We have received a copy of the details and excellent report from the recent Ladies' Cup Final, written by County President Jim Taylor, who is a frequent and very welcome visitor to Short Lane.  Here it is:

This is the third season of the Capital Women’s Cup, which is a joint venture, involving The Amateur Football Alliance, London FA and Middlesex FA.   It replaces the separate Associations’ Cups with the purpose of increasing the level of competitiveness.   The competition is divided into 3 sections, Junior, Intermediate and Senior.

The Middlesex FA was responsible for organising the Junior Cup final this season, between University  College London Women’s FC and Ashford Town (Middlesex) Ladies FC.   The match was hosted for us by Wealdstone FC at their excellent Grosvenor Vale HQ.   It was an exhilarating and enjoyable encounter played in a very good spirit.

The UCL starting line up was Pauline Borel-Charlet, Jessica Wadey, Kiah Rutz, Christina Sofianos (capt), Emily Sprake, Sophie Britton, Tara Mathias, Andrea Silksoset, Kirsten Walker, Natalie Faktor and Danika Bethune.

Substitutes (the repeat substitution rule applies in this competition): Fareeha Khan, Myra Adra, Meghan Root, Layla Zahawi and Ariane Maharaj.

Ashford Town (Middlesex) started with Lauren Restel, Laura Huse, Amber Luzar, Jess Boyd, Tia Prior, Lavana Neufville, Irisha Smith, Vicky James (capt), Claire Samuels, Ashley Cheatley and Charmaine Benham.

Substitutes: Jade Harker, Charlotte McGregor and Amy O’Sullivan.

Ashley Cheatley opened the scoring for Ashford Town in the 3rd minute, when she volleyed home Charmaine Benham’s cross.

Play then moved from end to end in an entertaining manner.   However, although both goalkeepers were kept busy neither was severely tested at this early stage.   After 25 minutes, UCL keeper Pauline Borel-Charlet, was adjudged to have picked up a back pass.   Skipper Vicky James received the resultant indirect free kick from Lavana Neufville and cleared the defensive wall with her shot but couldn’t make it dip sufficiently and it passed narrowly over the cross bar.

UCL equalised in the 29th minute.   Jess Wadey put Californian striker, Danika Bethune, clear and Danika took the ball around keeper, Lauren Restel before slotting the ball home.   Then, within a minute, UCL were ahead.   Danika was again the scorer, this time with the assistance of Natalie Faktor.   Soon after this, Lauren Restel made a good save from Natalie at the expense of a corner.

Ashford Town got back on equal terms in the 40th minute, when Ashley Cheatley netted, following a corner taken by Vicky James.   Then, they almost took the lead, when a well struck low shot by Lavana Neufville, from another Vicky James corner flew narrowly wide.

Half time score: UCL 2   Ashford Town (Middlesex) 2

In the opening minutes of the second half UCL’s French goalkeeper, Pauline Borel-Charlet, was hurt in a collision with Ashford Town’s Irisha Smith.   Both players were going for the ball, which had run loose, after Pauline had made a diving save.   Pauline recovered after treatment and continued to enjoy an outstanding match.

After 55 minutes, Ashley Cheatley hit the UCL post, after being released through the middle by Vicky James.   However, 3 minutes later, Ashley completed her hat trick and put Ashford Town ahead again.   Irisha passed to Charmaine Benham, who worked her way through the UCL defence to enable Ashley to flick the ball into the net from close range.

The excitement continued and play flowed up and down the pitch.   A long free kick from UCL’s Jess Wadey skimmed the cross bar.   Ashley Cheatley robbed a defender but her fierce drive was turned over the bar by the excellent Pauline Borel-Charlet.   Danika Bethune worked clear but her well struck shot was efficiently dealt with by Lauren Restel.   Charmaine Benham fed Amber Luzar whose shot was headed off of the goal line by UCL skipper Christina Sofianos.

In the 73rd minute, Danika penetrated the Ashford Town defence and netted to complete her hat trick and level the scores again.

Pauline Borel-Charlet made 2 brave saves at the feet of Lavana Neufville and Ashley Cheatley respectively.   Both keepers distinguished themselves in this match.

Charmaine Benham had a good chance to win the match for Ashford Town, after being put through by Vicky James but she hit her shot over the bar from close range.

Score at full time: UCL 3   Ashford Town (Middlesex) 3

After 3 minutes of extra time, a long ball by Vicky was taken on by Ashley and converted to make the score 4-3 to Ashford Town.   Up to now all the goals in this game had been scored by players wearing number 16 (4 by Ashley Cheatley and 3 by Danika Bethune).

Pauline punched away a cross shot from Claire Samuels.   A penetrating run by Amber Luzar, during which she lost and regained possession, ended with her shot testing the keeper from a narrow angle.   Ashley made a run down the left and cut in to provide Claire Samuels with an opportunity.   However, In the Pauline saved Claire’s shot.  

UCL equalised in the 22nd minute of extra time.   Kirsten Walker (number 13) stopped the trend of Number 16s scoring by netting from close range, following a corner taken by Jess Wadey.

Ashley Cheatley worked her way through the UCL defence yet again and fired narrowly over the bar with the very last kick of the match.

Score after extra time: UCL 4   Ashford Town (Middlesex) 4

Vicky James took the first penalty of the shoot out for Ashford Town but her shot was saved by Pauline, diving to her left.

The next 3 kickers, Jess Wadey (UCL), Laura Huse (Ashford Town) and then Kirsten Walker (UCL) all scored, making the score 2-1 to UCL.

In the 3rd set of kicks Lavana’s shot crashed against the cross bar and bounced down onto the goal line and Meghan Root scored for UCL.  (3-1 to UCL).

The 4th set saw Pauline get her hands to Ashley’s penalty without being able to prevent it crossing the line and Tara Mathias hitting the bar.   (3-2 to UCL).

Then Charmaine Benham scored with a shot which Pauline touched and Sophie Britton converted her kick to win the match for UCL.

Penalty shoot-out score: UCL 4   Ashford Town 3

The Middlesex quartet of match officials, Referee Chris Fernandes, Assistant Referees, Leah Ambridge and Steven Simpson and Fourth Official Dario Zavagno controlled proceedings admirably and contributed to the excellent entertainment.

The Guest of Honour, John Taylor, Chairman of Middlesex FA presented the trophy and mementoes after the game and selected Ashley Cheatley as Player of the Match.   John said that this was a very closely fought battle between several outstanding candidates.

The attendance was 57.

This match was followed by the Capital Women’s Intermediate Cup Final, which was organised by London FA.   Charlton Athletic Women Reserves beat AFC Wimbledon Ladies Development 3-0 with 2 goals from Kylie Manktelow and 1 from Darcy Wells.

Our thanks are given to Wealdstone FC for the use of their facilities and to James Klarfeld and Paul Fruin for looking after us so well on the day.

Those attending Alan Pincham’s funeral on Friday are advised that drinks and refreshments are being provided at Staines Town FC afterwards.

We understand that Staines is only available for a while due to another function, so anyone who might like to migrate to Ashford afterwards is very welcome.  The bar at Ashford will be open from 5.00 p.m.

A powerhouse performance from the Tangerines in the second half ensured another emphatic win last night, at Chertsey Town, by five goals to nil, with four goal hero Mark Bitmead deservedly taking the “Ashford man of the match” award as voted by supporters, of whom there were plenty at Alwyns Lane for the game.

In their previous home game Chertsey had actually beaten league champions Hartley Wintney but Ashford were on the front foot from the start as Ben Murray fielded exactly the same team as in the two previous games, with possibly the strongest bench all season.  It took just ten minutes to open the scoring, Mark Bitmead hammering home as the ball fell nicely for him.

Ashford could have scored more goals in that first period but Chertsey were not a beaten side at this stage and managed to cause one or two uncomfortable moments as the game progressed.  On a difficult surface, crisp passing football was inevitably limited but Ashford might have had a second goal with Bitmead being held back by a Chertsey defender who did not receive what surely should have been a yellow card.  Ashford’s indignation increased as Scott Weight did receive a card moments later, albeit fully deserved.

All was forgotten though as the second half got under way and possibly one of Ashford’s best performances over a long season ensued.  Five minutes in, Bitmead smacked home his second goal and just four minutes later, soon after ex-Ashford Keeper George Armstrong had been lucky to escape sanction for hauling down Bradley Wainwright, Ashford were awarded a penalty for a fairly blatant handball and Bitmead duly completed his hatrick.

Chertsey resistance rather fell away from this point on, even though they stuck to their task defensively.  They were unable though to prevent Wainwright from scoring the fourth goal and several near misses later Bitmead crowned a triumphant performance with his fourth goal, and Ashford’s fifth, on the night.

Whether Ashford can overhaul Camberley for the coveted promotion place remains to be seen but all they can do is to try to win at Epsom & Ewell on Saturday in their final league match and see what happens after that. Epsom are a very good side though, who were very much in the promotion hunt themselves until recently and will have other ideas but we shall see.  We need the same type of support at Epsom (Chipstead) on Saturday as we had last night, so Ashford supporters, please try and get there if you can.

Prior to the match at home to Sutton Common Rovers on Saturday, a minutes applause took place following the death of long time supporter Alan Pincham.  It was immaculately observed by both sides and we thank our visitors accordingly.

Playing their third match in five days, manager Ben Murray resisted the temptation to change the team that had won so well at Redhill 48 hours earlier and his decision was vindicated with a further three points in a 2-0 victory.  It is fair to say that the match itself was relatively mundane but there was a solidity about the Tangerines that got the job done, and thus prolong the promotion race for another week, with just Camberley and Ashford now involved, Epsom now unable to catch up.

Mark Bitmead hit an early free kick narrowly over the bar but SCR almost opened the scoring on 6 minutes in, when an excellent header from Phil Page was ruled out by an offside decision, which was certainly unfortunate for the visitors in that it was probably the best move of the match.

Although SCR were well in the match at this point, Ashford gradually asserted themselves and just prior to the half-mark, some desperate defending from the visitors, during which the ball was cleared off the line twice in rapid succession kept the scoreline blank.  Ashford finally got their noses in front in stoppage time in the first period, when Bradley Wainwright went down under a challenge in the area, leaving Alex Fisher to step up and direct his penalty low into the corner.  Ashford almost had another one immediately when SCR gave the ball away from the re-start and Jack Beadle sensing the keeper was off his line sent in an audacious effort which hit the bar.

On the hour mark Ashford doubled the lead.  Wainwright, later named “Ashford man of the match”  was involved again, dummying the ball to give Bitmead his opportunity to crash home his 37th goal of the season.  Max Webb came close to scoring soon afterwards as did skipper Russell Canderton.  SCR also had their moments but generally Ashford looked comfortable and, as an added bonus, Murray was able to give some game time to Perry Luckins and Dan Fleming, both returning from injury.  Fleming looked keen to make up for lost time and he could have had two goals in the final few moments, one effort being well saved and the other coming back from the cross bar.

It’s just a little less hectic this week, with two away matches to complete the season.  On Tuesday evening, the Tangerines go to Chertsey Town, who managed to beat Hartley Wintney in their last home game only to succumb 1-3 to Redhill on Saturday.  We know it will be tough though but we need to grind out another win if we can and we then go to Epsom & Ewell on Saturday.  They blew their big chance by losing at home to Camberley two weeks ago and are now out of the race but will doubtless be keen to beat us and they can play with no pressure.  Camberley are away to Chessington & Hook on Tuesday, although it may be played away from Chessington, and away to SCR on Saturday, before they play their match in hand, away to Hartley Wintney, on Bank Holiday Monday (kick-off 1.00 p.m.)

On to the Ladies, who recorded what is probably the highest winning score in a semi-final of all time, on Sunday, when they beat London Bari Ladies by 22 goals to 1 in the Sue Sharples Memorial Trophy.  The Final will take place against New London Lionesses on 15th May 2016 at Hampton & Richmond Borough FC.

 

Ashford faced a tough match at Redhill on Thursday evening, just 48 hours after the Middlesex Charity Cup match at Hanworth Villa. 

Redhill had to win, as a draw or defeat would condemn them to a relegation finish and given their recent vastly improved form, a hard and difficult match was anticipated.  The pitch was not the easiest to play on either but in one of their most dogged and impressive performances of the season, the Tangerines gave an impressive display over much of the match, eventually finishing 4-0 winners to prolong the promotion race.

Although the home side had the first real opportunity, following a slip by Josh Andrew, Ashford started like a train and should have gone ahead rather earlier than they actually did, with Mark Bitmead unable to get sufficient power into his effort.  Bitmead, full of running, then almost put Jack Beadle in but an excellent interception probably prevented a certain goal.  Ashford were not to be denied though and on 18 minutes Bailey Mummery turned and hammered the ball home after being played in by Bitmead.

Despite any number of chances Ashford were unable to increase their lead by the break and it was Redhill who came out firing at the start of the second half and they were unlucky just four minutes in when a snapshot hit the bar and rebounded out with some ferocity.  The game slowly turned again and in the 70th minute Bradley Wainwright, arguably enjoying his finest ever game in Ashford colours, scored from wide, with the keeper caught out.

Three minutes later and the game was safe as Ashford scored their third goal of the evening.  It was down to the persistence of Wainwright who robbed his opponent on the goal line, ran in towards the goal and rolled the ball across to the unmarked Jack Beadle, who made no mistake.

It was virtually all Ashford now and shortly before the end the fourth goal went in and it was the best of the night. Bitmead, running towards his own goal with the ball, turned and sent a perfect pass down the line for the marauding Andrew who slipped it across to the onrushing Wainwright who gleefully struck home his second of the night.

The “Ashford Player of the Match” award was a close vote amongst supporters but in the end it was shared between Wainwright and Scott Weight.  A big thank you goes to the sizeable number of Ashford supporters who travelled.

Had this match “gone wrong” one might have feared what could happen on Saturday when we welcome Sutton Common Rovers to Short Lane for our final home match of the season, for our third match in five days.  As it is, one would anticipate that the whole squad will be re-energised to keep fighting Camberley for that one promotion spot.

Our opponents on Saturday have had something of a mixed season in the League, but enjoyed a superb run in the FA Vase and were dumped out on an awful surface at Bowers & Pitsea after any number of postponements. 

Please note that subject to the approval of the referee and our opponents, there will be a minute’s applause prior to the match following the sad loss of long time supporter and ex-player Alan Pincham, whose funeral takes place at Hanworth Crematorium on Friday 29 April, at 2.00 p.m.

Also tomorrow, Alan Hill will be going round with forms for supporters to vote for the “Supporters Player of the Year”.  There are any number of candidates this season one would think.  Indeed, even if Ashford were to lose their three remaining matches, this will have been an excellent season with very few blips and if we do end up losing out to Camberley, who play at Guildford City tomorrow, we will be back even stronger next season and maybe even win a match in the FA Vase ourselves.

 

Here are the Junior fixtures for this coming weekend, as supplied by Junior Chairman, Nick Bailey

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

No Fixture


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

No Fixture


Ashford Sports Club – 9 – 9 Pitch

No Fixture


Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch

Bill U7s v Spelthorne 11am


Ashford Town 7 – 7 Pitch

Graham U10s v Hampton 10am


Ashford Town – Outfield

Conor U15s v G4G (SATURDAY) 10am
Larry U12s v Croygas 10am (9v9)
Carl U17s v Imber Court 11:30


Ashford Town Stadium

No Fixtures


Away Games

Nelson U10s v Hanworth
Fin U13s v Meadow Sports
Ben U15s v Raynes Park
Simon U15s v Staines Lammas
Tim U16s v Corinthian Casuals

No Games

Neil U7s
Tom U7s
Matt U8s
Matt U9s
Andy U8s
Craig U13s
Martin U14s

 

Ashford must have set some kind of record by losing four semi-finals in one season, Twice in the Middlesex Charity Cup (last season’s was played at the start of this season), the Middlesex Senior Cup and the League Cup.

This latest defeat at the hands of Hanworth Villa on Tuesday evening was an odd match, with Ashford giving lots of effort, especially in the second half but rarely looking as if they could pull the game round, once Hanworth scored their second goal after 54 minutes.

Alan’s funeral will take place on FRIDAY 29 APRIL at 2.00 p.m. at Hanworth Crematorium. 

 

In their first ever Cup Final, played at Wealdstone FC, on Sunday, Ashford Ladies lost in the Final of the Capital Counties Cup by the narrowest of margins to University College London on penalties (3-4) after the match finished at 4-4 after extra time.

In a match devoid of back chat and fouls, both sides were fairly evenly matched, with Ashford going ahead iearly on, only for their opponents to score twice in a few minutes to go in front.  Ashford always looked as if they had goals in them though and made it two apiece at the interval.

Both teams continued t slug it out in the second half and there was not a lot really to choose between them the score at 90 minutes being three apiece.  After 30 minutes extra time, it had progressed to four apiece and so on to penalties.  After the rather bizarre decision to take them at the end devoid of spectators, Ashford finally succumbed, eventually losing by the odd goal, or rather penalty. 

There will doubtless be a more detailed report shortly on the Ladies site, but mention must be made of Ashford's leading scorer, Ashley Cheatley, who certainly knows where the net is, scoring all of Ashford's goals, and scoring her penalty.  Unfortunately, UCL also had an impressive goal scorer (sorry I don't have her name) who also scored her side's four goals.  The University keeper also impressed greatly and it is fair to say that, without her, Ashford may well have won this match.

Next Sunday, the Ladies will face London Bari in the Semi-Final of the Sue Sharples Memorial Trophy so they have another chance to win a cup this season.

Team yesterday was:  L Restel, A Luzar, L Huse, T Prior, J Boyd, C Samuels, V James, L Neufville, I Smith, C Benham, A Cheatley

 

WINDSOR 1  ASHFORD 2  SATURDAY 16 APRIL 2016

As predicted by manager Ben Murray, Ashford put the cup defeat against Camberley in midweek to the back of their minds, as they won a hard fought match at Windsor on Saturday by two goals to one.

Neither side did full justice to the excellent surface in the opening stages, play being quite scrappy at times.  Ashford had the greater possession and failed to take two excellent opportunities but it was the Stags who scored first on 18 minutes through Ricardo Cannon.

The second half saw Ashford step up the pressure and just after the hour mark, up popped Mark Bitmead with his 36th goal of the season.   It was mostly Ashford now but the quest for the winning goal was elusive and Windsor had chances of their own.  It was beginning to look as if the spoils would have to be shared but in the 88th minute, Samad Kazi’s pace enabled him to slot the ball home, to give the Tangerines all three points.  The goal was the 100th in the League whilst the three points gave Ashford four more points than they totalled last season with still three league matches to play.

There is now a very busy week to contend with.  On Tuesday evening, we make the short trip to play Hanworth Villa in the semi-final of the Middlesex Charity Cup.  Don’t forget that kick-off is 7.30 p.m.

We then have to travel to Redhill on Thursday evening because they had run out of available Tuesdays for re-arrangements. 

To complete a busy week, Sutton Common Rovers are the visitors for our final home match next Saturday.

Please note that there are some minor problems with the web site at present.  Gareth Coates is attempting to resolve them but until we have the all clear, further information will be placed on either or both the Ashford Facebook page or on the Ashford Pitchero site.

Our apologies for the delay in posting a match summary from Tuesday night, not helped by the very sad news of Alan Pincham’s death.  He will be greatly missed and even had Ashford won on Tuesday this news would have put a damper on it.

As it was, although perhaps the three goal difference was a little harsh, there was no doubt that Camberley deserved to win the match and we wish them well in the Final.

From an Ashford perspective, the game got off to the worst possible start, with Camberley achieving something they couldn’t manage in the recent league match between the sides, and scoring in the 4th minute following some early relentless pressure.  Indeed Ashford’s normally steady defence seemed all at sea on occasions, partly due maybe to the absence of both Will Boye and Josh Andrew, both cup-tied.

A defining moment came shortly before the half-hour mark when Dan Fleming turned and hit a drive that hit both posts without going in.  Had that resulted in a goal, the scores would have been level and who knows what might have happened but a second Camberley goal very quickly afterwards more or less sealed Ashford’s fate.

The second half saw an improvement from Ashford and in terms of possession they possibly shaded it but the experienced Camberley side absorbed any Ashford attacking moves with comparative ease and Ashford rarely looked as if they could retrieve the situation.  All hope disappeared on 73 minutes when a miscued clearance from Tyler Tobin went straight to a Camberley player, who with no further ado volleyed the ball back into the net from an acute angle to make it 3-0 to the visitors.

Given that Ashford won the equivalent league match just two weeks earlier rather more comfortably than the 1-0 scoreline suggested, this was something of a disappointment for Ashford supporters as Camberley took full revenge.  There is no time for moping about the result though as the intense battle between Ashford, Camberley and now Epsom & Ewell for promotion hots up on Saturday, especially with Camberley going to Epsom, whilst the Tangerines make the short trip to Windsor, who are as good as anyone on their day.  More on that one on Friday.

There is no news yet concerning the funeral arrangements for Alan but details will be put on the web site when we know them.

We are very sad to announce that club stalwart Alan Pincham has died today after a lengthy spell in hospital.

Our deepest sympathies to Alan's wife Vicky and daughter Sarah and all members of Alan's family.  He will be greatly missed by everyone at Ashford Town and doubtless Staines Town, being a great supporter of both clubs and of football in general.

 

It was back to the League on Saturday with a home match against Guildford City and a fairly comfortable victory ensued for the Tangerines as they won by four goals to one.

It took less than two minutes for Ashford to go in front and, with the visitors already low on confidence following five consecutive defeats, it was just the start Ashford would have wished for.  The goal was a simple one with Mark Bitmead getting free and crossing for an unmarked Bailey Mummery who made no mistake.

Guildford were offering little resistance in the early stages and the lead was doubled soon after the quarter of an hour mark, when the purposeful Max Webb laid on a goal for the in-form Dan Fleming to stroke home.  There were clear signs at this point of Ashford might knock in plenty more but the visitors rallied and just three minutes later Darren Ceasar pulled one back and it was a good goal.  Ashford had been giving too many free kicks away in their own half and the goal came from another one.  It was an excellent header from the kick which gave Tyler Tobin in goal little chance.

Guildford though were unable to capitalise and the two goal margin was restored on 38 minutes when Fleming  put his effort back past the keeper for a well crafted goal, although the keeper may have felt he could have done better on this occasion although he made plenty of other decent stops.

The second half meandered along with no great excitement although Ashford had good chances to increase the lead, all rather squandered, whilst the visitors occasionally looked dangerous but without seeming to show any concerted desire to get back in the game.  With just a few minutes left though Ashford did score again when Bitmead sent in a low effort which deceived a defender who got the final touch and that was that.

Ashford now move on to Tuesday evening when Camberley Town are the visitors once again, this time in the semi-final of the Cherry Red Records Premier Challenge Cup, to see who will meet either Farnham Town or Cobham in the Final on Saturday 7 May at Windsor FC.  Doubtless both Ashford and Camberley would have preferred to have avoided each other at this stage but it was not to be, and a close match can be expected, with a win apiece this season in the League.  Kick-off is 7.45 p.m.

Ashford take on Guildford City this afternoon at Short Lane.

Guildford are currently in mid-table sitting in 11th place but have suffered something of a slump, losing all their last four matches, the most recent being a 1-5 reverse at home to Epsom & Ewell.  In an extraordinary game at The Spectrum earlier in the season, Ashford came from behind when very late goals gave us a 3-1 victory right at the death and something very similar happened the previous season, which does at least illustrate that the lads never give up.

It is now pointless to go on about last week’s injustice but two wins in midweek have enabled Camberley to go above us on goal difference with a game in hand.  They are at home to Raynes Park Vale today when one would expect them to win so today’s match assumes significant importance for us.

Camberley visit us, of course, in the semi-final of the League Cup on Tuesday evening, whilst the Middlesex Charity Cup semi-final at Hanworth Villa will take place on Tuesday 19 April, kick-off 7.30 p.m.

Ashford were close to their best on Tuesday evening when they took on and beat Ryman Premier Division club Enfield Town in the semi-final of the Middlesex Charity Cup, winning by two goals to nil.  Enfield fielded a comparatively young side which nevertheless was both competitive and pacey, and it made for an enjoyable encounter.  Ashford also made some rotation changes.

The visitors started at a frantic pace and Ashford were grateful to Tyler Tobin who had to be on his toes almost at once.  It did not take the Tangerines too long though to get into the game and they scored with just about their first attack with less than three minutes on the clock.  Dan Fleming robbed a defender on the edge of the penalty area and crossed it for an unmarked Mark Bitmead to control and score with aplomb.

It was impressive stuff and there was more to follow on 22 minutes when Perry Luckins made no mistake to double the lead, with Fleming once again the provider.  In truth it could have been more as Ashford played some good stuff all round but the tables were turned to an extent in the second half as Enfield visibly improved, threatening on several occasions.  With Tobin in top form though, ably supported by the back four, in which Samad Kazi impressed, as always, they were unable to retrieve the situation and as the half progressed, the play became ever more even.

Bradley Wainwright was desperately unlucky when he unleashed a powerful effort from some 30 yards after a clever dummy by Bitmead, only to see his effort ruled out for what must have been a tight offside decision.  Overall though referee Paul Andrews and his assistants were excellent, with neither side incurring so much as a caution.  Ashford supporters voted Bailey Mummery as the “Ashford Man of the Match” and few could argue with that given Bailey’s incredible energy throughout but Tyler Tobin, who was at his absolute best, along with others, certainly ran him close.

Ashford will now make the short journey to our friends and rivals Hanworth Villa in the semi-final on Tuesday 19 April, with the winners taking on either Cockfosters or Rayners Lane in the Final on Monday 2 May, at Northwood FC.

In the meantime Ashford look forward to the visit of Guildford City on Saturday of which there will be more in due course.

The Under-18’s are also in action this week, albeit with a very tough encounter this evening (Wednesday) when they entertain Hayes & Yeading U18.

 

Ashford now have to put the injustice of Saturday’s result behind them as they face Enfield Town at Short Lane on Tuesday evening in the Quarter Final of the Middlesex Charity Cup, with the winners drawn away to Hanworth Villa in the semi-final.

It wasn’t too long ago that we travelled to Enfield in the Middlesex Senior Cup and against one of the leading Ryman Premier Division sides, we took them to extra time, only tiring late on, when, following a 4-4 draw after 90 minutes, we succumbed 4-6 after extra time.  Enfield are, of course, intent upon pursuing a play-off spot to get into the Conference South next season (or maybe the North as you never know these days!) and this competition may not be foremost in their mind.  Nevertheless even though we matched them for most of the previous game, we know that they are a quality side requiring the Tangerines to be at their very best if they are to have a chance of making progress.  That said, this is exactly the sort of game that they do tend to be at their best and it could be a superb evening’s entertainment tomorrow evening.  Kick-off at Short Lane is 7.45 p.m.

There’s no denying the truth which is that Ashford were robbed of three points at Horley on Saturday.  Thanks to totally incompetent officiating Ashford may well end up being denied promotion because of this result.

With the score at two apiece and following an Ashford corner, the ball was forced over the goal line for what would surely have been a winning goal.  The ball was in the net without a shadow of doubt and Ashford supporters and players were celebrating a last minute win only for the sudden realisation that the referee had not given the goal.  Horley went straight down the other end and with half the Ashford side still celebrating the “goal”, they scored themselves which gave them a 3-2 victory.  It was unbelievable and the incompetence of the officials dwarfed everything that had gone before.

For what it’s worth Ashford went ahead through Bailey Mummery after good work by Mark Bitmead.  Horley scored twice to go ahead leaving Dan Fleming to equalise and then we had the above mentioned saga.

Unbelievable and a total farce.

With the official news coming that Hartley Wintney have pulled out of the promotion race, the quest for 2nd place has hotted up and would appear now to be between just three clubs, Ashford being one, along with Camberley and Epsom. 

Ashford had to put up with a draw last Saturday when Hartley Wintney salvaged a point at the death but generally have been in great form lately and they will hope to carry that on at Horley Town on Saturday.  It will not be easy as Horley have an astute young manager and an excellent young side who have shown they can beat the best on their day.  They had actually experienced quite a lean patch but turned things round with a comprehensive 4-0 victory at home to neighbours Redhill on Easter Monday, in one of only two matches to go ahead.

Last season, soon after the start, Ashford excelled at Horley, winning by four goals to nil but two matches at Short Lane since have seen the Tangerines scrambling to salvage a point, both matches ending in 3-3 draws. 

The address of the ground is The New Defence, Anderson Way, Court Lodge Road, Horley, RH6 8SP and there is ample parking.  The ground itself is immediately behind the fairly new Horley Leisure Centre.

Here are this week’s junior fixtures, along with the results from 20 March.

Ashford Town – Outfield

Graham U10s v Friendly (9v9) 9:30am  

Carl U17s v Sunday Men 11am

Ashford Town Stadium

Under 15s County Cup Final 10:30

Ladies v Regents Park Ladies 2pm 

Away Games

Larry U12s v Spelthorne Sports

Craig U13s v Stoneleigh

Fin U13s v Sheen Lions

Conor U15s v Epsom & Ewell 

No Games

Bill U7s

Neil U7s

Tommy U7s

Matt U8s

Andy U8s

Nelson U10s

Martin U14s

Ben U15s

Jordan U15s

Tim U16s 

Results Sunday 20 March

Neil U7s 2-0 CB Hounslow 3/1Twickenham Tigers

Matt U8s 0-3 Walton & Hersham

Andy U8s 4-8 Corinthian Casuals

Matt U9s 2-3 Manorcroft

Graham U10s 10-0 Kew Association

Nelson U10s 5-2 Molesey

Larry U12s 3-4 Bedfont Eagles

Fin U13s 2-0 Met Police

Craig U13s 7-0 Meadow Sports

Martin U14s 5-2 Victoria

Jordan U15s 1-6 Guildford Saints

Ben U15s 2-0 Royals Elite

Carl U17s 2-3 Staines ­­­­­

Ashford’s Ladies’ side continued on their merry way last week with a 6-1 semi-final win over hitherto unbeaten Clapham United Ladies to reach the Final of the Capital Women’s Cup in which they will play University College Ladies in the Final at Wealdstone FC on SUNDAY 17 APRIL, kick-off 11.00 a.m. (Info from MCFA web site)

Here is the report on the match:

Ashford Town (Middlesex) Ladies put an end to the Division 2 champions’ unbeaten run this season to earn a place in their first Capital Women’s Cup Final by beating Clapham United by six goals to one.

Clapham were favourites heading into this game, having boasted an impressive 100 per cent win record this season and comfortably lifting the Division 2 title last weekend.

Ashford began the game dominating possession and created plenty of chances that saw them hit the post, have two goals ruled out for offside before a thunderous free kick from Vicky James hit the cross bar.

It was the visitors however who took the lead from a corner in the nineteenth minute

Lauren Restel was called into action a few times producing a string of fine saves but five minutes later it was the in-form Ashley Cheatley who rounded the goalkeeper to send the sides in level at half time.

Ashford returned from the break and were determined to make their missed opportunities count.

Five minutes into the second half Cheatley latched onto a corner to put Ashford ahead for the first time in the game.

James and Claire Samuels were brilliant in the middle of the pitch and James got her reward shortly after, having missed opportunities by very thin margins.  She latched onto a through pass form Samuels before driving forward and firing in shot, which took a slight deflection to wrong foot the goalkeeper.

If anyone thought there was a touch of misfortune for the third goal, there was no arguments with the one that came next. A free kick struck from distance by James looped over the goalkeeper to put Ashford 4-1 up.

Amy O’Sullivan came on to the field to the grab her first goal of the game before Cheatley got her hatrick to take her tally to 60 goals for the season.

The next Cup adventure for Ashford Ladies sees the tangerines face Regents Park at The Robert Parker Stadium on 3rd April 2016 – we look forward to your support again!

LINE UP: L Restel, J Boyd, A Luzar, J Harker, L Huse, I Smith, T Prior, V James, C Samuels, A Cheatley, L Neufville

SUBS: P Pantlin, A O’Sullivan, C McGregor, B Sheehan

Player of the Match – V James

 

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