Following a pitch inspection, this afternoon's match at home to Horley Town is ON.  Only prolonged rainfall between now and kick-off would change that.  The pitch looks excellent although doubtless it will cut up during the game as it is still quite wet.  Superb effort by the groundsmen.

 

Groundsman Steve Honey has reported that the pitch is looking better this morning and is playable in his view as at 9.00 a.m.  However, an inspection has been arranged for 11.00 a.m. as a precaution as anything more than a shower is likely to result in a postponement.

If you want to know whether or not the match is on, please phone the Club on 01784 245908 after 11.15 am

Whilst writing, the Club's congratulations go to Liam and Chloe, whose baby was born a little earlier than expected yesterday at St. Peters.  No doubt grandad Balmer will fill us in with more details in due course.

Ashford hope to end February on a bright spell when they entertain Horley Town on Saturday at Short Lane.  The two most recent league matches have seen Ashford score nine goals and take maximum points against Hartley Wintney and Colliers Wood United respectively but Horley, whilst not in the upper reaches of the table, have pulled off some good results at times this season and they will certainly not be taken lightly.

The enforced rest through waterlogged pitches has been good in some ways, allowing time for some  minor knocks to clear up and Ashford will also be able to welcome back  Alex Fisher, fresh from playing for Middlesex County FA last week up in Lancashire and helping them to secure a place in the FA County Youth Cup Final, which is due to be played on Saturday 11 April.  We will doubtless be without Alex’s services once again, although we can hardly begrudge him the opportunity, especially as it is many years since Middlesex reached the Final.

Horley are currently in 18th place in the table having won six but lost fifteen of their league matches to date.  Like us, the weather has seen them idle for a fortnight but prior to that they drew three goals apiece at Guildford City, having previously lost heavily at Spelthorne Sports by four goals to nil.

Kick-off tomorrow is at 3.00 pm as usual.  The pitch took a hammering in midweek with both the Lammas match on Tuesday evening and the Ryman Youth game against Aldershot going ahead on Wednesday butSteve and Liam will have done their best to get it playable today, although it may not be quite as good as it has been for much of the season.

Don’t forget to buy your tickets for the Meat Draw on Sunday, kindly sponsored this week by Nick Bailey.  They are available over the bar at just £1 each and we will put your prize in the freezer if you are not in the Club around 3.00 p.m. when the draw will be made.   It is a huge day on Sunday also in terms of televised football.  We will be showing the Liverpool v Manchester City match, kicking off at midday, followed by Arsenal v Everton, at 2.05 pm and after that, the League Cup Final between Tottenham and Chelsea.  All three games will be shown in the clubhouse, and as an added incentive, the winner of the first piece of meat drawn out, will also receive a bottle of wine with the Club’s compliments but only if you are there at the time of the draw.

We have been advised by Farnham Town that their pitch is waterlogged and therefore tonight's match is OFF.

Ashford though will be showing the Manchester City v Barcelona match on the television if you still fancy getting out.

Also, the Lammas match at home to Sheerwater is ON.  groundsman Steve Honey hasn't been able to do much to the pitch as it is too wet but it is playable.  Kick-off is 7.45 pm

 

 

Weather permitting, Ashford will travel to Farnham Town on Tuesday evening, for their first visit since 12 October 1999, when the result was a rather dull nil-nil draw.

Farnham’s form has generally been good in recent times, if a little topsy-turvy, amply illustrated by their last two results, namely a 0-1 home defeat against Raynes Park Vale, followed by a 5-1 victory away at Spelthorne.  They are currently in 9th position in the table with 12 wins and 11 defeats in their 28 league matches to date.  They are also still in the Premier Cup, in which they will entertain Cove next week in the Quarter Final.

The address of the ground is the Memorial Ground, West Street, Farnham, GU9 7DY.  Coming along the A31, it is best to stay on that road until you get to the roundabout where you turn rght onto West Street (A325).  Your sat nav may want to take you off earlier but then you will end up going through the town.  Having turned right into West Street, proceed for about half a mile and the ground is on the right.  The club and very small car park are approached by a very tight right hand turn, past the Jolly Sailor,  but it is probably easier to turn right at the first roundabout once you come down West Street and park in the Memorial Hall car park on the other side of the ground.

Farnham is probably unique in that the actual dressing rooms are situated outside the ground in the Memorial Hall but you have to walk right across or around the pitch to get to the clubhouse.  Indeed it is quite an unusual ground and well worth a visit.

Ashford will be close to full strength and hopefully it will be an exciting match.

We are looking for Ball and/or Match Day Sponsors for our final five home matches, including this coming Saturday’s at home to Horley Town.  If anyone can help (rates negotiable) please come forward.

Please note that this afternoon's match away to Mole Valley SCR has been postponed as the pitch is waterlogged.

The clubhouse at Ashford is open all afternoon though and as far as the writer is aware Lammas are at home to Cobham, kick-off 3.00 p.m.  Why not come down and help Lammas get a decent gate and enjoy a beer or two as well.

 

 

Goals from Keji Adenive and Jamie Walters helped Ashford’s Under-18’s to a 2-1 victory away at top of the table Staines Town on Thursday evening in the Ryman Youth League

 

Fielding a squad consisting of six first year players plus four Under-16’s, which bodes well for the next two seasons, Ashford scored their two goals in the opening 20 minutes and could have scored more.  Staines though pulled one back some 10 minutes into the second period, following which Ashford had to do plenty of defending, although they still had chances of their own.  It was an excellent win though and well done to Sean Caldwell and his management staff.

 

Just to show what a tough league it is in which they play, Ashford’s next match is at home to Aldershot Town U18 next Wednesday, kick-off 7.45 p.m.  It would be good if a few people could come along and support this new look team.

 

On to the senior side and firstly is the news that Ashford have been drawn away to Merstham, who beat Colliers Wood 2-0 on Wednesday evening, in the semi-final of the Surrey Senior Cup on a date to be advised.  The other tie will see Badshot Lea or Molesey entertaining Met Police.  We actually played at Merstham in last season’s competition when we lost 1-3, our goal being a penalty scored by Cyril Ocansey, after Scott Weight had been sent off for a very bad tackle.  Merstham are an excellent side pushing strongly this season for promotion to Step 3 but it will be a very different Ashford side that takes the field this season.

 

Back to this week and on Saturday Ashford make the short trip (they’re all short this season!) to Cobham to meet Mole Valley SCR.   Two goals from Mark Bitmead (one a pen) and one from Jack Mullan enabled Ashford to win the home game by three goals to one  but Mole Valley are a long way from being the worst side in the CCL and on their own patch, or rather Cobham’s, they will undoubtedly provide stiff opposition.  The address of the ground is the Leg of Mutton Field, Downside Bridge Road, Cobham, KT11 1AA.  There is very limited parking at the ground and the pathway leading to it is heavily rutted as you get closer to the ground, so unless you arrive early, it may be sensible to park halfway along the approach road and walk the last 200 yards or so.  Cobham’s pitch used to be such that it was very rare for a match to be postponed there but that has not been the case for some seasons now so it might be worth checking before travel, given the recent rainfall.  The ground phone number is 01932 866386.

 

Ashford have to do without the services of young Alex Fisher on Saturday as he has been selected to play for Middlesex County U18’s in their FA County Youth Cup semi-final match away to Lancashire FC, to be played at their County ground in Leyland near Manchester, kicking off at 1.00 p.m.  We obviously wish Alex and the County the best of luck but why these sort of matches have to be played on a Saturday, depriving senior clubs of their players, when they could surely be played on a Sunday, who knows.

 

On to matters more positive and discussions went well yesterday evening as a result of which it looks very promising that we will once again be fielding a senior Ladies’ side next season.  We have made it clear that we do not want to be let down this time in terms of player availability and that seems unlikely with what we have been told.  The potential new side though need to appoint a Ladies’ Secretary and it may be that someone already with the Club would be interested in this doubtless rewarding position.  If so, please make contact.

 

 

Ashford made it into the semi-final of the Surrey Senior Cup on Tuesday evening for the first time since the 2008-2009 season, when they went on to win it.  The final scoreline showed a 3-1 victory in favour of the Tangerines but due credit must be given to a hard working and efficient Westfield side who totally belied their 17th position in the League table.

The visitors were on top for much of the first half and a close range goal from John Mepham had given them a deserved lead.  Some excellent defensive work by Mitchal Gough and one or two smart saves from keeper Tobin prevented the visitors from going further ahead and it is a fair bet that the home dressing room walls came close to melting at half-time.

If they did, it seemed to do the trick with Ashford far more prominent at the start of the second period.  Westfield though defended competently and the game became even again some 20 minutes in.  Both teams produced some excellent football at times with Tobin preventing a certain goal on one occasion.  Ashford’s usual cutting edge was being nullified and with just five minutes left on the clock, supporters were more or less convinced that, after beating both Woking and Leatherhead in earlier rounds, Ashford were on their way out.

Then it all happened:  in the 85th minute it was Samad Kazi, Ashford “man of the match” who scored from close range to level up the tie and just a minute later Dan Fleming hit an unstoppable effort to put Ashford ahead.  Westfield had no time to recover and in the 5th minute of stoppage time it was the lively Kazi who ensured Ashford’s passage and also became the fourth player this season to go into double figures in terms of goal scoring for this season.

The other club definitely through to the semi-final is Metropolitan Police, whilst Colliers Wood meet Merstham this evening.  The final place will be between Molesey and Badshot Lea, who rather hammered Corinthian-Casuals in a delayed 3rd Round tie last night by four goals to one.  It is not known yet when the draw will take place.

The Under-18’s are also in action this week being due to travel to Wheatsheaf Lane on Thursday evening, to play Staines in a Ryman Youth League match, after the game had been postponed on Monday evening.

The 1st Team now turn their attention back to the League and will travel to Cobham FC on Saturday to play Mole Valley SCR, kick off 3.00 p.m.   Mole Valley found themselves on the end of a disastrous result last night, losing 0-6 to neighbours Bedfont Sports but more on Saturday’s match later in the week.

Ashford are to re-launch their weekly Meat Draw, which will be drawn each week in the Clubhouse on Sundays around 3.00 p.m.  The first draw will be on Sunday 1 March and tickets will be available very shortly

Ashford’s match away to Molesey was postponed shortly before kick-off on Saturday following the arrival of the match referee Jonathan Blower.  The pitch was certainly very wet and although Molesey had followed the correct procedure it was a little bit of a surprise that an earlier inspection by local referee Darren Sheldrake had not come to the same conclusion although there are always differing opinions concerning the fitness or otherwise of pitches.The game will now be played on a midweek evening later in the season.  The postponement was not too unwelcome for Ashford with one or two players suffering knocks, now able to enjoy a further few days rest.

Attention now turns to Tuesday evening when Westfield are the visitors to Short Lane in the Quarter Final of the Surrey Senior Cup.  Westfield have been hampered in recent weeks with pitch problems of their own but they won at Ryman League Redhill in the previous round of the competition and last Saturday week they won at Windsor, 2-1, in the League, so they have been in generally good form when they have been able to play, although they did lose narrowly to Cove (2-3) after extra time in the League Cup last Tuesday.   Ashford will also be keenly aware that Westfield took all three points away from Short Lane quite recently, which balanced up Ashford’s win at Westfield at the start of the season.

Recent signing Bobby Dormer is ineligible and suspended but other than that, apart from one or two long-term injuries, Ashford should just about be at full strength and it could be a great game, which will go to extra time and penalties if required.  Kick-off is 7.45 p.m.

In the meantime, and apologies for the delay, we have a report from the Sunday side, which is doing really well this season under manager Gary Tomany.  Last week they beat Wayfarers by 2 goals to 1 and here is a brief report:

Ashford Town 2 Wayfarers 1
08.02.15

On a bright sunny Sunday morning, manager Gary Tomany led his Ashford Town Sunday team into action against a Wayfarers team that had won their last 3 games. Ashford started strongly moving the ball around nicely. There positive play was rewarded in the 11minute, when a quick taken corner found Bryan Kerr unmarked 6yards out and he smashed to ball into the middle of the goal. Ashford maintained the high tempo throughout the 1st half and would have wrapped up all 3 points, but for a Wayfarers goalkeeper on top form pulling off a number of impressive saves. Not to be outdone at the other end, Wayfarers looked to equalise when a cross turned shot seem to be looping over Keith smith in goal but somehow Smith shuffled back outstretched his left hand and tipped it over the bar.

Ashford went looking to make the game safe in the second half with the next goal, but were repeatedly kept at bay by the keeper.  Wayfarers improved after the break themselves and equalised with a fine finish to the bottom right corner. Their joy was short lived though as Ashford responded straight away. A free kick by Callum Makay, was pushed onto the post only for Ashford's centre back David Jones to drill the ball home for a deserved winner as the game ended 2-1.

This win kept Ashford 4 points clear at the top and in their next game this Sunday (today 15 Feb) they face a daunting away trip to AFC Feltham, whose only loss this season was 1-0 to Ashford back in November.

 

Ashford make the short trip to Molesey on Saturday.

Whilst the outcome will not settle anything, with plenty of matches still to be played, it is obviously an important fixture, with Molesey effectively having nudged ahead of Ashford in the battle for the Championship.  Ashford still retain a five point advantage but Molesey have four matches in hand.  When the two sides met at Short Lane in early December, Molesey won by the only goal of the game but in truth they deserved to win by more on that occasion, dominating much of the match, with Ashford strangely out of sorts.

Ashford have hit nine goals in their last two league matches and seem to have recovered their best form but it will be tough against an excellent Molesey side who suffered a rare blip last Saturday, losing at a much improved Farnham Town side by 4 goals to 3, their first defeat for some time.  Both clubs were due to have been in action in midweek, which Ashford managed but could only draw at CB Hounslow in the S. Comb. Cup, eventually losing on penalties.  All credit to CB whose harrying and willingness to run throughout the game was frankly impressive, as indeed were their penalties, not one giving Tyler Tobin any chance.  That said, one suspects that it will be a more committed Ashford that takes the field tomorrow.

Sadly in Molesey’s tie at Hanworth Villa, the match had to be abandoned in the very first minute of the game when George Windsor, a Molesey player suffered a broken leg and a dislocated ankle, and he could not be moved until an ambulance arrived.  It goes without saying that we wish him a full recovery as soon as possible.

The address of the ground for tomorrow is 412 Walton Road, West Molesey, KT8 2JG and kick-off is 3.00 p.m.   There is parking at the ground but it is a little restricted, so get there early if you wish to get a space.

Ben Murray made a number of changes for Tuesday evening’s Southern Combination Cup match away to CB Hounslow but after 120 minutes of football it was the home side who went  through on penalties after a 1-1 draw, both goals coming in extra time and both being penalties.

The hosts attacked the match with considerable gusto and probably deserved to win on that basis alone as they ran and harried all night long on a bobbly and drying surface that defied anyone to play much football.  Neither side though was able to break the deadlock after 90 minutes but Ashford finally went ahead in extra time from the spot, converted by sub Mark Bitmead.  That probably should have been that but some minutes later CB were also awarded a penalty, again for handball.  The culprit was Elliott Jones who claimed he had been shoved as he went up to head a ball that was actually drifting out for a corner.  His protests were to no avail though and CB duly equalised.

And so to penalties to decide the match.  CB took the first and after nine generally unstoppable penalties were in the lead by 5 goals to 4.  Up stepped Tom Brunton who had stood out on the pitch as one of the few players to master the surface but a weak effort gave the home side the victory and a semi-final tie away to Walton Casuals or Chipstead.  Ashford scorers were, in order, Max Webb, Jack Beadle, Mark Bitmead and Rob Curtis.  Despite his miss, Brunton was named as “Ashford Man of the Match”.

Ashford, of course, have two rather bigger matches in their sights when they travel to Molesey in the League on Saturday and then entertain Westfield next Tuesday in the quarter-final of the Surrey Senior Cup.  Molesey were also due to be in action last night in the S. Comb. Cup but a serious injury to a Molesey player very early in the game caused an abandonment and we send our best wishes to the player concerned for a speedy recovery.  We also wish CB well in this competition.

This evening (Wednesday) the Under-18’s are at home to Frimley Green U18 in the Ryman Youth League, kick-off 7.45 p.m. and will hope to build on their fighting 3-3 draw with Northwood last week.  Also, the Chelsea v Everton match will be showing live on BT Sport in the Clubhouse.

 

Ashford seem to be right back on form and certainly gave an excellent performance on Saturday, beating 7th placed Hartley Wintney by 5 goals to 1 on a day when the margin of victory could have been higher.

Two goals in the opening ten minutes for the Tangerines gave them a great start.  The first saw Rob Curtis sweeping the ball out to Samad Kazi on the left flank and his pace as he cut inside, saw him leave two defenders behind, before he pulled the ball back for ace marksman Mark Bitmead to score from close range.

Two minutes later Max Webb won a tough tackle in midfield and found Bitmead, this time on the right flank and his superbly angled cross found the speedy Kazi running in to score at the far post.

The visitors understandably looked a little shell shocked at this stage and Ashford, playing some lovely football at times, created plenty of further chances, none of which were taken.  As the match went on Hartley steadied themselves and showed that they were capable of some good football themselves but Tyler Tobin, in goal, was rarely threatened.

There was no further scoring before the break but Ashford were jolted out of any complacency within two minutes of the resumption.  Hartley’s main striker, Ross Cook, made no mistake with a second effort following a good save from Tobin.  It was a sloppy moment for the Ashford defence and one wondered if the failure to finish more of the chances that came their way in the first half might come back to haunt them.

Those fears were allayed just seven minutes later when Dan Fleming got himself in on the act, scoring Ashford’s third goal and then, just three minutes later it was Fleming again who finished off what may well be a candidate for goal of the season with numerous players involved in a flowing movement, with Tommy Brunton, later awarded an extremely tight “Ashford Man of the Match Award” prominent.

Soon after, any hopes that the visitors might have had of getting back in the game were extinguished when Cook found himself sent off for an alleged headbut after Alex Fisher had been upended on the edge of his own area.  Jack Mullan was cautioned for his part in the aftermath. Sadly, Cook rather lost his head and then reacted to some fairly innocuous comments, vaulting the fence to get at a group of spectators.  Fortunately, his own goalkeeper and other colleagues were sensible enough to block him off and he was eventually persuaded to leave the pitch.  Doubtless he will be subject to an additional misconduct charge in addition to the ban he will receive for the dismissal but it should be said that the match overall was played in a generally excellent spirit and that this was very much an isolated incident.

Ashford dominated possession for the final 20 minutes or so, although the visitors never stopped trying to play football and the icing on the cake was a fifth goal from Rob Curtis who smashed home from the edge of the penalty area.  Sam Baffour came on and with both him and Kazi on the field, Ashford currently have some incredible pace down the flanks.

The attendance was down yesterday which was surprising after last week’s win against Colliers Wood but still the second highest in the Division.  Camberley are continuing to look unbeatable and won again yesterday at Epsom & Ewell by four goals to two.  They led 3-0 at half-time but a fight back by the home side saw them claw the scoreline back to 2-3, before conceding a further goal at the death.

Cove also won but both Molesey and Windsor were surprisingly beaten which only goes to show that on their day any team in the League can beat anyone else.  That statement leads naturally to Ashford’s midweek match on Tuesday away to CB Hounslow in the Quarter Final of the Southern Combination Cup, to be played at Bedfont & Feltham FC.  CB are enjoying a rich vein of form at the moment in Division One and will present tough opposition, compared perhaps to previous seasons.  Although there may be a change or two, Ashford Ben Murray has his sights on this competition and will field a strong team.  Kick-off is 7.45 p.m.

Ashford welcome Hartley Wintney FC to Short Lane on Saturday for their first visit since February 2000. 

Ashford would happily settle for the result that day when the Tangerines gained a 5-2 win, courtesy of goals from Andy Sherwood, Lee Holman, Des Vertannes (pen), Darren Smith and Anthony Eggington but it is likely to be somewhat tougher tomorrow with Hartley enjoying another good season and arriving in 7th place in the table.  Apart from a 1-4 reverse at Camberley in the Aldershot Senior Cup, they have been in good form with two wins out of three in their recent matches. The wins coming against Frimley (3-1), Horley (3-2) with a 1-1 draw at Raynes Park Vale sandwiched in between.

Back at Hartley earlier in the season, both clubs played out a rare 0-0 draw on a day when the heavens opened and when probably the match should have been postponed, or at least abandoned, as the conditions became farcical in the closing stages.

Ashford have no new injury problems for tomorrow and should be close to full strength, although the postponement of Tuesday’s match at CB Hounslow means that Jack Beadle still has one match to go to complete his suspension.  The match at CB has been re-arranged for next Tuesday, 10 February.

Finally the Club extends its best wishes to Conor Moody, who sadly broke his leg in two places during Spelthorne's match against Horley Town on Tuesday evening.  He underwent an operation on Wednesday and we will all hope he is back in action sooner rather than later.

Ashford welcome Hartley Wintney FC to Short Lane on Saturday for their first visit since February 2000. 

Ashford would happily settle for the result that day when the Tangerines gained a 5-2 win, courtesy of goals from Andy Sherwood, Lee Holman, Des Vertannes (pen), Darren Smith and Anthony Eggington but it is likely to be somewhat tougher tomorrow with Hartley enjoying another good season and arriving in 7th place in the table.  Apart from a 1-4 reverse at Camberley in the Aldershot Senior Cup, they have been in good form with two wins out of three in their recent matches. The wins coming against Frimley (3-1), Horley (3-2) with a 1-1 draw at Raynes Park Vale sandwiched in between.

Back at Hartley earlier in the season, both clubs played out a rare 0-0 draw on a day when the heavens opened and when probably the match should have been postponed, or at least abandoned, as the conditions became farcical in the closing stages.

Ashford have no new injury problems for tomorrow and should be close to full strength, although the postponement of Tuesday’s match at CB Hounslow means that Jack Beadle still has one match to go to complete his suspension.  The match at CB has been re-arranged for next Tuesday, 10 February

Ashford’s Under-18 side has had something of a torrid time this season in the highly competitive Ryman Youth League but a battling performance on Wednesday evening saw them drawing three apiece with Northwood U18.  Following a change of emphasis to an extent, no less than 7 of the 14 man squad for last night’s match are regular members of the very successful Sunday Under-16 side and the decision to involve them bodes well for the future.

Last night, our first goal was scored by Gabriel Bediako, a screamer we understand and definitely the “goal of the game”.  The second came from Keji Adeniyi, who had only been on the pitch for two minutes, and he had a hand in the third when he was fouled for a penalty, struck home by Mason Roseboom.

Ashford had been a goal down but equalised before the break.  Northwood then scored twice early in the second period to give them a two goal cushion but Ashford came back with two goals of their own.  Either side could have won the match with chances at both ends but a draw was a fair result.

The Under-18’s are next in action on Wednesday 11 February when they will entertain Frimley Green U18, kick-off 7.45 p.m.

The 1st Team take on Hartley Wintney on Saturday at Short Lane and there will be a preview of that match on line tomorrow at some stage.

The Under-18 side are due to be at home this evening (Wednesday) against Northwood FC in the Ryman Youth League, kick-off 7.45 p.m.

In addition the FA Cup replay between Liverpool and Bolton will be on in the clubhouse.

After seeing a comment on the CCL forum, it should be made clear that the Lammas home match due last night was only postponed following a referee’s inspection, as he felt that the pitch was frozen in places.  That particular match has been re-arranged for Tuesday  3 March, which is the first date that both sides, especially Chessington, are available.

This is to confirm that this evening’s match between Staines Lammas and Chessington & Hook United has also been postponed.

However, if you wish to watch the FA Cup Replay between Cambridge United and Manchester United, which is only being shown on BT, that will be on at the club, kick-off 7.45 p.m.

In the meantime our adult Sunday team are continuing to do well in their first season in the West Middlesex Sunday League.  Manager Gary Tomany has sent a report from the two previous matches:

Hampton Rovers - 3  Ashford Town  - 2

On the 18th January Ashford Town travelled  for a difficult away trip to Hampton Rovers.   Ashford started the brighter ,  playing good  football but just lacking the final ball inside the box.  Nevertheless, after half an  hour Ashford went in front from a corner when a David Jones flick found Grant Kelly who controlled  the ball with his first touch and  finished with his second.

Into the second half and Hampton stepped up a gear, as the game became more  open with chances  at either end. A wayward pass in the middle of the park and a fast break meant Hampton equalized with a fine finish to the bottom corner. Two minutes later and Ashford fell behind, this time from a close range effort.  With the game becoming stretched Ashford went looking  for the 2nd goal, whilst leaving themselves open to conceding a 3rd.

Neat build up play and a good run by Jordan Smithers led to a penalty.  Smithers stepped up to smash the ball down the centre.  With the game drawing to a close, Ashford thoug conceded a third goal.  A wayward leader in the box landed  straight at the centre forward’s feet  who duly obliged and left Ashford Town ruing their opportunities.

Isleworth Working Mens  Club – 3  Ashford Town - 5

On Sunday 2nd February Ashford looked to get back to winning ways.  On a windy morning Ashford dominated the 1st half leading 2-0 at half time with  two goals from the League,s top scorer Levi Jefford. Instead of pushing on and killing the game Ashford started the 2nd half slowly, allowing Isleworth to hit back with 2 goals of their own.   The 2nd goal was a 30yard free kick in to the top corner.

Isleworth sensed a shock victory but Ashford stepped up again and the lead was restored with a dubious penalty award by the ref and finished by Cullum MacKay.  Again Isleworth hit back this time with a powerful header to the bottom corner, from a corner.   3-3 and 15mins to go. Isleworth broke down the right. Lee Evans conceded a free kick on the edge of the box, and earned himself a booking. Tom Brooks in goal saved well pushing the ball over the bar. This time Ashford dealt with the corner, breaking fast in numbers and Levi Jefford collected his hatrick, with a cool finish from 10yards. Ashford sealed the game with a 5th goal from Keiran Moore.  With this win and the team in 2nd non active Ashford moved four points clear at the top.

Next up is a home game this Sunday vs Wayfarers.

 

This evening's match away to CB Hounslow has been postponed.

We have been advised that the pitch is both snowbound and frozen.  With the temperature likely to be below freezing again tonight, there is little prospect of improvement.
 
The game has been re-arranged for next Tuesday 10 Feb.

Ashford secured three valuable points on Saturday, beating a resilient Colliers Wood United side by four goals to one.

With Jack Beadle (suspended) and skipper Russell Canderton (injured) missing, the side had something of a new look to it with full back Bobby Dormer, signed from Camberley Town, starting at right back whilst up front Mark Bitmead and Dan Fleming were both fully recovered from injury and able to resume their fruitful partnership.  Mitchal Gough partnered Jack Mullan in central defence, whilst recent signing Sam Balfour, who would have an explosive impact later in the match, started on the bench.

Ashford had some good early chances to score but failed to do so and paid an early price when the visitors went ahead from the spot on 21 minutes, when Mario Embalo made no mistake.  It was Dormer who gave away the penalty as he tried to make a last ditch tackle and he was cautioned for his trouble although the excellent video of the match on the Fans Focus suggests that he actually got something on the ball.  To be fair, it did not look like that as it happened and nobody argued about the award.  The main feeling from the Ashford point of view was relief that Dormer was not dismissed as it must have been a close call.

Was it going to be another of those days when Ashford came to rue missed chances?  Fortunately for the men in tangerine, it was not.  The equaliser arrived just six minutes later, again from the spot, when Dan Fleming was bundled over in the box.  Again it was not totally clear cut and whilst the defender could himself have been red carded, the sensible decision was a yellow.  Mitchal Gough made no mistake.

The scores remained level to half-time but Ashford had the ball in the net shortly after the break only to be ruled out for what must have been the tightest of offside decisions.  It did not take too long though before Ashford did take the lead, when Alex Fisher swung in a dangerous free kick.  It was only partially cleared and Max Webb smacked home the rebound from the edge of the penalty area.

The killer goal that gave Ashford a two goal cushion arrived just two minutes later when Bitmead, wide on the right, found Fleming who held it well before stroking it into Bitmead’s path for him to hammer home. 

Colliers Wood still looked good when going forward and when Dormer found himself dismissed for a second yellow, once again supporters’ nerves were a little frayed.  With the combative Elliott Jones now on in midfield and sub Sam Baffour starting to make his pace and presence felt down the right flank, it turned out there was no need to worry as a determined Ashford rearguard were never in serious danger and it was Baffour, who may be even faster than Samad Kazi, which is saying something, who ensured victory close to the end when he finished off a move involving Fisher and Bitmead, the latter somehow keeping the ball in play on the goal line before sending in a low cross.

4-1 may have been a little hard on the visitors who clearly have goals in them but they did not look so strong at the back at times and Ashford, unlike one or two previous matches, took their chances when they came and could have had more.  The Wood hit the bar on one occasion but Ashford were generally competent at the back yesterday.  Max Webb once again was voted the Supporters’ “Ashford Man of the Match” but Mitchal Gough, supreme at the back with Mullan, must have run him close.

On Tuesday evening, Ashford make the short trip to Bedfont & Feltham FC, to play their tenants CB Hounslow United in the 3rd Round (Quarter Final) of the Southern Combination Cup, with the winners drawn away to either Bedfont & Feltham, Walton Casuals or Chipstead in the semi-final.  Kick-off is 7.45 p.m. and the address of the ground in case anyone doesn’t know it is The Orchard, Hatton Road, Bedfont, TW14 9QT.  CB Hounslow are up to 7th place in CCL Division One and have only lost one of their last six league matches so cannot be under-estimated.