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Ashford completed a hard fought win over Chertsey Town on Monday morning beating their local rivals by two  goals to one, to ensure another three points and maintain third place in the table behind Hartley Wintney and Hanworth Villa on goal difference.

There had been concerns that the overnight rain which continued to fall throughout the game might bring about an early season postponement but the pitch was in superb condition, with not a drop of standing water and even more pleasingly did not seem to cut up in the slightest.

A healthy attendance of 175 witnessed an interesting and well contested match throughout, incidentally without a single caution.  It was fairly clear from the start, especially when top marksman John Pomroy was deployed in central defence, that the visitors’ intentions were to try to nick a goal and hold on to it and to be fair they nearly pulled it off, belying their lowly position in the table.  Most of the possession was Ashford’s but it was Chertsey, in just about their first meaningful attack of the half, who took the lead on 11 minutes, when neither Russell Canderton nor Lewis Taylor were able to effect a proper clearance from a long ball allowing Chertsey’s Joel Thompson who was a nuisance all morning, to nip in and score.

There was no panic whatsoever though from Ashford, who continued to enjoy most of the possession without actually making it count and that situation carried on well into the second half.  Finally though, Jack Beadle, fed by Tommy Brunton (later given the “Ashford man of the match” accolade by Ashford supporters), knocked home the equaliser and one wondered if Chertsey would finally crack.

They did not though and continued to defend doggedly continuing to look a threat on the break.  Indeed with just minutes to go, they almost stole it, but Dan Fleming of all people was in the right position to acrobatically get the ball off the line.  That would otherwise have given the visitors all three points but in the end Ashford were not to be denied and deep into stoppage time it was lively sub, Bradley Wainwright who broke Chertsey hearts with a well taken effort.  Finding himself through on goal he went past the keeper but was driven well wide and it looked as if the chance had gone, only for the diminutive striker to somehow send the ball in from an acute angle, for his first competitive goal for the club.

Chertsey were understandably peeved, especially as they thought the officials had missed a handball just prior to the move and it was understandable, as we all know what it feels like to lose in such circumstances.  The Ashford player in question, Bailey Mummery, said afterwards that the ball had rebounded on to his hand from his foot but that in no way had it been deliberate.  The officials said afterwards that they had not seen the incident in any case.  The bottom line was of course that the goal was awarded.

For Ashford, although they made hard work of scoring goals against a resolute defence, they just kept playing and their reward finally came.  Scott Weight was not quite fit enough to resume in the end and Harry Driver suffered another injury, necessitating his substitution in the first half.  Beadle would have had two goals but his “first” was ruled out for offside, which was a shame as it had been well taken.  At times Ashford played some sparkling stuff but at other times passes were going astray.  Everyone stuck to the task though and will look forward to the next match, which is at home to Badshot Lea on Saturday.  They were certainly expected to be one of the clubs pushing for honours but have not made the kind of start they would have hoped for.  Absolutely nothing can be read into that, as Chertsey proved, and it will be another very tough match.  If anyone wants to do a spot of spying incidentally, Badshot play away to Camberley Town tomorrow evening (Tuesday) in what is a local derby and which might be a cracking match.

Anyone from Ashford who intended to travel to Frimley tomorrow evening for the opening Ryman Youth League match, is advised not to do so as Frimley have resigned from the League, which was only conveyed to us today.

Finally, we hope that the lady who phoned the club this morning to say she had lost her teeth at the function on Saturday evening has now found them as they were nowhere to be seen at the club.  We didn’t like to ask how she came to lose them in the first place!

A well worked goal from Mark Bitmead just 15 minutes in was enough to send Ashford through to the next round of the FA Cup, in which they will travel to either Hoddesdon Town or Romford, who drew yesterday and replay on Wednesday.

AFC Kempston from the United Counties League were no pushovers and they gave the Tangerines  a tough examination for much of the match.  Nevertheless they were unable to penetrate the home defence which seems to have a more solid feel about it this season, and although both sides had chances, the greater number overall were created by Ashford and in the opening 20 minutes when Ashford were dominant, Bitmead had two other chances which might have ensured a less nervous finish.  In the end though, one was good enough, with Lewis Taylor being voted “Ashford man of the match” as the Tangerines won their sixth match in succession since the start of the season.

The visitors for their part often looked dangerous in possession but on the day they did not possess a cutting edge.

Some unfathomable decisions from referee Yesilyurt, who tended to play his whistle rather than blow it, added to the fun as Ashford now look forward to travelling to either Hoddesdon Town or Romford in the next round in a fortnight’s time.  They drew on Saturday and will replay on Wednesday evening although it would seem that Hoddesdon may be kicking themselves after missing two penalties.  There is a possibility that the next round may have to be played on the Sunday but more on that once we know the situation.

Ashford very quickly return to League action on Monday morning, when Chertsey Town are the visitors, kick-off 11.30 a.m.  Ashford will be in good heart but will take nothing for granted against our Surrey neighbours who are a better side than their current position suggests, especially with veteran John Pomroy still very much amongst the scorers.

On Tuesday evening, Ashford U18’s have their delayed opening Ryman Youth League match away to Frimley Green U18, kick-off 7.45 p.m.

It is may be too much to hope for that Ashford will emulate their FA Cup record in season 08-09 when, having drawn at home to Forest Green Rovers in the 4th Qualifying Round (and came so close to winning right at the death, when Gavin Smith beat the keeper only to see his shot trickle agonisingly wide of the post by inches) they found themselves in the 1st Round Proper Draw.  Most of the players gathered at the club on the Sunday lunchtime to witness the draw live on TV only to see Ashford come out with an away tie at Team Bath, should they beat Forest Green in the replay.  It was a major disappointment not to have the possibility of playing against a Football League side and Forest Green saw to it that Ashford’s interest would end on a Tuesday night in Gloucestershire.

Nevertheless there is always that same buzz about the FA Cup and this season, Ashford have been rewarded with a home tie in the 1st Qualifying Round on Saturday, against AFC Kempston Rovers, who play in the same league as Wellingborough, the United Counties League,  and they hail from Bedfordshire.  In the previous round they beat Spartan S. Midlands side, Oxhey Jets 3-2.  In their league matches they have won one and drawn the other three of their matches to date.

Ashford should be at full strength, with Scott Weight now declared fit and added to the squad.  Kick-off is at 3.00 p.m. and if the scores are level after 90 minutes, there will be a replay at Kempston on Tuesday evening.  Should that happen, our league match at home to Chertsey Town on Monday morning will be postponed.  Our very grateful thanks go to Heathrow Personnel who have sponsored the match, yet another example of the great help they have given to this club in recent seasons.

There will be a minute’s silence before this afternoon’s match, in memory of the two players of Worthing United, and indeed everyone who lost their life, in the Shoreham Air Accident last Saturday.

Having been rained off on Wednesday evening, the Under-18’s first Ryman Youth League match of the season will be away to Frimley Green U18 next Tuesday evening.  The Ladies are without a game on Sunday as far as we know.

 

Due to the torrential rain, this evening’s opening Ryman Youth League match at home to Bedfont Sports has been postponed.

The boys will still be at the club enjoying a spot of food so why not come down away.  It is likely that the Chairman will have his boot and shoe cleaning kit with him if anyone needs a polish and Man Utd's European match will be on live on BT Sport.

We have been remiss in not recording the recent birth of David Alan McDonald, born 15th August 2015 weighing 8lbs 4ozs.  Mum, of course, is Tory (Cox) now living in Consett in the North East with partner David.

We send our best wishes from everyone at the club to Tory and David upon the birth of their first child.

The winners of the FA Cup tie between Ashford and AFC Kempston on Saturday will face an away trip in the 1st Qualifying Round to either Hoddesdon Town (Spartan S. Midlands League) or Romford (Ryman League Div One North)

It was another three points for Ashford at Cove on Saturday which was what mattered, of course, but it was a curious match from the visitors’ point of view.

The game started with almost total dominance over a young Cove side as Ashford must have enjoyed at least 90% of the possession, scoring twice in the opening fifteen minutes, through Jack Beadle and Bailey Mummery, narrowly missing several other chances and looking as if they were going to strike up a cricket score.  It was just that easy at that point.

As an illustration as to how matters change quickly in football, Ashford suddenly seemed to lose their focus with passes going astray all over the field and carelessness creeping in.  As a result Cove were starting to enjoy more possession of the ball, more often than not when it was given to them, and out of the blue they pulled one back, when big Cyril Ocansey, who actually made 21 appearances for Ashford in the 2013-2014 season and was quite a favourite, persisted and was rewarded for his running as he pulled one back. 

There was no immediate panic but just before half-time, Cove scored again, this time through Phillips, to level the scores and it was game on.

Within a minute of the re-start though, it was game off again as Beadle,  quite rightly named later as “Ashford Man of the Match” pulled one back with a fierce effort that may have gone in anyway but took a slight deflection which gave the keeper no chance.  Dan Fleming then quickly restored the two goal cushion and whilst Cove continued to make the Ashford defenders work when they broke, the result was never in doubt after that.

After the inept performance of the referee in last season’s encounter, it was a relief that referee Davis was in benevolent mood, not finding it necessary to take a single name throughout the 90 minutes, which was good to see, so well done to him and both sides.  Apart from his time keeping, which raised an eyebrow or two and even a shackle from the Ashford bench at the end, any criticism was aimed at the far side assistant in the first half who gave a blatantly poor offside decision that would otherwise have seen Dan Fleming right through on the end of probably the best passing movement of the afternoon.

The result and others leaves Ashford in 3rd place with both Hartley Wintney and Hanworth Villa winning at previously undefeated clubs.  It is still too early to take too much notice of the table though and, for some of the match at least, Cove proved that there are no easy matches in the League.  Ashford though, with Max Webb back on Saturday and Scott Weight nearly there, seem well prepared for the rigours of a long season.  A special mention also goes to Harry Driver who came in at right back, with Samad Kazi unavailable and Joe Green injured and gave the sort of disciplined performance he is concentrating upon this season.

There is no midweek match this week, so the next game is at Short Lane on Saturday when the Tangerines will welcome Bedfordhire based AFC Kempston Rovers in the Preliminary Round of the FA Cup.  They are from the same league as Wellingborough Town but doing rather better so it is bound to be a tough encounter.  There will be more on the game later in the week.

Our partners BA won their first league match on Saturday, by four goals to three against Kilburn FC, whilst the Under-18’s enjoyed a 5-2 victory in a friendly at Abbey Rangers on Friday.  The Under-18’s open their league campaign this Wednesday with a home Ryman Youth League match against Bedfont Sports.  Our neighbours have done very well in recent seasons with their youth team set up and it will be a tough match for Ashford.  With most of last seasons’ youngsters having gone, Ashford’s team will be largely built upon their successful Sunday U16 side from last season, but one or two have already made cameo appearances in 1st Team matches, so under manager Nick Bailey  it is hoped they will soon find their feet.

Finally, words are fairly useless but like all clubs we send our condolences to Worthing United and the families of the two players who so cruelly lost their lives in the air accident at Shoreham.

 

Ashford will travel to Cove tomorrow as one of the six clubs in the League yet to drop a point.  The squad will doubtless be full of confidence following last Saturday’s impressive victory in the FA Cup and Tuesday’s hard fought win against Spelthorne but there will be no complacency.

Last season Cove ruled the roost in the League at least until Christmas, with Ashford and others all trying to keep up.  It has been the reverse situation this season with Cove having lost their three opening league match but they were good enough to put five goals past Hellenic side Shrivenham in the FA Cup last week and will doubtless be very much up for the match tomorrow.

Last season honours were shared with Cove winning at Ashford in the opening match of the season, whilst Ashford just about hung on to claim all three points at Cove, winning by 4 goals to 3, after squandering a three goal cushion at one point.  It was also the match that saw the shameful injustice of Mitchal Gough being sent off and having to serve a three match suspension..  That sending off led to the first ever video appeal received by Middlesex County FA only for one member of the panel to say he couldn’t download the video “so the case will have to be based upon the referee’s report”.  He clearly didn’t realise that the video was the whole point of the appeal!  He did view it in the end, we were told, but, incredibly, the appeal was turned down, the whole episode doing nothing for relations between the County and the Club.  We won’t be taking the time and trouble of going down that road again.

Anyway, kick off tomorrow is at 3.00 p.m. as usual and the address of the Club is Oak Farm Fields, Squirrel Lane, Cove, Farnborough, GU14 8PB.  Squirrel Lane is a narrow lane leading up to the ground where there is only a small car-park but doubtless Cove officials will be on hand to direct people to the overflow car-park alongside the pitch.  The burger bar is highly recommended at Cove by the way.

For those who can’t make the trip to Cove, our partners British Airways are at home to Kilburn FC in the Middlesex County League, kick-off 3.00 p.m.

Ashford maintained their 100% start to their league campaign on Tuesday evening with a hard fought 2-1 victory over neighbours Spelthorne Sports.

Under former Ashford stalwart Paul Johnson, Spelthorne have a new look team this season with several new players and certainly look set for a good season as they extended Ashford all the way.  It was Ashford though who scored first on 24 minutes, when excellent work by Joey Robson, later named as “Ashford Man of the Match” by supporters, and Dan Fleming saw Mark Bitmead turn his full back and hit a low drive into the net at the near post.

It was end to end stuff and five minutes before the break Jake Hicks equalised for the visitors when Ashford failed to deal with a corner kick.

Ashford went ahead again though within three minutes of the resumption when Fleming got on the end of a deep cross from Alex Fisher, despite the challenge of two defenders and headed the ball home.  It was an excellent goal from Ashford’s point of view.  Two minutes later he had an opportunity to put clear daylight between the sides but was unable to quite generate sufficient power on this occasion.

The match remained relatively even in terms of possession but Spelthorne were unable to further trouble the strong looking Ashford defence.  It was likewise at the other end, although Tommy Brunton almost added to the scoreline as a thunderous effort whistled just over the bar.  With no further addition to the score line, Ashford remain one of no less than six clubs at the top of the table still to drop a point.  That will change this Saturday with four of the six meeting, namely Colliers Wood at home to top scorers Hartley Wintney and Hanworth Villa making the trip to Horley Town

It was good to see Conor Moody back in action for Spelthorne in the last fifteen minutes or so after his broken leg last season.

Ashford find themselves away to Cove on Saturday, who, after last season’s exploits have had a disappointing start to their season.  If the game can match up in any way to last season’s encounter at Cove, with seven goals, two sending-offs and great excitement, it will be a good spectacle.  More on that one later in the week.

Other news is that our Ladies side played a friendly on Sunday against a much higher side in Clapham Rovers and recorded a 5-1 victory, whilst BA drew two apiece on Saturday against AFC Assyria in their first match at Short Lane.  The Under-18’s have a friendly this coming Friday which will now take place at Abbey Rangers although the writer does not yet know the kick-off time, which will be advised later.

Finally, AFC Kempston Rovers defeated Oxhey Jets by three goals to two in what we understand was a controversial FA Cup replay last night, so it is the Bedfordshire club that we will welcome to Short Lane on Saturday 29 August.

 

With the Chairman looking resplendent in his new suit, not to mention keeper Tobin in his equally dazzling new damson coloured top, it was a bright day for the Tangerines all round on Saturday as they defeated United Counties League side Wellingborough Town by 8 goals to 1 in the opening round of the FA Cup.

We received a pleasant welcome from our Northants opponents at their well appointed ground in Wellingborough, where, incidentally, it is currently shared with AFC Rushden & Diamonds.  The match started evenly enough and indeed the home side had ample possession throughout but as it went on they simply could not cope at the back, especially with Ashford looking clinical whenever the chances presented themselves.

Dan Fleming opened the scoring on five minutes and Bailey Mummery, later named as Ashford “Man of the Match” by the supporters who travelled (thank you all) hit the next two.  Mark Bitmead then got in the act on the stroke of half-time.

At four down, a Wellingborough come back looked unlikely but any doubts on that score were soon put aside in the opening 15 minutes of the second period, both scored by Bitmead,  one from the spot, thus completing his hatrick.

Wellingborough pulled one back soon afterwards, much to manager Murray’s annoyance, the first goal in fact that Ashford have conceded this season, but it did not really interfere with the way the day was going and two further goals, one from Jack Beadle, who had earlier seen a thunderbolt of a shot pushed on to the bar by the home keeper, and one from Samad Kazi, whose pace was a notable feature of the game saw the total reach eight.

Murray was able to rest both Fleming and Bitmead long before the end of the game to keep them fresh for Tuesday’s match at home to Spelthorne and, all round, it was one of those football days to be enjoyed in the warm sunshine.

Ashford do not yet know who they will be playing in the next round as AFC Kempston Rovers drew at Oxhey Jets on Saturday and will replay on Tuesday evening, this taking place at Biggleswade Town, due apparently to problems with the  lights at the moment at Kempston.

In the meantime, attention turns back to the League and Tuesday evening when Ashford entertain Spelthorne Sports.  They also enjoyed a good FA Cup win on Saturday, in their first ever season in it, against Stotfold and it is bound to be an intriguing local derby.  Kick-off at Short Lane is 7.45 p.m.

 

It’s FA Cup day on Saturday and Ashford are no different to any other club in hoping that progress can be made, not least due to the prize money on offer for every round that a club manages to win.  This weekend’s Extra-Preliminary Round tie is worth £1500 to all the winners.

Ashford find themselves with a fairly lengthy journey to Northamptonshire to face Wellingborough Town of the United Counties League, a club playing at the same level as the Tangerines.  Although nothing can be written into it, whilst Ashford have managed to win their two opening league matches without conceding a goal, Wellingborough have lost their opening two.  On their web site, they report that they went down 1-4 in their opening game against Leicester Nirvana but were unlucky to lose 3-4 at home to Newport Pagnell on Tuesday evening, when they missed a penalty and also hit the bar.

Wellingborough have an interesting history and can claim their existence back to 1867, being the 6th oldest club in the country.  They have had long periods in the Southern League in the past but were reformed in the early 2000's after not playing for a few seasons.  Their most famous old player is Phil Neal, of Liverpool, who started his career at Wellingborough.

With virtually all players now back from holiday, manager Ben Murray should have a strong squad from which to pick his team, the only doubt being Joe Green who picked up a slight knock at Chessington on Tuesday.  The game kicks off at 3.00 p.m. and if the scores are level after 90 minutes, there will be a replay at Short Lane on Tuesday evening.

For supporters travelling to Wellingborough, the address of the ground is 53-61 London Road, Wellingborough,
Northants, NN8 2DP.  According to Google it is a journey of just over 71 miles ground to ground, much of it on the M1 and should take around an hour and a half.

Other news this morning is that, should Ashford beat Beckenham Town in the opening round of the Surrey Senior Cup, they would face an away trip to either Camberley Town or Knaphill in the 2nd Round.  The full draw can be viewed at http://combinedcounties.pitchero.com/

Also, Jesse Atiase has left the Club after the briefest of stays to re-join Hanworth Villa.  Jesse made just the one competitive appearance for us, in the delayed Middlesex Charity Cup match and we clearly didn’t get to see the best of him, but we wish him success and good luck at Hanworth.

Ashford are one of only six clubs drawn to play in the Preliminary Round of the Surrey Senior Cup, in which we will entertain Beckenham Town on a date to be decided.

The Preliminary Round will reduce the number of competing clubs to 32 and the main draw will be live on Radio Surrey this coming Friday at 7.45 a.m.

Ashford expected a tough match at newly promoted Chessington & Hook and that is exactly how it turned out.  In the end it was a 2-0 victory and another three points the main difference between the sides being the precise finishing shown on two vital occasions by the Tangerines, along with the silky skills of Tom Brunton in midfield who was named “Ashford man of the match” by Ashford supporters, after providing two exquisite through balls for the goals.

Rainfall had not been anticipated but if fell throughout and on a glistening surface it made for an exciting match, although both sides often played it long when, certainly from Ashford’s point of view, it might have been better on some occasions to keep the ball on the ground.  That said, there was rarely any time to dwell on it though as both sides seemed to relish the occasion in front of a three figure crowd.

Ashford took an early lead, on five minutes.  Brunton, unchallenged, threaded the ball seamlessly through for Samad Kazi and his pace took him clear, before he deftly slid the ball past the generally excellent home keeper.  Any ideas of an easy match were swiftly dispelled though and an absorbing match ensued.

So it continued with Chessington possibly enjoying greater possession overall but Ashford always looking that little bit more dangerous, especially when Mark Bitmead and Dan Fleming, both looking menacing, were in possession.  The pace was unrelenting and it was a great relief for Ashford supporters when Bitmead finally clinched the match in the 84th minute.  Brunton was again the provider and Bitmead produced a sublime finish, with a little dink over the keeper.

Ashford were finally able to relax slightly as Chessington realised their chance had gone but there won’t be many tougher matches this season.  There were many positives for the Tangerines, not least the manner in which the various new boys have settled into the team and the squad.  Two clean sheets in a row at this level is to be applauded and a special mention should go to Joe Robson who has slipped into the team almost unnoticed and looks to be quite an asset, especially last night when he had to drop into the right back position after Joe Green had to leave the field with a knock.  Club captain Russell Canderton returned from the sub’s bench looking fit whilst Tyler Tobin in goal was back to his immaculate best and, all in all, Ashford, on the basis of the first two matches, and without getting carried away, look set for a decent season.

There is an immediate break on Saturday when Ashford will travel to Wellingborough Town of the United Counties League in the Extra-Preliminary Round of the FA Cup.  It is a journey of around 71 miles but nothing we weren’t used to in our Southern League days.  The players will have a mini-bus thanks to Wheels who have helped us out yet again and there will be more on the match in the next couple of days.

So far so good and this evening’s squad for the match at Chessington will be strengthened by the availability of both skipper Russell Canderton and Scott Weight.  As stated before though, it will be no easy match against a club who went from near the foot of Division One to earn promotion back to the Premier Division, just a year after being relegated, thanks to a run of 13 unbeaten matches, most of which were won.

Kick-off this evening is 7.45 p.m. and the full address of the ground is Chalky Lane, Chessington, KT9 2NF.  There is ample parking at the ground.

Our two clubs have not met in a league match since the 99-00 season when both matches ended in 2-2 draws.  In the first one, played at Chessington in October 1999, our two scorers were Stefan Elekes and Andy Frost whilst at home in January 2000, it was Andy Frost, again, and Tony Nolan.

Since then there have been just three meetings, two in the S. Comb. Cup and one in the Surrey Senior Cup, with Ashford recording two victories to Chessington’s one.

Three points and a clean sheet added up to a good first day for Ashford who beat AFC Hayes by the only goal of the game at Short Lane.

Despite the closeness of the scoreline and indeed the lateness of the goal, which did not arrive until the 79th minute, it was generally accepted that the Tangerines deserved the victory, rather dominating possession for much of the second half.

No-one knew quite what to expect from the visitors who were fielding a very different side to the one that was relegated from Step 4 last season but the early stages saw Ashford taking control and it took referee Elson less than two minutes to incur the collective disapproval of the Ashford supporters, when a blatant hack on Mark Bitmead, which, at any other time of the game would have seen a card, possibly even red, for the offender, was completely ignored, apart from the award of a free kick on the edge of the area.  “Get one in early” seems to still work!

Everyone got on with the game though and with Dan Fleming playing in a somewhat withdrawn role, Ashford were unable to make the early possession count and the visitors came into the match ever more strongly as the half progressed.  What was good to see though was that Ashford’s freshened defence, with two members of it making their debut, had a solid look about them that was not always present last season.

The second half saw Ashford regain the initiative and generally hold on to it.  AFC though defended well and doggedly and, as mentioned, it took a long time to make the breakthrough.  It finally came though when excellent work by Bitmead led to a chance for Fleming and Ashford’s reliable striker made no mistake as he gratefully hammered home the opportunity.

For those interested in the visitors, they should pick up their share of points this season with a defence that looks hard to break down.  They also have one or two speedy front runners but overall they were unable to create too many chances, apart from one effort well saved by Tyler Tobin at his best.

Ashford now look to Tuesday when they make the trip to Chalky Lane Chessington (right opposite the World of Adventures) to meet newly promoted Chessington & Hook, who drew at Farnham Town one apiece on Saturday, to complete their 14th consecutive unbeaten match since they lost 1-4 at home to Staines Lammas back on 10 March., so it will be a challenging match without a doubt.  More on that one tomorrow.

 

Pre-season is out of the way for another year as Ashford start their league campaign on Saturday with a home match against AFC Hayes, kick-off 3.00 p.m.

It is a difficult game to predict with AFC having been relegated from the Central Division of the Southern League at the end of last season, treading the same path as the Ash Trees a year ago.  Although it was too late for them, they actually picked up quite well towards the end of last season but it will mean little as it is understood they have virtually a completely new squad as they settle in to life at Step 5.

From the opening Ashford line-up this time last season when the Tangerines lost at home to Cove, every player in that starting line-up has remained with the club, barring Jack Mullan who left halfway through last season, and Eliott Jones whom we have not seen this time round.  He is a loss but with at least six new players in the squad for this new season, the eventual line-up tomorrow will certainly show some changes.

Kick-off at Short Lane is 3.00 p.m. and prices of entry are unchanged from last season (£8 adults, £5 OAP’s and accompanied children under 16 free.  Unaccompanied children pay £2).

Other intriguing matches tomorrow include Epsom & Ewell entertaining Windsor whilst league runners-up Camberley have a home game against Horley Town who have apparently retained hot shot Ashley Nadesan, runner –up in the league goal scoring records last season.

The start of the season is always a busy time and on Tuesday Ashford have their first away match, at Chalky Lane, against newly promoted Chessington & Hook United.

Earlier tomorrow afternoon, the Manchester United v Tottenham match will be showing live on TV in the clubhouse whilst afterwards, the match between Chelsea and Swansea will also be on live in the clubhouse.

Our fledgling ladies side, under the control of Will Boye, has certainly not been idle in obtaining sponsorship and their main sponsor is Korean Foods, whose Managing Director, Dan Suh, has sent the following message:

After the recent World Cup in Canada, Korea Foods UK are delighted to be sponsoring Ashford Town (Middlesex) Ladies Football Club this season. Having come down to the club to meet the team manager, Will Boye, and meet a couple of the players, Ashley Cheatley and Holly Isaacs, we were impressed with the direction the club wants to move, the commitment from the management, and the desire of the players who we were able to talk to.

This convinced us that sponsoring a newly formed grass roots football club, but who have big ambitions, would be the right direction for ourselves. Having already been involved in sponsoring AFC Wimbledon and having been approached by Chelsea Ladies (due to the Korean connection), this year we want to commit to a well-run club where the contribution we make will really matter.

Despite not being able to make a pre-season friendly yet, and despite the results, we get regular reports direct from the manager, and it’ll be really exciting to see how the team fare when we hope to see the progress at the next home game. We don’t expect to see the team win every game, but we know that the management are driving good ethics into the club, which will make the players improve.

Good quality football, improving technique, provide understanding of the tactical aspect of the game, and discipline, are all massive aspects of what we know the management is trying to drive into the players.

Having been involved in different football clubs at different levels, we know that these kind of ethics are the minimum required to be the best, and to achieve potential.

So who are we? In a nutshell, we sell Korean food, whether it’s in your local supermarket, local Chinese supermarket, or through our own shops, we have everything to do with Korean food in the UK. We educate foodies about Korean flavours, and hope that people might try some Korean food.

Over the last few years, we have run a big campaign with chefs and the media to get the profile of Korean food increased, and have found that the London scene is starting to get on board with Korean food and flavours.

We have a passion for food and football. Hopefully, we might organise a few tasters for the players and staff, and will hope to bring down some interesting Korean food from time to time, maybe even organise a Korean food night after a game during the season……and we’ll see what we can do about supplying some refreshments from time to time.

Our philosophy, whether it’s in business, sport, or your everyday life is very simple. The very minimum you put in is 100% or you have already lost. There will be good days, there will be bad days, but only unity brings you success. We hope that the players and management agree with our philosophy and bring it to the team.

We want to wish all the players and management at Ashford Town (Middlesex) Ladies Football Club a very successful season.

 

 

 

 

As we have a short lull before the 1st Team starts in earnest on Saturday, we take a look at both our new ladies’ side and British Airways FC, who have taken the place of Staines Lammas.

As a new side, the ladies have been placed in Division 3 of the Greater London Women’s League in which they will compete against ten other sides including the rather unusually named Bedhead FC.  There must be a story there!  Also in the League are teams from Hammersmith, Orpington, Acton etc., so they will have their fair share of travelling.  No league fixtures have been issued yet but it is known that they will start on Sunday 23 August.  They will be playing their final pre-season match at home to Clapham Ladies on Sunday 16 August, kick-off 2.00 pm as far as we are aware.  The ladies now have a squad of 25.

British Airways start their league programme in the Premier Division of the Middlesex County League this Saturday, 8 August, with an away trip to Pitshanger Dynamo, with their first home match being the following Saturday, 15 August, against AFC Assyria, who sound interesting opponents.  A previous web site of theirs states that “all members are Assyrian, true descendants of the ancient Mesopotamian empire of Assyria and Babylon, cradle of civilisation and speakers of the ancient tongue of Aramaic.  That should certainly test the average referee in the Middlesex County League one would think!  Kick-off will be 3.00 p.m. so if you can’t make the trip to Wellingborough to support Ashford in the FA Cup, why not come along.and support our new colleagues.

Back to Ashford and don’t forget that we have a social evening on Thursday for supporters and committee to meet with our players in a convivial atmosphere before the opening match at home to AFC Hayes on Saturday.

There is no news yet concerning the Sunday side and their fixtures, although we understand that they have been promoted following their excellent season last year.

 

The Club sends its congratulations to Vice-President Gareth Coates and his partner Stephanie following the birth of their second child.  Benjamin Eric Norman Coates was born on 1 August, weighing in at an impressive 8lb 14oz.  Gareth reports that mother and baby are doing well.

Pre-season results matter little as such, which is just as well in Ashford’s case, as they were beaten by two goals to one at Abbey Rangers on Saturday, to conclude a fairly indifferent pre-season sequence of matches.

All kinds of excuses could be dreamed up, but maybe we should just say well done to Abbey who should do well in the CCL, one would think.  Ashford were all at sea in the first half and maybe the scoreline reflected the application of both sides with the home side seemingly very much “up for it” and Ashford seeming to adopt something of a laid back attitude, always trying to work the ball from the back but only rarely putting the sort of moves together that the squad is more than capable of.  The wind on basically an open park did not help but it was the same for both sides.

Abbey took the lead midway through the first half when their energetic striker was not closed down and he unleashed a shot that gave Tyler Tobin little chance.  They could have scored more.

To be fair, Ashford improved in the second half and just as in the match against Cockfosters, they started to enjoy the bulk of the possession.  Chances went begging and the home keeper was certainly in good form, although in a normal match he would probably have been sent off, after conceding a penalty with a late lunge  on Mark Bitmead who was through on goal.  Bitmead though converted the penalty with his usual aplomb to level the scores.

Hopefully this article is not too biased in stating that, from that point it was Ashford who looked more likely to score again but Abbey certainly continued to give it all they had and a failure to clear by an Ashford triallist when he had the opportunity, led to what turned out to be the winning goal.

There were one or two positives:  Tyler Tobin looked more like his usual self in goal and could do little with the goals, whilst the return of Scott Weight albeit only for the last fifteen minutes is a major boost for the Club.  He says he needs to get fit but fit or not he rarely misplaced a ball in those last fifteen.  Also, one match does not alter the fact that with Bitmead and Dan Fleming up front, we have two players who scored 62 goals between them last season and with proven scorers in the team, and they are by no means the only ones with scoring potential, this game will soon be forgotten once they get going properly.  It just needs to be sooner rather than later though.

The real stuff starts next Saturday with Ashford at home to AFC Hayes.  The pitch is looking good and one hopes it will be a different story next week especially if some of the absentees on Saturday are back.  The players are training on three nights next week, including Thursday evening but they will be available in the clubhouse from around 8.15 p.m. that evening for a “Meet the Players” evening, when we hope that as many supporters and committee as possible will take the opportunity to come along.

 

Ashford will complete their pre-season programme this afternoon with an interesting trip to CCL new boys Abbey Rangers, who won promotion from the Surrey Elite League last year, and who will now take their place in Division One.

The address of the ground is Addlestone Moor, Addlestone, KT15 2QH.  If you come along from Chertsey, take the 1st left at the large roundabout before going into Addlestone and the ground is more or less right in front of you.  There is plenty of parking. 

There is the opportunity this coming Thursday evening for all our supporters and members of the committee to meet up with the players especially the new ones, and manager Ben Murray hopes as many as possible of the committee and supporters as possible will attend.  The starting time will be advised very shortly.

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