We have agreed with Chessington & Hook United this evening that the League Cup tie on Tuesday evening will be switched to our ground, as their own is still waterlogged at present.  Kick off, therefore, will be 7.45 p.m. as usual, at Short Lane.

Due to the short period of time, it is unlikely that there will be time for a programme to be produced.

With over three quarters of the match having passed, and no goals, few would have predicted the eventual outcome, which saw Ashford racking up another away win by three goals to nil at Hanworth Villa on Saturday.

With most of the missing players from Tuesday evening back in the squad, Ben Murray named a strong team, despite the absence of skipper Russell Canderton, who sustained a knock against Enfield Town and Dan Fleming, unavailable.

In a biting wind both sides struggled to put any meaningful moves together in the first half.  It is fair to say that Ashford enjoyed the greater amounts of possession and chances but neither keeper was in serious trouble.  The second half followed much the same pattern.  Villa always looked dangerous on the break but as the match went on, it was the visitors who looked more likely to make the break through, and so it proved in the 80th minute when excellent work by Mark Bitmead was thwarted by the ever competent Terry Buss in the Villa goal.  The ball ran loose though and it was Jack Beadle, later afforded the Ashford “man of the match” accolade, who finally latched on to it and struck home.

Villa had little time to react as within three minutes Max Webb elegantly slotted home the second goal.  Quite frankly it looked as it may have been offside but the assistant waved play on and it did not detract from the excellent finish.

To emphasise it was Ashford’s day a third goal arrived shortly afterwards and it was Beadle again whose curiously looped effort caught Buss out as it landed in the back of the net.  Again there was a touch of good fortune about the goal but the win keeps Ashford very much in the title race.  After conceding six on Tuesday, albeit at a Ryman Premier club, the defence was solid throughout with Will Boye and Samad Kazi dominant at the back, whilst Tyler Tobin’s handling was immaculate in goal.

The next match is due to be away to Chessington & Hook United in the quarter final of the League Cup on Tuesday but due to the problems they are experiencing with their pitch, the match may be transferred to Short Lane.  As soon as a decision has been reached, sometime later today, the information will be put on here.

It is much closer to home but Ashford face another tough away match on Saturday, away to Hanworth Villa.

Last season the Villains endured a troubled season but have been doing far better this time round and they currently hold 5th place in the table with 15 wins and 9 defeats from their 27 league matches to date.  Last time out they surprisingly lost by 3 goals to 1 at home to Guildford City but prior to that had been in good form and Ashford know they can expect a tough match.  In the Tangerines’ favour though is the fact that, against Hanworth Villa in two previous games this season, one in the League and one in the Middlesex Senior Cup, they have played some of their best football of the season.

Personnel wise, along hopefully with others, Ashford should be able to welcome back both Perry Luckins and Samad Kazi to the squad, both missing the midweek epic against Enfield Town, due to Perry being cup tied and Samad suspended. 

For anyone who doesn’t know the address of the ground is Rectory Meadows, off Park Road, Hanworth, TW13 6PN and kick-off is 3.00 p.m.  There is ample parking but it may be wise to allow a little extra time with the England v Ireland Rugby match taking place later in the afternoon at Twickenham.

There is a fairly full junior programme on Sunday and here are the fixtures:

Ashford Sports Club – Short Lane 11-a-side Pitch

Tim U16s v Kew Park Rangers 10.30

Craig U13s v Kew Park Rangers 12pm 

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch

Billy U7s v Epsom Athletic 11am

Andy U8s v AFC West End 12.15

Ashford Town 7 – 7 Pitch

Graham U10s v Kew Park Rangers 10.30

Ashford Town – Outfield

Marco U15s v Staines Lammas 10am 

Ashford Town– Stadium

No fixture 

Away Games

Neil U7s v Rocks Lane

Tommy U7s v Spelthorne

Matt U8s v Esher Colts

Matt U9s v CB Hounslow

Nelson U10s v Hanworth Sports

Larry U12s v Motspur Park

Fin U13s v G4G

Ben U15s v Sheen Lions

Conor U15s v G4G

Marco U15s Staines Lammas

Carl U17s v Imber Court

Gary Sunday Men v Bedfont Sunday 

No Game

Martin U14s

Last Week;s Results

Larry U12s 2-2 Kingstonian Youth

Craig U13s 6-1 Meadow Sport

Fin U13s 5-0 G4G

Martin U14s 1-2 Wallington Wanderers

Ben U15s 4-2 Royals Elite

Conor U15s 7-1 Woking Cougars

Carl U17s 3-5 Horsley

Ladies 3-0 Greenhouse (for full report, go to ATFC Ladies’ web site)

 

 

Ashford finally exited the Middlesex Senior Cup for another season on Tuesday evening, but only after a momentous battle against Ryman Premier side Enfield Town, eventually losing by six goals to four after extra time.

Although Ashford’s players all arrived on time, kick-off at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium was sadly delayed until 8.00 p.m. due to a fatal accident further along the A10 in which a motor cyclist lost his life.  The art-deco ground is possibly one of the most interesting in the country from an architectural point of view, resembling an old London Underground station from the outside and full of character.  The same cannot be said for the pitch, which was in fine condition for the time of year but surrounded by a wretched athletics track.

Playing opponents from higher levels rarely phases Ashford even though Ben Murray found himself with something of a depleted squad and the visitors started brightly enough.  It was evident though right from the start that Enfield possess that little extra quality that is not often seen in the CCL and they were quick to pick up on any defensive errors which is exactly what they did, with goals from Bobby Devyne and Vance Bola seemingly putting them on the road to a straightforward victory in the opening 18 minutes.

As always though the third goal in any match is often decisive and Ashford were rewarded for their perseverance when the excellent Bailey Mummery got on the end of a low cross and took the opportunity to equalise just before the half-hour mark.  Sadly for the Tangerines, poor defending let them down again just four minutes later and Micky Parcell restored Enfield’s two goal lead.

So it remained at half-time although an immaculate piece of control on the stroke of the whistle from Dan Fleming had seen him control the ball and attempt a deft lob over the home keeper which just cleared the bar.  It would otherwise have been the goal of the night.

As the temperature dropped Ashford made an explosive start to the second half.  Within seconds Mark Bitmead was fouled in the area and made no mistake from the spot, and then, just five minutes later, another excellent move saw Scott Weight send in a low cross for Fleming to equalise at three apiece.

The match ebbed and flowed but once again it was Enfield who went ahead, this time through Devyne on 70 minutes and one wondered if that signalled the end for the visitors.  The answer was no, when they equalised with five minutes on the clock.  Bitmead was impeded as he tried to get on the end of a through ball and the Enfield defender was sent off for denying a goal scoring opportunity.  It had looked that the ball would have run through to the keeper and it was an extremely harsh decision.  Bitmead who had come to life in the second half hit the back of the net from the resulting free kick.  Just before the end he almost won it for Ashford with another effort that went narrowly wide.

At four apiece though and the home side down to ten men, the advantage was with Ashford in extra time and again they almost made it pay at the start but an obvious tiredness, hardly surprising after facing such a talented opposition, was manifesting itself and, despite being a man down, it was the home side who were now looking distinctly more menacing.  So it proved with Enfield scoring their fifth goal in the first period through Corey Whiteley and the writing was finally on the wall.  A sixth and final goal at the death, again from Whiteley ensured that it would be Enfield who would go through to meet Northwood in the Final, following their win by two goals to nil against Staines.

Enfield Town still have to visit Short Lane in the quarter final of the Middlesex Charity Cup and we shall look forward to entertaining them after their excellent and friendly hospitality on Tuesday evening.

Ashford duly returned to winning ways on Saturday with, what in the end, was a fairly straightforward victory over bottom side Cove by three goals to one.

Cove, of course, have a new manager and plenty of their present squad have more than sufficient senior experience.  In a nut shell they were not the best side we have faced at Short Lane this season but neither were they the worst and it took three goals of real quality to ensure the points, despite Ashford probably enjoying at least 80% of the possession.

The first essential was patience and Ashford needed it yesterday, faced by an organised defence and a niggling reluctance to turn chances into goals.  Indeed, with no goals in the first 20 minutes, despite chances galore, one wondered if this would be another frustrating afternoon but a glorious move on 26 minutes saw the Tangerines take a deserved lead, the final part of which saw a super cross from Alex Fisher to the head of Dan Fleming whose powerful header gave the generally efficient Cove custodian Sam Freeman no chance.

Ashford certainly looked in the mood with the football flowing beautifully sometimes from the Tangerines but a rare aberration from young Fisher saw him give the ball away under no pressure just nine minutes later and with Ashford caught by surprise, the visitors notched a decent enough equaliser through Karle Carder.

There was no further scoring before half-time but a completely out of character incident soured the period leading up to half time when Josh Andrew did so well not to over retaliate when he was spat at in the face by a Cove player.  This report will not name the player, although we know who it was, but it is hoped that Cove might take some action as there is certainly nothing worse in football.  Sadly the incident spilled over into the tunnel as the teams left the field at half-time but common sense prevailed in the end and there were no further problems in the second half, especially as Cove substituted the offender very quickly after the break.  Indeed referee Brown who refereed the match in a benign, generally cheerful, and certainly unrushed manner saw fit not to take a single name throughout the proceedings and after one or two of the card wielding zealots we’ve endured in certain recent matches, it was quite refreshing in a way.

It took Ashford just six minutes after the re-start to re-gain the lead.  Once again it was a superb goal.  Andrew picked up the ball deep in the right back position and as he is prone to do, went on one of those long mazy, fast paced runs going past one defender after another before slipping the ball inside to Fleming who deftly beat the keeper.  It really was top notch stuff.

It was mostly all Ashford after that although the visitors almost conjured a second equaliser when Samad Kazi had to clear from the line but a third goal for the Tangerines was always beckoning with Fleming having more than one opportunity to complete his hatrick, whilst Mark Bitmead and Jack Beadle also both went close.

The third goal and Fleming’s perfect hatrick, his third in Ashford’s last eight games, did eventually come in the 82nd minute when Fisher was once again the provider to ensure a 3-1 win and three more points.

It may be sometime before we face Cove again as they accept they are doomed to relegation but they will surely pick up a few points before the end of the season and should not be under-estimated by anyone.  Ashford, therefore can be more than satisfied with a return to form and some exquisite passing at times throughout the match.  Dan Fleming rightly took the ATFC “Player of the Match” award but Scott Weight gets an honourable mention for his hard work, as do full backs, Josh Andrew and Alex Fisher, who were both excellent going forward yesterday.

It will be a different match on Tuesday when Ashford head off to play Enfield Town in the Semi-final of the Middlesex Senior Cup, their reward for beating Harrow Borough 3-0 in the quarter final.  It was hardly the draw we wanted, given the journey and the quality of our opponents but we will give of our best.

The address of the ground is:  The Queen Elizabeth Stadium, 3 Donkey Lane, Enfield, EN1 3PL, telephone 07787 875 650.  It is a journey of around 43 miles ground to ground, involving coming off the M25 at Junction 25, going down the A10 (Great Cambridge Road) until you reach Donkey Lane, via Carterhatch Lane.  Kick-off is 7.45 p.m.

Some of our players have achieved praiseworthy milestones in recent matches.  On the goal scoring front, Mark Bitmead has now become one of a select band to have scored 100 competitive goals for Ashford, whilst Dan Fleming went past the 50 mark on Saturday.   In appearances, Jack Beadle has now achieved 100 competitive starts for the club, whilst Max Webb now has a total of 100 appearances along with Scott Weight who made his 200th 1st Team start on Saturday in his two spells with the Club.

The Under-18’s have produced some excellent performances lately without getting their due reward but will travel to meet Hayes & Yeading FC U18 tomorrow evening in a Ryman Youth match, kick-off 7.30 p.m.

 

Ashford will look to return to winning ways on Saturday when they entertain Cove FC.  Last season the opening match of the season was at home to Cove, who went away with a 2-1 victory and for a long time it looked as if they would win the League.  Sadly for the Club there was something of a slump after Christmas although they still managed to finish in 4th place.  That squad largely deserted the club at the end of the season and they began the current campaign with a very young side which sadly did not prove to be up to the job but with much of that side also now departed, the club appointed the experienced Paul Duncan to take charge and he has done well in recruiting new players at short notice.

Although results have not yet borne fruit, Cove are generally no longer suffering the “hammerings” and we are aware that they are now well organised and difficult to break down.

Kick-off as always is 3.00 p.m.

Following last night’s result, we now know that we will be entertaining Enfield Town in the quarter final of the Middlesex Charity Cup as they beat Harrow Borough by 3 goals to 2 in their 2nd Round clash last night.  We are already going to Enfield Town next Tuesday in the semi-final of the Senior Cup.

Sadly we have lost our video appeal against Samad Kazi’s unjustified sending off against Knaphill last Tuesday week.  That’s twice now we have thrown our money away to Middlesex FA.  We are awaiting the written reasons for that decision.

Ashford suffered a narrow defeat on Monday evening at the hands of a well organised Aldershot side losing by 4 goals to 3.

Aldershot started the brighter side and used the heavy pitch to their advantage, hitting the ball long into the channels which we simply struggled to deal with.  The first half finished 3-1 to Aldershot with our goal coming from a Keegan Stewart penalty and their three goals coming from a well struck free kick and two long balls.

Into the second half Aldershot hit us with an early goal and grabbed their fourth on the 48th minute and further misery was chucked our way when we were reduced to 10 men on the 55th minute when Aaron Lovett received his second yellow of the game with a mistimed tackle.  In a nutshell, we had given ourselves a mountain to climb.

For some reason the loss of a man and a system tweak seemed to benefit us and it wasn’t long before our possession and direct play carved open the Aldershot defence. Harry Herdman scored a wonderful solo goal on the 78th minute giving us hope as the game had swung in our favour.

Four minutes later we scored again, this time from an in swinging corner which found the head of Ilia Perovic 4-3, we could all sense an equalizer and the Aldershot players were clearly feeling the pressure with 8 minutes still left to play.

Our final chance came in stoppage time when we were awarded a free kick just outside the area and everyone piled into the box as we knew this would have to be it, Keegan Stewart stepped up but could only direct the ball into the keeper’s arms, the relief from the Aldershot bench and players was clear to see as the final whistle blew.

Two very different halves of football, we were punished for starting slowly once again and not creating enough chances in the first half. The second half was different, maybe the lads felt that they had nothing to lose, maybe Aldershot felt that the game had already been won but overall we almost came away with a point purely based on our fighting spirit and belief that we could get something out of the game.

Next up it’s an away trip to Hayes & Yeading in the league, Monday 22nd 19:45 KO.

A disappointing result on Saturday saw Ashford lose by the only goal of the game, scored on the hour mark by Westfield’s Matt Jackson.  The goal itself was disappointing as it came from a poorly struck corner kick, almost bobbling towards the near post, which really should have been cleared before Jackson flicked it home

This second consecutive defeat has put a dent in Ashford’s promotion ambitions but talk of giving up on the idea is totally premature, when there are still 42 points to be played for this season.  We had just gone 12 matches without defeat, winning most of them, and Saturday’s setback must be looked upon as a hiccup, nothing worse.  Neither will there be any criticism from this quarter of our excellent squad who have given Ashford supporters huge pleasure this season, even if they could not reach the heights of recent weeks on this occasion.

Every club in this League can beat their rivals on the day and that most certainly includes Westfield who, on Saturday, whilst not threatening too often, were well organised and hard to break down and all credit to them for scoring the vital goal and holding on to it for all three points.  Although we firmly lay the blame for the defeat at Knaphill at the referee’s door, the same could not be said of Saturday’s referee who did a good job.  We did have a penalty shout turned down near the end which looked clear to many of us but the officials saw it otherwise.  

Josh Andrew rattled the bar with a fierce effort whilst Mark Bitmead had an excellent chance at the death to rescue a point but he was unable to keep his effort down.

We now look forward to Saturday’s home clash against Cove FC and there will be more on that one later in the week.

Thanks to Westfield who swept out their changing room at the end of the match, a small gesture that always goes so far, when it happens.

You can follow Ashford on Facebook - Ashford Town (Middlesex) Supporters and on Twitter - @ashfordtownmx

Ashford look forward to entertaining Westfield on Saturday.

Our visitors gave Woking a good run for their money it would seem on Tuesday, in the Surrey Senior Cup, when they took the lead very early on but lost 1-4 in the end.  Westfield’s season has been tarnished rather by the weather and other factors with their ground suffering multi-postponements to the extent that they have played less matches than anyone else in the League and will only make the halfway mark if tomorrow’s match goes ahead.  As a result they are undoubtedly in a false position in the table in 19th place.

Even back in the halcyon days of the 90’s, we have never found matters easy against our opponents.  They beat us earlier in the season even though we had taken a two goal lead in the first half, so it was rather criminal from our point of view.  They also won the last time they played here in the League, just over a year ago, by 2 goals to 1, our goal coming from Samad Kazi, although we did manage to win at Westfield last season, and in the Surrey Senior Cup here at Short Lane.

With Hartley Wintney winning 4-2 at home to Chertsey (both Chertsey goals coming in the last few seconds) we lost a little ground on Tuesday, but with Hartley and Camberley meeting each other tomorrow, at Hartley Wintney, one or both of them will drop points so if we can get the better of our visitors we can claw some of that ground back.

Junior Chairman Nick Bailey has provided all the Junior fixtures for this weekend, as below plus last Sunday’s results:

Ashford Sports Club – Short Lane 11-a-side Pitch

Craig U13s v Martin U14s 11am 

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch

Tommy U7s v Neil U7s 10.30 

Ashford Town 7 – 7 Pitch

Graham U10s v Staines Lammas 10.30 

Ashford Town – Outfield

Gary Sunday Men v Hamilton 10.30

Marco U15s v Spelthorne Sports 12.30

Away Games

Larry U12s v Kew Park Rangers

Craig U13s v Kew Park Rangers

Fin U13s v Met Police

Ben U15s v Leatherhead

Conor U15s v Kingstonian

Tim U16s v Wallington Wanderers

Ladies v Leyton Orient

No Games

Bill U7s

Tommy U7s

Matt U8s

Andy U8s

Matt U9s

Graham U10s

Nelson U10s

Results for Sunday 7 February 2016

Billy U7s 2-2 Kingston Town

Matt U8s 6-6 Esher Colts

Matt U9s 3-1 Met Police

Graham U10s 5-4 Hampton Youth

Larry U12s 3-1 SCR Colts

Craig U13s 9-0 Kew Park Rangers

Fin U13s 6-0 Worcester Park

Martin U14s 5-1 Oxshott Royals

Ben U15s 3-3 Raynes Park Vale

Conor U15s 3-1 Rushmoor

Marco U15s 7-1 Badshot Lea

Tim U16s 1-3 Corinthian Casuals

Carl U17s 3-2 West Byfleet 

 

 

Criticism of the referee is inevitably seen as sour grapes if a club loses the match in question, so firstly let the appropriate amount of credit be given to Knaphill who inflicted a first defeat on Ashford in eleven matches, the previous defeat also being at the hands of Knaphill in the Surrey Senior Cup.

Matches between the two clubs this season and this was the third, have all been extraordinary in one way or another, but this one stood out for an rather bizarre performance by the referee, Mr. Stoyanov.  His first decision was whether or not the match should go ahead at all with quite a large area of the pitch resembling a bog.  Many would have called it off but he decided to play it.

Just as they had in the County Cup match, Ashford found themselves back on their heels as Knaphill made all the early running and they were rewarded with an early goal, with less than three minutes on the clock,, the scorer being Charlie Postance.  Ashford seemed to weather the storm though and then we had the first incident.  A Knaphill defender attempted a back pass on the bog and inevitably it stuck in the mud.  Scott Harris was first to it but he was taken out by Knaphill keeper Richard Shelley who had come rushing out.  Given that all the Knaphill team had been pushing up, there was little doubt that Harris would have scored into an empty net and in Ashford’s eyes, it had to be a red card for the keeper, who had been sent off in the previous match between the sides for a similar offence but probably one that was not as clear cut as last night.  The sending off could just as easily have been for violent conduct as the keeper knew exactly what he was doing and whilst Harris had gone slightly to the left as he went past, or attempted to go past the keeper, he had absolute control of the ball until taken out and it was a clear red card offence in the visitors’ eyes.  Sadly not in Mr. Stoyanov’s who saw fit only to issue a yellow.  There is no need to accept this report as gospel as there is some excellent footage on You Tube

The decision had a huge impact on the match as Shelley, who is without doubt a fine goalkeeper, made any number of good saves during the rest of the game.  Ashford’s sense of injustice was only heightened when, within minutes Knaphill scored their second courtesy of Scott Costello.

There was no further scoring before half-time although Shelley had made a point blank stop from Dan Fleming when a goal had seemed inevitable.  Knaphill though had played better than Ashford and it would have been hard to say that they did not deserve their lead although what would have happened if they had gone down to ten men is impossible to say.

A storming come back was required if Ashford were going to get anything from this match but in all honesty it did not look as if it would materialise and the home side could have put the issue beyond doubt on more than one occasion.  That said, everyone knew that if Ashford could get one back, things would change, and they finally managed it with just fifteen minutes left on the clock, when Fleming smashed it home after good work from Mark Bitmead.

Now the fun and games started in earnest.  Very quickly, Ashford were awarded a penalty even though the foul on Fleming was committed quite noticeably outside the box.  Before the penalty could be taken, Knaphill had a player sent off for his re-action and given the speed of the red card, there was little doubt that his language merited the decision, although frankly it needed a saint not to react in some way to a blatantly incorrect decision.  The player then took some two minutes to trudge down the length of the pitch without any action being taken.  To be fair, at least the referee added on a reasonable period of stoppage time at the end of the match, unlike the previous time this had happened in the County Cup match between the sides.

The delay did not phase Mark Bitmead who calmly struck home the spot kick to level the scores.  Within minutes Knaphill suffered again at the hands of Mr. Stoyanov.  This time there was a late tackle on Scott Weight, which was definitely a foul and probably a yellow.  The player could not believe it when the referee produced another red card.  Unless he had seen something that nobody else had, it seemed unbelievable that the offence merited the ultimate punishment but Ashford now had their tails up against nine men and sensed another goal in the closing minutes.

It came alright but it was the home side who scored it.  Ashford had rather thrown caution to the wind in looking for the winner and a huge clearance from Shelley found a lone attacker closing in on goal.  A super effort from Samad Kazi saw him get back and seemingly take the ball off the attacker’s toes only for Mr. Stoyanov to strike again. He deemed it was a foul and sent Kazi off and awarded a penalty to Knaphill, who missed it, thanks to a fine save from Tyler Tobin, only for the taker, Rob Kersley, to be first to the rebound and give Knaphill an unlikely winner, based solely on the events of the last fifteen minutes.  A fourth goal for the home side deep in stoppage time from Costello as Ashford heads dropped just rubbed further salt in.

After some of the superb displays in recent weeks, Ashford were far from their best last night.  Despite the refereeing performance, he wasn’t responsible for Knaphill scoring four goals (one  maybe!) and winning the match following a poor defensive performance by the visitors.  Well done to our opponents but things move on and Ashford now look forward to entertaining Westfield on Saturday on what will doubtless be a very welcome pristine surface.

Assuming Samad’s red card was for denying a goal scoring opportunity, he will now receive a one match suspension which unfortunately for him will be the semi-final against Enfield Town in the Middlesex Senior Cup.  The coffers of both Middlesex and Surrey FA’s will benefit from the referee’s decisions last night, especially given the over the top fine system introduced by the Football Association this season but Mr. Stroyanov is unlikely to give that much of a thought.

This evening’s match away to Knaphill is subject to a pitch inspection around 3.00 p.m. although the tweet from our friends at Knaphill suggested that all should be OK.  Let’s hope so.

Ashford and Knaphill have met twice already this season, once in the League at Short Lane and once in the Surrey Senior Cup at Knaphill.  Both were high scoring matches and we have seen enough of our opponents to know that they are capable of some excellent football.

Having beaten us in the County Cup (we will draw a veil over the referee’s time keeping in that match), they went on, after two postponements, to beat Chipstead and would have been entertaining Sutton United this evening, but for the fact that the latter drew in the FA Trophy on Saturday and now have a reply this evening which takes precedence.

The address of the ground is the Brookwood Country Park, Redding Lane, Lower Guildford Road, Knaphill, GU21 2AY and kick-off is 7.30 p.m.

On a heavy but perfectly playable surface, Badshot Lea and Ashford found their main problem was not the pitch but the fierce wind that was blowing more or less straight down the pitch.

Ashford had it behind them in the first half and wasted little time in taking the lead on 7 minutes.  Jack Beadle and Alex Fisher conspired to set the latter free down the left flank and his low cross was met by the unmarked Mark Bitmead who carefully steered the ball into the net.

The remainder of the half though did not go so well from Ashford’s point of view.  Badshot Lea defended well but often they didn’t have to, as too many balls went astray in the wind, with crosses and shots sailing over the bar.  Scott Harris was rather unlucky to see his determined header ruled out, which would have given Ashford a second goal but there was no further scoring at half-time and the view prevailing amongst Ashford supporters was that one goal may well not be enough in the conditions.

They need not have worried though as Ashford found it far better against the wind, playing the ball on the ground as much as possible, and defending with purpose, with Will Boye and Samad Kazi at the heart of it, whenever they were required.

The Tangerines doubled the lead just before the hour mark with a goal of some class.  Bitmead started the move, finding Harris, whose clever ball behind the defence saw Dan Fleming the first to react and his quite deliberate lob to the far post gave the keeper little chance.

The home keeper had in fact kept his side in the match, making two point blank saves in rapid succession at one point but just five minutes after the second goal, he conceded again when it looked as if he might have done better, although there could have been a slight deflection.  Again the move came down the left with Tommy Brunton feeding Jack Beadle just inside the opposition half.  Unchallenged he carried the ball, cut inside the full back, as he does so often, and his low accurate effort went in at the near post.

To their credit, the home side did not relax their own efforts and probably should have pulled one back when a long ball caught Ashford out for once but the final effort sailed over the bar.

With the visitors generally dominant though, they had the last word in stoppage time, albeit with a little assistance.  Alex Fisher found himself wide right and with time to cross, he sent in a perfect ball.  Lea defender Elliott Hobden got to it first but miscued his header and sent it into his own goal to make the final score 4-0 in favour of the visitors and a very pleasing clean sheet.

Ashford’s travelling supporters voted for Tommy Brunton as “Ashford Man of the Match” but again there were any number of candidates.  The strength of the squad at the moment was perhaps demonstrated by the bench yesterday, composed entirely of players who would often be automatic starters, one being Max Webb who came on for the final quarter and was immediately in the heart of things.

Looking forward, Ashford’s match away to Knaphill on Tuesday evening is now back ON, as Sutton United could only draw in the FA Trophy yesterday and will thus not be available to play Knaphill in the Surrey Senior Cup, due to the replay taking precedence.  Please note that kick-off at Knaphill is 7.30 p.m.  There will be more on the match in due course but it would seem from the two previous matches this season, that goals will be guaranteed, the first game in the Surrey Senior Cup being won by the home side by 4 goals to 3, and the league match at Ashford a few weeks ago resulting in a 6-4 win for the Tangerines.

Next Saturday sees a welcome return to Short Lane, when Westfield will be the visitors.

Also, the Under-18’s have an attractive looking home match on Wednesday evening in the Ryman Youth League when Hendon U18’s will provide the opposition.  Kick-off is 7.45 p.m.

Ashford are due to travel to Ash United’s ground this afternoon, to play against their tenants, Badshot Lea.  They will be hoping to improve upon last season’s debacle when the Tangerines lost by three goals to nil on perhaps the heaviest surface they played on throughout last season.  That is no excuse though and on the day Badshot Lea certainly had no problems.

Badhsot Lea were certainly one of the pre-season favourites to do very well this season and are never easy to beat but the season has not gone as well as they would have hoped and they currently find themselves in 18th place in the table, with 8 wins and 14 defeats in their 23 league matches to date.  They have though recently strengthened their squad, including the dangerous Adam Nditi, who has moved over from Guildford City recently, and who has already scored against Ashford this season for his previous club.

Ashford will be at full strength, as far as the writer is aware, and will be keen to take advantage of the fact that leaders Hartley Wintney are engaged in the FA Vase this afternoon against Hereford.  We wish them all the best in that one as they try to join Camberley in keeping the CCL flag flying in the competition at this advanced stage.

The address of the Ash ground is the Shawfields Stadium, Youngs Drive, Ash, GU12 6RE.  There is a reasonably sized car park and kick-off, as always, is 3.00 p.m.  The weather forecast is not exactly encouraging for today so keep an eye on the website up until around 1.00 p.m.  After that if you think the match may be in doubt, the phone number of the ground is 01932 320385.

LAST WEEK’S JUNIOR RESULTS

Matt U8s 8-1 Halliford

Andy U8s 2-2 Hampton Rangers

Matt U9s 4-8 Carshalton

Graham U10s 8-1 Whitton

Larry U12s 3-4 FC Sunbury

Craig U13s 2-5 Croygas

Fin U13s 2-1 Meadow Sports

Martin U14s 5-3 SCR Colts

Ben U15s 3-2 Met Police

Conor U15s 4-1 Leatherhead

Carl U17s 3-2 Lyne Youth

Ladies 3-3 Hammersmith 


THIS WEEK’S JUNIOR FIXTURES

Ashford Sports Club - Club House 11-a-side Pitch

FC Hatton 10.30

Fin U13s v Worcester Park 12.30

Ashford Sports Club – Short Lane 11-a-side Pitch

Martin U14s v Oxshott Royals 10am

Ben U15s v Raynes Park 11.30

Craig U13s v Kew Park Rangers 1pm

Ashford Sports Club – 9 – 9 Pitch

No fixtures  

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch

Matt U8s v Esher Colts 10.30

Tommy U7s v Halliford Colts 11.45

Ashford Town 7 – 7 Pitch

Graham U10s v Hampton Youth 10am

Matt U9s v Met Police 11.15

Nelson U10s v Halliford Colts 12.30

Ashford Town – Outfield

MARCO - 10am 

Ashford Town Stadium

No fixture

Away Games

Billy U7s v Kingston Town

Andy U8s v Mitcham Park

Larry U12s v SCR Colts

Conor U15s v Rushmoor Saints

Marco U15s v Badshot Lea

Tim U16s v Corinthian Casuals

Carl U17s v West Byfleet

No Games

Gary Sunday Men

Ladies 

Results

Matt U8s 8-1 Halliford

Andy U8s 2-2 Hampton Rangers

Matt U9s 4-8 Carshalton

Graham U10s 8-1 Whitton

Larry U12s 3-4 FC Sunbury

Craig U13s 2-5 Croygas

Fin U13s 2-1 Meadow Sports

Martin U14s 5-3 SCR Colts

Ben U15s 3-2 Met Police

Conor U15s 4-1 Leatherhead

Carl U17s 3-2 Lyne Youth

Ladies 3-3 Hammersmith  Starz

 

 

Ashford Ladies  3    Hammersnith Starz  3


Ashford have won their division in the Greater London Women's League in their first season.  On Sunday last, they entertained 2nd Placed Hammersmith Starz, the match ending in a draw and here is the report of the match from the Ladies' web site.

 

 

League Fixtures Draw To a Close

 

Ashford Ladies twice had to come from behind to earn a hard fought draw against Hammersmith Starz in their penultimate league fixture of the season.

 

Hammersmith went ahead on the 15 minute mark with a long range strike that eluded Lauren Restel before they found themselves two goals up shortly after.

 

The fighting spirit of Ashford Ladies had never been called into action before in the season however the ladies knew they had to dig deep to get any sort of result from this game.

 

Top goalscorer, Ashley Cheatley grabbed her first of the game and minutes before the half time whistle grabbed another to send both sides in level at the break.

 

The second half was played in similar fashion, with both teams creating chances however when Hammersmith were awarded a penalty late on it felt a harsh result in the context of the game.

 

Ashford equalised with five minutes left to play of the game when Lavana Neufville lashed in a superb volley in the penalty box.

 

A 3-3 draw seemed a fair result on the day with both teams playing some great football.

 

LINEUP: L Restel, C McGregor F Larsson, A Luzar, B Sheehan, T Prior, V James, C Samuels, L Neufville, A Cheatley, C Benham

 

SUBS: P Pantlin

 

Ashford Ladies still have cup fixtures to play against Leyton Orient Development, away, on 14th February in the Sue Sharples Memorial Trophy and Greenhouse Sports FC on 21st February in the Capital Womens Cup at The Robert Parker Stadium.

We look forward to your support!

Our Middlesex Senior Cup Semi-Final, away to Enfield Town, is now confirmed for Tuesday 23 February.

The League match away to Sutton Common Rovers on Monday 22 February will be re-arranged.

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