Ashford’s new look side got off to a stuttering start on Tuesday evening, losing 0-2 to Cockfosters FC in the re-arranged Middlesex Charity Cup semi-final from last season.

Although it was a little disappointing not to reach Saturday’s final, there were plenty of positives for the Tangerines and whilst the defending for the two goals, and indeed on other occasions, showed some rustiness, Ashford did create plenty of chances, particularly in the second period..

The match started evenly with both sides looking bright but it was Cockfosters’ Ben Andreos who put his side ahead after 20 minutes.  Tyler Tobin was unable to deal with a high swirling cross and the lofty Andreos finished tidily.  The second goal came on the stroke of half-time and once again it was a long cross that caught Ashford out.  This time though it was the usually reliable Alex Fisher who somehow headed into his own net.

Although enjoying plenty of possession, Ashford had created very few real chances in the first half, the only one of note being a curling effort from Mark Bitmead which missed by a whisker.

For much of the second period though, Ashford enjoyed the bulk of the possession.  Jesse Atiase almost levelled maters up quickly and Joe Green also missed a golden chance.  Cockfosters’ keeper Tom Coulton was on top form and he tipped over a scorcher of a shot from debutant Bradley Wainwright.  All that said, Cockfosters continued to look dangerous when they were able to get forward and Ashford wish them the best of luck in the Final on Saturday.

The outcome means that Ashford will now have a full 1st Team squad from which to pick their side for the friendly match at CCL newcomers Abbey Rangers on Saturday and there will be more on that one later in the week.

There is also more news to come of new signings, including Scott Weight, who has returned to the Club after a short spell at Egham Town, ended by a serious injury.  Welcome back Weighty.

Ashford will be itching to get back on their own pitch this evening (Tuesday) when they entertain Cockfosters FC from the Spartan South Midlands League in the re-arranged semi-final of the Middlesex Charity Cup from last season.  The situation, you may recall, came about following the discovery that Enfield Town had inadvertently played a suspended player against us back in January and were eventually expelled from the competition.

Tonight’s match now serves as a useful competitive match before the start of the season proper on Saturday 8 August and there is the added bonus for either ourselves or Cockfosters of a Cup Final on Saturday against Harrow Borough FC, which, rather disappointingly, is actually being played at Harrow, who will thus have an inbuilt advantage, quite apart from now playing their football two levels above either ourselves or Cockfosters.

Cockfosters last season did not enjoy a particularly successful season finishing in 18th place in their league, with 37 points but that will count for little this evening as we understand they have a new side and a new manager in Dean Barker who is reported as being pleased with his side’s efforts so far in their pre-season matches.  Meetings between our two clubs have been very infrequent over the years with just two to recount.  Back in September 1992, we were drawn at home to them in the Middlesex Senior Cup but in the absence of lights at the time, the match was played at Hampton & Richmond when we managed to win by two goals to nil, courtesy of goals from Andy Smith and Ian Miles.

The other meeting was far more recent and was in the 1st Round of the Charity Cup in October 2013.  It ended in a 1-1 draw, ours coming from Kofi Lockhart-Adams, but Cockfosters triumphed in the penalty shoot out, winning by four goals to two, our scorers being Joe Hughes and Jamie Connor.

Kick-off this evening is 7.45 p.m.

“I just wanted to keep supporters updated about squad news before tomorrow night’s semi-final. Firstly, I am very happy to announce the signings of Lewis Taylor, Jesse Atiase, Bayley Mummery, Bradley Wainright, George Marks and Harry Driver to the club for the forthcoming season.

Lewis is a centre half that I wanted to sign last season, where he spent the season as captain at Chertsey and has played the levels above in previous seasons. Jesse is a very able, talented and experienced forward who scored twice against our team last season, he is an intelligent player who will complement our style well. Bayley, who is a young 18 year old who was at Woking Academy and had valuable experience at Spelthorne last season, he has great vision and again is ideal for our philosophy and style of play.


Bradley, George and Harry all provide much needed squad depth and are all experienced heads on young shoulders, who when are all fully fit will be great assets to the club. Bradley is a forward with exceptional potential, George is a old-school style defender who has impressed me a lot in pre-season and Harry will be well-known to supporters from a couple of seasons back, who has improved immensely and once fully fit will be a tremendous defender to the squad.


We also welcome back the returning Mark Bitmead, plus the return of all of last season’s squad barring one or two exceptions, those being Sam Baffour (travelling and game time) and Elliott Jones (work studies) who were two players not to re-sign, but the rest of the squad were all signed on forms before the middle of June, which I was extremely proud of as it shows the ambition of the whole group to push this club on to great things this season.

We also promote Ilia Perovic into the full first-team set-up after his positive performances towards the end of last season, he will still be eligible for youth team football when necessary.

Mitchal Gough went on a trial at Staines Town two weeks ago and has done well, we obviously are always reluctant for players to leave us, but when the opportunity arises for a player to play at a much higher level then our current one then I cannot stop the player from going, we had numerous conversations about what was the right thing for him. He is a fantastic talent that must be playing week in, week out, at his age and if he can get that at Staines he will be more than able for the standard.


There are three additional players in which I am waiting to finalise signings in the next week or so who will add further experience to the squad and will keep you updated on them as and when.


I am quietly confident about the season ahead, we have had quite a low-key pre-season, which I think has been ideal for our squad, but there is no doubt it will be great to get back onto our home stadium pitch tomorrow night. Hopefully we can match, if not better, the support that we received last season.”

“I just wanted to keep supporters updated about squad news before tomorrow night’s semi-final. Firstly, I am very happy to announce the signings of Lewis Taylor, Jesse Atiase, Bayley Mummery, Bradley Wainright, George Marks and Harry Driver to the club for the forthcoming season.

Lewis is a centre half that I wanted to sign last season, where he spent the season as captain at Chertsey and has played the levels above in previous seasons. Jesse is a very able, talented and experienced forward who scored twice against our team last season, he is an intelligent player who will complement our style well. Bayley, who is a young 18 year old who was at Woking Academy and had valuable experience at Spelthorne last season, he has great vision and again is ideal for our philosophy and style of play.


Bradley, George and Harry all provide much needed squad depth and are all experienced heads on young shoulders, who when are all fully fit will be great assets to the club. Bradley is a forward with exceptional potential, George is a old-school style defender who has impressed me a lot in pre-season and Harry will be well-known to supporters from a couple of seasons back, who has improved immensely and once fully fit will be a tremendous defender to the squad.


We also welcome back the returning Mark Bitmead, plus the return of all of last season’s squad barring one or two exceptions, those being Sam Baffour (travelling and game time) and Elliott Jones (work studies) who were two players not to re-sign, but the rest of the squad were all signed on forms before the middle of June, which I was extremely proud of as it shows the ambition of the whole group to push this club on to great things this season.

We also promote Ilia Perovic into the full first-team set-up after his positive performances towards the end of last season, he will still be eligible for youth team football when necessary.

Mitchal Gough went on a trial at Staines Town two weeks ago and has done well, we obviously are always reluctant for players to leave us, but when the opportunity arises for a player to play at a much higher level then our current one then I cannot stop the player from going, we had numerous conversations about what was the right thing for him. He is a fantastic talent that must be playing week in, week out, at his age and if he can get that at Staines he will be more than able for the standard.


There are three additional players in which I am waiting to finalise signings in the next week or so who will add further experience to the squad and will keep you updated on them as and when.


I am quietly confident about the season ahead, we have had quite a low-key pre-season, which I think has been ideal for our squad, but there is no doubt it will be great to get back onto our home stadium pitch tomorrow night. Hopefully we can match, if not better, the support that we received last season.”

Ashford suffered a defeat on Saturday when Marlow won by the only goal of the match scored some eight minutes before the end of the game.  It came about following a disputed free kick into the area when a Marlow header eventually found the back of the net.

Overall, the match, played at Addlestone Leisure Centre, was even throughout and manager Ben Murray won’t be too unhappy with the performance of his troops, missing a number of the squad for one reason or another in a physical match that will do no harm to the season’s preparations. 

On a small and surprisingly dry pitch after the previous day’s heavy rain, Ashford will be pleased to get back to their own ground on Tuesday evening, when they will entertain Spartan S. Midlands side Cockfosters FC in a re-arranged Middlesex Charity Cup semi-final from last season.  It will be good to have a competitive match before the start of the league season and the prize for the winners will be a Cup Final against Harrow Borough on Saturday 1 August.

Several new players have been signed in recent days and manager Ben Murray will be compiling a report for all Ashford supporters, which will hopefully appear on the web site on Monday.

Replacement opponents have been found for Saturday and we will now be meeting Marlow FC, from the Southern League, on Saturday, at Addlestone Leisure Centre, kicking off at 3.00 p.m.

We are grateful to Marlow stepping in at short notice and well done to Football Secretary Geoff Knock who spent a long time trying to find alternative opponents.  The full address of the Leisure Centre is in one of the previous articles.

Lightning does strike twice as Ascot United have now become the second club in a week to pull out of a pre-season friendly against us, which leaves us looking for opponents on Saturday.  Efforts are going on to find a different club to play but if any clubs read this and would like a match, please contact Geoff Knock on 07896 792792.  We have the pitch booked at Addlestone Leisure Centre, plus three officials.

A hastily arranged match against a Basingstoke Town Under-21 squad on Tuesday evening saw Ashford rack up their fourth consecutive victory in pre-season, winning comfortably in the end by four goals to nil.

Wise football men do not get carried away by friendly results but there is no doubt that Ben Murray’s new look squad is shaping up nicely.  Some of the very impressive new players have yet to commit themselves but if all or most of them do so, Ashford could certainly approach the season with a degree of guarded confidence.

The opening period of yesterday evening’s match did not suggest a Tangerine victory as the clearly talented visitors’ squad held on to the ball almost exclusively for some five minutes, although, that said, they did not look penetrative, much of the possession being in their own half.

Ashford got to grips and showed how it should be done with the first goal on ten minutes.  Mark Bitmead, back in a tangerine shirt, looked determined to make up for lost time and whilst usually the finisher, this time he put in a predatory first time ball from deep on the left, to allow one of our newcomers to take the chance with great aplomb.

After that Ashford generally just improved and it was no real surprise when Dan Fleming doubled the lead shortly before half-time.  The main provider this time was Tommy Brunton whose left wing cross led to a shot from skipper Russell Canderton that was blocked but there was no stopping Fleming as he hammered home the rebound.

Although Basingstoke continued to look decent in possession, it is fair to say they rarely converted their possession into clear cut chances.  It was a different story for Ashford, who scored two more goals after the interval, both excellent finishes, from two of our newcomers.

We now move on to Saturday which will see Ashford playing against Hellenic League side Ascot United, who went a long way in the FA Vase last season.  It will be another excellent test and the match this week is at Addlestone Leisure Centre, School Lane, Addlestone, KT15 1TD, kicking off at the more traditional 3.00 p.m.

After that everyone will be itching to get back to playing at our own ground and the first match at Short Lane will be on Tuesday 28 July when, of course, we will be entertaining Cockfosters FC in the much delayed Middlesex Charity Cup Semi-Final from last season.  The winners will go on to meet Harrow Borough in the Final on Saturday 1 August.  More in due course.

Thanks to some quick work by Manager Ben Murray, an alternative match has now been arranged for tomorrow evening (Tuesday)

We will now be playing Basingstoke Town U21 at Egham Leisure Centre, kick-off 6.45 p.m.

Ashford continued their pre-season build up on Saturday with a 3-1 win over Sussex League side Loxwood, the club who knocked the Tangerines out of the FA Vase last season.

The match took place at Egham Leisure Centre once again and once again a number of triallists took part over the 90 minutes.  It was an even start but Ashford had an early chance to go ahead when Samad Kazi was fouled in the area, but Jack Beadle’s effort was well saved.  From the resulting corner though It was the returning Joe Green who put Ashford ahead on 6 minutes when he latched onto a corner from Alex Fisher that the keeper couldn’t gather, and sent a very decent header looping over the custodian into the far corner.

Loxwood had plenty of players who had played in last season’s Vase match and caused the Ashford rearguard some problems.  Within minutes they had equalised from a very similar goal to that scored by Ashford.

Kazi was then sent in by a penetrating through ball from Beadle but had strayed just offside and his effort was disallowed.  Loxwood should then have gone ahead when an error by keeper Tobin gave the visitors a golden opportunity but they fluffed their lines as Ashford got back quickly.

Just before the half-hour mark, Ashford went ahead again.  Another well placed pass from Tommy Brunton found ace marksman Dan Fleming who had some work to do but his control enabled him to take the ball down before slotting home with aplomb.

After that Ashford generally looked stronger than their opponents and effectively sealed the match on 68 minutes when the speedy Kazi took advantage when, under no great pressure,  Loxwood gave the ball away and there was no stopping the young Ashford striker as he raced clear evading a desperate challenge from the keeper before scoring in to an empty net.

Any number of substitutions from both sides inevitably upset the rhythm of the match but although sub keeper Jake Taylor had to make a smart save near the end, Ashford remained largely untroubled and manager Ben Murray was generally pleased with the performance and the ongoing preparation.

The next match was to have been against Frimley Green on Tuesday evening, again at Egham Sports Centre but our opponents have had to pull out.  Secretary Geoff Knock is trying to find a replacement team at short notice so keep your eye on the web site for further details.

In the mantime, please note that next Saturday’s match against Hellenic League Ascot United is to be played at Addlestone Leisure Centre, kick-off 3.00 pm.  Further details of that one later in the week.

Ashford continue their build-up on Saturday with a match against Loxwood FC, who knocked the Tangerines out of the FA Vase last season.  They were a good side and this will undoubtedly be a stiff test for Ashford as the new season increases momentum.

Once again the match is being played at Egham leisure Centre, Vicarage Road, Egham and kicks off at 4.00 p.m.

CB Hounslow have been something of a bogey side for Ashford recently but the Tangerines came out on top on Tuesday evening, winning by four goals to three in another match that had a low key feeling about it.  It was useful though for manager Ben Murray to have his first look at the rapidly developing squad in action in this pre-season, following his sojourn at the Wimbledon tennis.

Plenty of established players were absent for one reason or another but some of the triallists on show were more than prominent, and indeed scored two of the four goals.  As agreed with the manager, we won’t be naming any new players until they have actually registered for the Club.

CB Hounslow had a number of ex-Ashford players in their ranks, including the Bamford brothers, Nick Hardy and Vinnie Hodge and their overall performance suggested that they will certainly be a force in Division One of the CCL this coming season.

Nevertheless, Ashford took a two goal lead, the second coming from the newly signed Bailey Mummery, only to be pegged back on the stroke of half-time, and CB then equalised ten minutes into the second period.  Samad Kazi, held back in the first half, along with Tommy Brunton, then gave Ashford the lead on 75 minutes but some sloppy defending two minutes later gave CB another equaliser.  Ashford had the last word though, when another triallist, in this case one who will be well known to Ashford supporters, made the game safe right at the death with the fourth goal from a fierce but deflected shot.

There should be further news of confirmed signings after Thursday’s training session, whilst the next match is on Saturday when Ashford will play against Loxwood, who knocked them out of the FA Vase last season.  This game is currently scheduled to kick off at 4.00 p.m. at Egham Leisure Centre but should that change, the details will be put on the website later in the week.

We have been advised that Tuesday evening’s match away to CB Hounslow United will not take place at Bedfont & Feltham FC but at their own ground, the address of which is OSTERLEY SPORTS CLUB, TENTELOW LANE, NORWOOD GREEN, MIDDLESEX, UB5 6UR.

There are no floodlights at the ground so kick-off is now 7.00 p.m.

Ashford started their pre-season preparation with a low key but useful match against Ash United on Saturday at Egham Leisure Centre.  There were one or two very interesting newcomers but they will be named once they have signed on the dotted line.  In addition three of last season’s youth squad made an appearance, with one in particular standing out in central defence, Ilia Perovic, who had actually managed a few games up front at the end of last season.

Ash were game opponents but Ashford generally held the whip hand, winning reasonably comfortably by four goals to one, playing some controlled and impressive football at times upon a rock hard and bumpy surface on an unexpectedly breezy afternoon.  “Man of the Match” Max Webb scored the opening goal on 16 minutes when he firmly headed home a cross from Alex Fisher.  That was a good goal but on the half-hour he doubled the lead with an even better second goal, a fierce effort whistling into the net from some distance.

Ash were not laying down and enjoyed rather more of the ball immediately before and after half-time but could do nothing about the third goal following some magic from Dan Fleming and how good to see him back in Ashford’s colours and working very hard for the whole 90 minutes.

The game became rather tepid for a while but it was Ashford who scored again when Samad Kazi, looking extremely fit, pounced upon a defensive error to beat the keeper and tap home.

The match was over but it was the visitors who had the last word, a fierce dipping volley from debutant Paul Bangura giving sub keeper Jake Taylor no chance.

Ashford now go to CB Hounslow on Tuesday evening, kick-off 7.30 p.m.  The address of the ground is Bedfont & Feltham FC, The Orchard, Hatton Road, Bedfont, TW14 9QT.  Manager Ben Murray will be back, following his duties at Wimbledon tennis for the last two weeks.

Ashford have their opening friendly of the new season coming up this Saturday (11 July) when they will be facing old friends and rivals, Ash United.

There is though a change of venue, as the back pitch at Short Lane is not yet ready for football to be played on it, the lack of rain being a major factor.  The match will now be played at Egham Leisure Centre, Vicarage Road, Egham TW20 8NL  and the kick-off time has been moved to 4.00 p.m.

In the meantime, several players from last season have re-registered.  So far Ryan Dearden, Dan Fleming, Alex Fisher, Joe Green, Samad Kazi, Ilia Perovic, Mason Roseboom, Tyler Tobin and Max Webb have all signed on with plenty more to follow.  Bailey Mummery, who was with Spelthorne Sports last season, has also signed.  

 

Ashford find themselves with one of the longer trips in the Extra-Preliminary Round of the FA Cup, as they will be travelling around 72 miles to face Northants side Wellingborough Town in the competition on Saturday 15 August.

The informative Wellingborough web site states that they are the 6th oldest club in the country, being formed back in 1867.  They are also the oldest club in Northamptonshire.  Their best ever performance in the FA Cup came back in 1965 when they lost to Aldershot in the 1st Round Proper.  Phil Neal played for the club before going on to make his name with Liverpool.

More recently, they finished in 15th place last season in the United Counties League, with 12 wins and 21 defeats in their 40 matches.  They have recently appointed a new manager Jamie Wright, who is an ex-player.  In the FA Cup last season, they found themselves defeated in the Extra-Preliminary Round by Bedfont & Feltham, who won 4-2.

We shall look forward to meeting brand new opponents and there will be more on the tie nearer the time.

The draw has also been made for the Preliminary Round, in which either Wellingborough or ourselves will play at home to one of Oxhey Jets or AFC Kempston Rovers.  Oxhey play in the Spartan South Midlands League and Kempston are in the United Counties League with Wellingborough.

The FA Youth Cup sees us with a bye in the opening round, followed by a trip to Northwood U18's in the 2nd Qualifying Round.

In the FA Vase, our 3rd place finish has resulted in an exemption to the 1st Round Proper, the draw for which has not yet been made.

Forthcoming Events

No events