and welcome Colliers Wood United for their first ever visit for a league match.  The game kicks off at 3.00 p.m. as usual.

Our visitors sit in 12th place in the table with 10 wins and 12 defeats from their 24 league matches to date.  They will possibly remember this season though more for their cup exploits as they were the last CCL club to remain in the FA Vase, going right through to the 4th Round, where a fortnight ago they lost 2-4 after extra time to Ascot United, after having keeper Lee Pearce sent off in controversial fashion for allegedly handling outside his area, which he denied.  It must have been disappointing to have gone out of the competition in that way but they certainly did the League proud.  Sadly it also means that we won’t see Lee, who played a few matches for Ashford a few seasons ago, in action today, as he will be serving a one match suspension.

Colliers Wood are also still in the Surrey Senior Cup and like ourselves have a home 4th Round tie.  On paper they face a very tough tie against Merstham if they are to reach the semi-final but cup matches often bring out the best in clubs and we could yet have an all-CCL Final which would be unprecedented.

Our own 4th Round match will see us entertaining Westfield, now fixed for Tuesday 17 February, and an opportunity for revenge following the recent league defeat.

Our league form has continued to be patchy although last week’s match in terms of possession etc. hardly merited a 0-3 defeat, individual errors costing us badly.  That’s gone now and we need to put recent results behind us and play as we did earlier in the season.  Windsor and Cove, like ourselves, have suffered from inconsistency recently but both Molesey and Camberley are going great guns so they are the ones to beat.  There is still almost half the season to go in terms of matches played and there is plenty of water to go under the bridge this campaign.

The Football Association has concluded its inspection of our ground today and whilst we are more or less cleared for promotion were that to happen, we will retain our C grade if we carry out the following:  complete the fence repairs (this is also needed for next season), set up a separate 1st Aid Room and put in two extra press seats.  We are relying upon our own ground force to get the fences (all paid for) in and up by 31 March, the deadline date, whilst the other two items are relatively straightforward.  Although we are not looking to end our current groundshare arrangements with Lammas, were they to move out and we were looking for alternative tenants, it would mean that any club from Step 3 (Ryman or Southern Prem) would be able to play here if we have a C grade.

One problem we have suffered from in recent weeks has been the absence of our two main strikers, Dan Fleming and Mark Bitmead.  When you take a total of 42 goals out of the team at a stroke, you are bound to suffer but tomorrow both are fully back, and will hopefully be looking to assuage their frustrations.  We also welcome Sam Baffour, who most recently played for Chelmsford City before sustaining an injury that has kept him out all season.  Having been released he is now raring to go, and a cameo appearance last Saturday suggested he may well become a supporters’ favourite very quickly given his obvious pace and ability to go past defenders.

Colliers Wood have some pacey players themselves not least their top scorer over several seasons, Mario Embalo and we may also be able to welcome back to Short Lane Quaseem Sotonla (spelling might not be correct) who played a number of matches for us last season and is another excellent player.  All in all it should be a great game and don’t forget that the Chelsea v Manchester City clash will be on in the club after the match when everyone is most welcome to stay on and watch it.

Finally, a last reminder that Ben Murray is putting on a Race Night this evening (Friday) as from 7.30 pm.  Come along and have a flutter but please ensure that when you leave the club you do so quietly.

Great news this week!  Liam (Balmer) and his partner Chloe are expecting a baby girl on 28 March (presumably she’s not aware it’s a match day?)  Also brother Luke and his partner are expecting a baby boy on 9 June 2015, which is a fitting date as it will be grandad Keith’s birthday on the same day.

Keith will become a grandfather twice over for the first time!

Congratulations to everyone concerned.

This was Ashford’s heaviest defeat of the season in terms of goals but not in terms of the performance.  On a difficult surface (to say the least) that gave neither side the opportunity to play any form of cultured football, Ashford resorted largely to a long ball game and were on top for long periods in the first half, despite missing key personnel once again.

Badshot Lea though are high on confidence at the moment and try as they might, Ashford were unable to break them down.  Dan Fleming was back in the starting line up and he was at the forefront of any chances carved out by the visitors but he was maybe rusty and twice it was the cars in the car park at most risk of damage as he struggled to find his range.

Just after the half hour mark, the home side scored the important first goal or were rather presented with it.  Mitchal Gough, filling in at centre-half had looked imperious to that point but an attempt to head the ball back to Tyler Tobin in goal fell short and Badshot’s Gavin Muir made no mistake.

Within 15 seconds of the second half starting, came probably the defining moment of the match when Fleming finally hit a screamer of shot that looked a goal all the way but ended up just off target, brushing the woodwork on its way.

It could have been all square and game on but within three minutes Badshot doubled their lead with Gough once again the culprit as another misplaced header found its way to the dangerous Dan Turner and he accepted the gift with alacrity.

Ashford looked stunned having generally played well with no reward but the bottom line was that, unlike the home side, they failed to take what chances they had and a third goal deep in stoppage time, scored by ex-Ashford favourite Jon Palmer only deepened the frustration of the day.

There were though positives to the day for Ashford.  Max Webb, once again, was voted “Ashford Man of the Match” by the visiting supporters whilst debutant Sam Balfour looked lively when he came on.  Gough is not the type of player to allow a mistake or two to affect his performance and he certainly didn’t do that.  Leading scorer Mark Bitmead will be back for next Saturday’s match at home to Colliers Wood United and there is the possibility of two significant new signings before that.

After a poor start to the season, Badshot Lea, despite their recent excellent form are unlikely to challenge at the end of the season being too far behind but they still have to play most of the other top challengers and are certainly capable of taking points from any or all of them if they maintain their current momentum.

There is no midweek 1st Team match this week but Ashford will entertain Colliers Wood next Saturday, as mentioned.  Colliers Wood themselves have an interesting home game against Camberley Town on Wednesday should anyone fancy a sneak peak!

Also this week, Molesey entertain Windsor on Tuesday in what will be a highly intriguing match.

Back to Ashford and don’t forget we have a Race Night at the Club on Friday evening when everyone is very welcome.  Please come and spend a few pennies as January and February are always difficult in income terms and you may go away with a good win.

A look at the Badshot Lea web site shows that Ashford have effectively been cast in the role of underdogs by their opponents tomorrow.  It is not a situation that Ashford have generally found themselves in this season but is possibly justified by recent form which has seen Badshot Lea on a long unbeaten run in recent months, after a terrible start to the season which resulted in a change of manager, whilst Ashford have stuttered in recent weeks.  Nevertheless Ben Murray’s team talk is as good as done, even though it’s probably just a bit of fun.

Ashford’s dip can almost certainly be put down to the loss through injury of both Mark Bitmead and Dan Fleming, with over 40 goals between them.  The good news is that Fleming is back tomorrow and Bitmead should return next week.  There is also the news that Ashford have signed striker Sam Baffour, from Chelmsford City, where he was recently released following a bad injury but he has plenty of Conference South experience behind him and he goes straight into tomorrow’s squad.  There could be some more good news next week.

Badshot Lea have a new ground coming up, which is an exciting development for them but for the moment they are continuing to ground share at Ash United, where Ashford enjoyed many stirring battles in the past.  The address of the ground is Ash United FC, Shawfields Stadium, Youngs Drive, Ash, GU12 6RE.  Kick-off is 3.00 p.m.

Ashford have received a home draw in the Quarter Final of the Surrey Senior Cup.  They will entertain either Westfield or Redhill, who have been trying for some weeks to get their match played.  The next attempt will be on Tuesday at Westfield, kick-off 7.30 p.m.

Ashford have been drawn at home to either Westfield or Redhill in the Quarter Finals of the Surrey Senior Cup.

Here is the full draw:

Ashford Town v Westfield or Redhill

Colliers Wood United v Merstham

Molesey v Corinthian-Casuals or Badshot Lea

Met Police v Tooting & Mitcham United

Ashford have endured a little period when nothing seems to be going right and the sequence continued on Tuesday evening when, despite an even enough match, a defeat by three goals to one at home to Fleet Town saw the Tangerines eliminated from the Aldershot Senior Cup.

Injuries forced Ashford to field something of an experimental line-up and with neither Dan Fleming nor Mark Bitmead fit enough to start, the only recognised Tangerine striker on the pitch was Phil Osuhor.  Skipper Russell Canderton was also missing, having picked up a knock against Westfield whilst young Jake Taylor was given an opportunity in goal.  It was also pleasing to see Ryan Dearden start his first match since breaking his arm.

Against the Step 4 side, Ashford played some good stuff in the opening period and deservedly took the lead when Samad Kazi was upended by the visiting keeper for a penalty on 12 minutes.  It was comfortably despatched by Mitchal Gough.

Fleet though came into the match and Ashford seemed to sit back allowing the visitors to first equalise and then take the lead in a ten minute period before half-time.

It was still anyone’s game and the second half saw Ashford with plenty of possession but insufficient fire power despite Osuhor’s best efforts.  He was though desperately unlucky when a perfectly good goal was chalked off for offside.  The assistant in question, whilst not wishing to be personal, in a nutshell could not run and had attempted throughout to compensate by being ten yards or more in front of the play, as a result of which he was simply not in a position to properly judge offsides.  There were two or three other howlers and surely the Aldershot FA must have fitter officials for matches involving senior clubs.

The match gradually fizzled out and for the third home match in a row, Ashford conceded a very late goal, which made the defeat sound more emphatic than it actually was.

Ashford go to Badshot Lea on Saturday and a match preview will appear tomorrow.  Badshot Lea have already put theirs on their web site which makes interesting reading.

TONIGHT’S MATCH AGAINST FLEET IS ON

Following the pleasure of the win over Leatherhead in the Surrey Senior Cup on Wednesday, Ashford disappointed their supporters on Saturday by losing at home to Westfield by two goals to one, after conceding a stoppage time goal for the second Saturday in a row.

It is an easy excuse to site missing players but Ashford were particularly up against it yesterday with both their main strikers missing, with neither Dan Fleming nor Mark Bitmead having recovered from knocks sustained at Leatherhead. The pair have 42 goals between them this season but their absence left Ashford with only one recognised striker available in Phil Osuhor and he had been missing for some weeks and started on the bench.

On Wednesday in a similar situation, other players had made light of the missing pair but they were unable to repeat their heroics this time against a hard working Westfield side that went ahead on 57 minutes through Phil Moore following a goalless first half when neither keeper had been unduly troubled.

Ashford to their credit pushed hard for an equaliser and thought they had one only for referee Lewis to award a free kick for a foul on the keeper who did not look as if he had any chance of collecting the ball when he came out for a long cross.  The break through finally arrived on 86 minutes and it was started with the pass of the match from Mitchal Gough who swept the ball out to Ryan Dearden who crossed for the lively Samad Kazi to sweep home.  With four minutes to go plus quite a bit of stoppage time, Ashford went hell bent for a winner and with Westfield defending desperately it looked as if might well happen.  Just as in the previous week though, it was the visitors who broke Ashford hearts when Moore notched his second of the match deep in stoppage time.  To be fair it was a well crafted goal and a decent strike.

Two defeats in a row have seen Ashford drop to 4th place in the table and with the likes of Camberley, Molesey and Windsor showing no let up at the moment in their fine form, it will be tough now.  There is though still only a point or two in it and Ashford have still to play those three contenders, albeit away.  Things can change very quickly in football as Cove will confirm, as although they are still top, they also lost yesterday to the resurgent Badshot Lea, whilst a bizarre situation at Molesey saw visitors Frimley Green turn up but allegedly refuse to take the field after failing to muster up eleven players.

Ashford have another break from the League on Tuesday when they will entertain Fleet Town in the 3rd Round (Quarter Final) of the Aldershot Senior Cup at Short Lane, kick-off 7.45 p.m.  Fleet narrowly avoided relegation from the Southern League last season and find themselves four off the bottom again this campaign although the two bottom clubs, Bashley and Bishops Cleeve have only notched up 13 points between them, so the relegation positions look as good as settled.  Fleet are old friends and we look forward to welcoming them back to Short Lane.

 

Following Wednesday’s exciting 3-2 win at Leatherhead in the Surrey Senior Cup, Ashford return to league action on Saturday when they will entertain Woking based rivals Westfield FC.

Westfield have suffered a multitude of postponements in recent weeks both home and away and have not played a competitive match since Saturday 20 December, when they fought out a 1-1 draw away to Hanworth Villa.  It is possible that we could meet up with them again this season as they are also still in the Surrey Senior Cup and have seen a number of attempts to play against Redhill, their 3rd Round opponents, thwarted by the weather.

After an excellent season last time round in which they finished 4th after coming up from Division One, it was anticipated that Westfield would most certainly be up amongst the front runners this season but for whatever reason it has not turned out like that and out opponents find themselves currently down in 18th spot, with five wins and thirteen defeats from their 23 league matches to date.  They looked a good enough side early in the season though when we just managed to win by two goals to nil at their ground.  Despite the scoreline it was a very close match until the final stages.

Tomorrow we have as our special guests, our Under-12 team and many of their parents and we hope they enjoy themselves.  Before that, our very own Tyrone Fernando is celebrating his birthday today and will be laying on some music at the club this evening to celebrate, everyone welcome.

We also wish the final remaining CCL club in the FA Vase, Colliers Wood United, the best of luck on Saturday in their 4th Round tie away to Ascot United

Over the years Ashford have enjoyed plenty of notable cup successes in various competitions and there was another one on Wednesday evening, when a 3-2 victory at Ryman Premier side Leatherhead ensured a place in the quarter finals, the draw for which will be made sometime next week.

On an evil looking evening, weather wise, Leatherhead’s playing surface was a credit to their club and some of the early play was excellent with both teams looking to pass the ball around and keep it on the floor as much as possible, surely the right tactic in the difficult conditions.  Ashford were missing Rob Curtis but both Jack Mulland and Mitchal Gough were back.  Joe Green also started at right back after several weeks absence.

Compared to the determination on show from Enfield Town the previous week in the Charity Cup, Leatherhead did not look to have quite the same degree of persistence and Ashford found themselves able to express themselves far more when on the ball.  Nevertheless Tyler Tobin was the busier keeper in the first half and his smartness, allied by a well drilled defence looked as if it would send the teams in level at half-time.  It was disappointing for the visitors, therefore, to concede four minutes before the break when an excellent save from Tobin rebounded to a forward who would have struggled to miss from close range and he didn’t.

Ashford were then dealt a double blow at half-time with both strikers Mark Bitmead and Dan Fleming leaving the match, hopefully with minor knocks.  That meant that the Tangerines, or rather the Azures, took the field for the second period with no recognised striker, although Max Webb, Jack Beadle and super-sub Samad Kazi pushed up as much as they could.  A second goal from Leatherhead just three minutes in saw the odds on an Ashford win at Bet 365 out to 100-1, and  we know of one lucky punter (not an official or player, we hasten to add) who laid out £20 and thus did rather well come the final reckoning.

On the terraces the feeling after the second goal was that, despite the fact that Ashford had actually played quite well, it would now be a case of keeping the score down more than anything else against their talented and pacey rivals.

The moment that changed the game though arrived just eight minutes later when Webb was bundled over in the box for a penalty.  In the absence of Bitmead, up stepped the confident Mitchal Gough fresh from serving a most undeserved three match ban, and he scored past ex Staines keeper Louis Wells, to halve the arrears. 

With the rain and wind behind them, even though it was swirling around a bit, Ashford suddenly sensed there might be something in the game for them and that became a reality just six minutes later when an uninterrupted run from the excellent Tommy Brunton saw Samad Kazi in and his cool finish gave Wells no chance.

Just two minutes later the comeback was complete as Jack Beadle scored the goal of the match, plucking a high cross out of the air with immaculate control and with no home defenders anywhere near him, he calmly shot past Wells who again had no chance.

That still left some 25 minutes to go and Leatherhead came close on a number of occasions, one block from Jack Mullan preventing a certain goal.  Generally though, their attacks lacked conviction and Ashford could have scored again themselves, with Kazi hitting one narrowly wide and an audacious attempt from Gough, later honoured with the Ashford “man of the match” award, went just over.

Another cheering moment came some six minutes from the end when Ryan Dearden came on after several months out with a broken arm.  Referee Creswick prolonged the agony for four long minutes but the final whistle eventually came, and Ashford were through to the last eight.  A big thank you goes to Leatherhead whose officials, just like Woking’s, were superb after the match and their hospitality was second to none.

Ashford will now face one of:  Tooting & Mitcham, Met Police, Colliers Wood United, Merstham, Westfield or Redhill, Molesey or Epsom & Ewell, or Corinthian-Casuals or Badshot Lea in the quarter final.

Subject to the elements, and following their 3-0 success at Woking in the 2nd Round, Ashford will travel to Ryman Premier side Leatherhead this evening in the 3rd Round of the Surrey Senior Cup, kick-off 7.45 p.m.  Leatherhead currently sit in 14th place in their table, two places behind last week’s opponents Enfield Town, so it will be a tough ask but who’s to say after the Woking match.

Leatherhead appear to be having something of a mixed season, exemplified by their recent results, which include a 1-4 defeat at Dulwich Hamlet, a 4-3 home win against Bognor and, last Saturday, a 1-1 draw at home to Met Police.  Ashford should have both Jack Mullan and Mitchal Gough back in the fold and will hope to reproduce the early season form which has been more spasmodic in recent weeks.  Leatherhead reached this stage with a 2-1 home win over Farnham Town in the previous round.

Looking back we played against Leatherhead regularly in the Ryman League for three seasons from 2001-2002 and lost all six games but the most recent two matches both went Ashford’s way, with a win in the Surrey Senior Cup in November 2004 at Leatherhead when goals from Scott Todd, Paul Johnson and Ryan Lake gave us a 3-0 victory and more recently in the Ryman League Cup in December 2008 when we won 2-0, again at Leatherhead, thanks to strikes from Paul Johnson, again, and Gavin Smith

The address of the ground is Fetcham Grove, Guildford Road, Leatherhead, KT22 9AS and the phone number of the ground is 01372 360151.  If the weather deteriorates over the day it might be worth checking, although if there is time any updates will be put on the web site.  Best bring an umbrella as rain is forecast to set in from around 8.00 p.m!

Ashford threw away the opportunity to go to the top of the table on Saturday, losing 1-3 at home to Epsom & Ewell.

After an excellent start by the home side, the match turned upon a very early decision by the official to send Jack Beadle from the field of play, leaving Ashford with a mountain to climb.  Beadle was the victim of a poor tackle, seemingly unseen by Mr. Donaldson but he had no difficulty in seeing the retaliation and that was that. 

Ashford tried to make the best of it and probably had more of the ball throughout the first period although Tyler Tobin had his goal rattled shortly before the break, with the effort ending up going over the top.  Nevertheless, optimism was still strong at half-time that a positive outcome could be reached from Ashford’s point of view but Epsom’s Kyle Hough finished off a good move on 54 minutes that gave the visitors something to hang on to and, despite their best efforts, and some good football at times, Ashford rarely looked as if they could come back.

As the game went on, changes had to be made to try to push on for a goal and it was inevitable that gaps would appear at the back and with six minutes to go Panayotou appeared to have made it safe for the visitors when he doubled the lead.  There was something of a sting in the tail as Ashford were finally rewarded when Samad Kazi, a constant menace after coming on, made finishing look easy.  We were already into stoppage time though and as Ashford threw caution to the wind, up popped the dangerous Hough to score again and finally ensure an away win.

Reece Yorke, lent to us by Slough Town, had a strong game whilst James Cottee, signed from Chertsey Town, came on later and showed some nice touches.  It is important now to put this match behind us as we go into the second half of the season still in second place, with everything to play for.  On Wednesday we should have both Jack Mullan and Mitchal Gough back from holiday and suspension respectively as we travel to Leatherhead in the Surrey Senior Cup, whilst next Saturday we have the opportunity to make amends for Saturday’s performance.  More of this week’s matches, weather permitting, later.

Following the dual registrations of both Scott Harris and Billy Jeffreys, Ashford have signed Slough defender Reece Yorke on a similar basis and once again we are indebted to Slough for allowing this accomplished defender to wear the tangerine.  Reece is likely to go straight into the starting line-up for tomorrow’s match against Epsom & Ewell, kick-off 3.00 pm at Short Lane.

Epsom looked a decent outfit even though we managed to win at their ground earlier in the season and it is a bit of a surprise to only see them below the half-way mark in the table when they were certainly regarded as one of the teams to be in the mix at the end of the season.  They may still be, of course, with half the season to go.

Thanks to their excellent web site, we know that they have had some very poor luck at times this season, not helped by a recent rash of sending-offs, with suspensions obviously having an effect.  We had hoped they might take points from Windsor last Saturday but they ended up on the wrong end of a 0-5 defeat, although four of those goals came late on when a ten man Epsom obviously tired, but that does not mean they will not be very difficult opponents on Saturday.

Meetings between the clubs have been spasmodic but we made a little bit of history back on Sunday 17 October 1993 when we met in an FA Vase replay on a Sunday, with both teams having fulfilled matches the previous day.  Quite what the circumstances were for that to happen are obscured in the passing of time but we did manage to win that one by three goals to one after extra time, our goals coming from Keith Hoad (2) and Micky Scott.

Another notable occasion for us was in March 2009 when we played Epsom in the Semi-Final of the Surrey Senior Cup.  Goals from Billy Jeffreys, Scott Harris, Warren Harris and Ricky Wellard gave us a 4-1 victory and the right to play Woking in the Final at Met Police and Ashford supporters will be aware of the result of that one.

To redress the balance, Epsom beat us 1-0 here in Division 3 of the Ryman League in March 2001 and then, with both teams promoted to Division One of the League two seasons later, they beat us again by three goals to nil at their then ground, Banstead, in October 2002.

Tomorrow’s match ball is being sponsored by Heathrow Personnel, to whom we send our thanks for their ongoing generosity.  We would be nowhere without the kindness of our various sponsors over the season.  

Ashford entertained Enfield Town in the Quarter Final of the Middlesex Charity Cup on Tuesday evening but after an even first half, eventually lost by three goals to one, Enfield’s third goal coming in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

The visitors showed a greater intensity than might have been expected in a supplementary cup competition, fielding a full 1st Team, as did Ashford.  There was a certain class about their play, especially in the second period when they were mostly on top, but despite some extremely pacey players, it was perhaps also noticeable that they rarely looked as if they would finish off the chances that came their way, as Ashford defended stoutly.

It took just seven minutes for Enfield to go ahead in the first half, a fierce effort eluding the clutches of Tyler Tobin who, at his absolute best might well have tipped it over the bar, although the velocity of the shot was such that it would be hard to blame Ashford’s young keeper, who would go on to redeem himself later in the match.

Ashford were more than a match for their talented rivals at this stage though and it was no great surprise when Jack Beadle equalised on 23 minutes, intercepting a terrible pass across the visitors’ penalty area and finishing with some aplomb.

Despite the fact that this will sound like sour grapes, referee Gill then effectively put his mark on the match with two incredible errors.  Firstly Beadle was punished with a free kick against him when he clearly played the ball  and Enfield went straight down the field, the move culminating in Tobin conceding a penalty.  No card was issued and more importantly no goal was scored as Tobin made a superb stop to keep the sides level.

Some of Mr. Gill’s decisions were now being openly questioned and there is no doubt that one or two were difficult to understand but the Enfield goal that turned the match in their favour on 37 minutes had Ashford livid in their protests.  The energetic Max Webb was clearly fouled on the edge of the visiting penalty area but nothing was forthcoming from the official, and once again Enfield broke with pace.  The ball was played forward and two attackers looked offside.  There was no flag from the assistant in question who looked as if he may have been caught out with the pace of the move and Ashford felt a sense of injustice, to say the least.

With only a one goal deficit, Ashford supporters fully expected their side to rally to the cause in the second period but whilst there was no lack of effort nor determination, the undeniable  fact was that Enfield took the match over and whilst they were profligate in front of goal, as stated, they rarely looked as if they would surrender the lead, just about Ashford’s only effort of note being a snap shot from Dan Fleming which flew over the bar.

The final goal in stoppage time for the visitors merely confirmed their superiority and they now go into a semi-final against Cockfosters FC who narrowly beat Staines Lammas by two goals to one.

For Ashford supporters it was great to see Billy Jeffreys back in a tangerine shirt, kindly  loaned to us on a dual registration by Slough whilst Mitchal Gough serves out his suspension for being sent off against Cove.  Thanks to the person who filmed that incident, we thought we had concrete evidence that Mitchal was wrongly sent off and the case was the first one relating to video evidence ever received by Middlesex FA.  Just about every person who saw the video was of the view that it showed Mitchal’s innocence except the County Commission who considered it, one of whom didn’t even want to watch it originally as he couldn’t download it to his computer.  Thanks to the staff at the County, arrangements were made for him to view it but it made no difference.

Ashford now look forward to the far more important visit of Epsom & Ewell on Saturday, and there will be more on that tomorrow.

Following Saturday’s postponed match away to Farnham Town, which has been re-arranged for Tuesday 24 February, Ashford’s first match of the new year will now be this Tuesday (6 Jan) at home to Enfield Town in the 2nd Round (Quarter Final) of the Middlesex Charity Cup.  The winners will be at home to either Cockfosters or Staines Lammas in the Semi-Final, with that match also scheduled for this Tuesday.

Enfield Town currently play their football two levels above Ashford, in the Ryman League Premier Division, in which they currently sit in exactly mid-table in 12th place having won 11, drawn 3 and lost 12 of their league matches to date.  A glance at their web site suggests though that our visitors have experienced a loss of form in recent weeks, having won just one of their last seven matches, that being a 1-0 home win against Bury Town.  Like us, they were also off on Saturday but before that they lost by a solitary goal against Wingate & Finchley and sustained a heavy defeat at Billericay Town by five goals to nil.

We have occasionally met before in either the Senior or Charity Cup, including last season when we managed to win at Enfield in the Senior Cup, goals from Adam Turner, Cyril Ocansey and Scott Weight seeing us through to a 3-1 victory.  The very first meeting between the clubs was in May 2002 when we lost by 3 goals to 2 in the semi-final of the Charity Cup.  There have only ever been four meetings between the two clubs, all in the cups mentioned.

The match has to be settled at the first attempt but for whatever reason there is no extra time if the scores are level after 90 minutes.  Instead we go straight to penalties.

We, of course, reached this stage with a hard fought win at home to Southall, who were surprisingly good on the night, only tiring towards the end, whilst our visitors defeated North Greenford United by a solitary goal back in October when Enfield were in the midst of a nine match unbeaten run in all competitions.

There is some player news to report with Conor Moody having moved to Spelthorne Sports last week.  Conor was frustrated at not playing regularly and a parting of the ways became inevitable, for the time being at least.  Conor made a total of 59 1st Team appearances, scoring 8 goals in his two spells with the Club.