We have been advised by Kempston Rovers that Tuesday's match may be in doubt due to a waterlogged pitch.  An inspection is planned for 1.00 p.m. and as soon as we have further information it will be put on here.

UPDATE:  Pitch inspection delayed until 2.00 p.m. but very doubtful,

Further update:

This evening’s match is postponed, pitch waterlogged

Some impressive football at times on Saturday eventually saw Ashford complete their first double of the season as they beat Arlesey Town by two goals to one.

The match saw the debut of central defender Davente McGain, signed on loan from Staines Town, and who  looks a player who certainly doesn’t mess about at the back which, given Ashford’s propensity for conceding daft goals at times may be just what was needed.

Arlesey looked a considerably better side than they had when Ashford played at their ground near the start of the season but the Tangerines were generally playing it around well.  Bart Pedrycz in the Arlesey goal was proving a tough nut to crack though and after several near things one wondered if it was going to be one of those days again.  On 36 minutes though, it was Bailey Mummery who broke the deadlock with a crisp finish having been put through by Dan Fleming.

As always, Kam English popping up on either flank was his usual nuisance but it was not all one way traffic and both full backs, Samad Kazi and Max Herbert, the latter stepping in for Alex Fisher, whose operation we understand has been a success, were highly prominent at times.

There was little controversy in the match with neither side picking up so much as a caution but Ashford were aggrieved when the visitors equalised on 55 minutes when seconds earlier English had looked to be quite deliberately  baulked as he threatened down the left flank.  It wasn’t given though and within seconds the ballw as switched to the other end and Ariel Amu equalised.

There was no panic though and although it took a while, Ashford restored their lead on 73 minutes when a deft through ball from Herbert found Tommy Brunton in the clear and he smashed it home with considerable aplomb, to seal a much needed victory.  That said the three points were almost squandered late on when a decent effort was certainly going in but skipper Russell Canderton was on hand to clear it from the line.

There was more than one candidate for “Ashford man of the match” but in a very close vote it was won by Max Herbert who was almost neck and neck with Samad Kazi.  The lean patch in terms of goal scoring by Mark Bitmead and Dan Fleming went on but it was not for the sake of hard work, with both players and indeed the whole team giving their all to ensure the win against tricky opponents.

The next match is tomorrow evening (Tuesday) when we travel to Kempston Rovers, the original game having been postponed due to a frozen pitch.  The address of the ground is Hillgrounds Leisure, Hillgrounds Road, Kempston, Bedford, MK42 8SZ and kick-off is 7.45 p.m.  It is a trip up the M1 to Junction 13 and then the A421 to the destination, about 60 miles all told.

Most of the junior sides were in action on Sunday and here are their results.  Particular congratulations go to Paul’s Under-13’s who beat Old Isleworthians by two goals to nil, to reach the semi-final of their County Cup

Michael U7s 3-4 Corinthian Casuals

Andy U9s 3-3 CB Hounslow

Matt U10s 8-0 Kew Park Rangers

Graham U11s 0-0 Doverhouse

Nelson U11s 5-0 Sutton United

Joe U12s 1-6 Doverhouse

Larry U13s 4-2 Surrey Predators

John U13s 1-6 Raynes Park

Paul U13s 2-0 Old Isworthian (county cup)

Craig U14s 2-4 Kew Park Rangers

Fin U14s 1-3 Worcester Park

Martin U15s 4-3 Ewell Saxons

Ben U16s 4-3 Dorking

Conor U16s 1-4 Worplesdon

Simon U16s 0-7 Hanworth  

 

Ashford Ladies were back to their usual form, beating Colne Valley Res by ten goals to nil and here is Will Boyes’s report:

Holly Isaacs put the Tangerines ahead with a trademark strike in the first minute of the game. Lavana Neufville doubled the lead soon after when she flicked in Laura Huse's volley from a Vicky James corner.

 

Sequoia Belworthy joined in on the action after great play from Neufville on the right who produced a pinpoint cross for Belworthy to virtually run the ball into the net.

 

Charmaine Benham along with the her central teammates always looked a threat when driving forward so when Benham delivered a cross from deep for Isaacs running in from the left, it was inevitable she was to get her second of the game.

 

Belworthy popped up again in the box to score the fifth goal of the game.

 

H/T: 5-0

 

Colne Valley came out in the second half a rejuvenated side and began to take the game to the home side forcing saves from Lauren Restel in the Ashford goal.

 

Restel's distribution continued to impress and when she found Benham who combined with James and Mills before playing through Belworthy the young striker maintained her composure to score her first ever hatrick in Ashford colours.

 

Neufville scored a delightful goal after rolling her marker before smashing home another, the excellent Benham drove through the Valley Reserves defence to grab another before Neufville completed her hatrick.

Samara Phillips-Hines scored late on to round off a comfortable victory for Ashford Ladies.

 

Ashford's dominance this season has been almost total, with only four points dropped in the entire league campaign to date.

 

F/T: 10-0

 

LINEUP: L Restel, J Boye, B Sheehan, N Jacobs, L Huse, V James, S Phillips-Hines, C Benham, H Isaacs, L Neufville, S Belworthy  SUBS: T Mills

 

The Sunday Men’s Social team lost 2-5 to Armenian Youth FC.

 

Finally the Under-18’s are away this evening (Monday) to Hayes & Yeading

 

With the cold snap hopefully gone or going, football should be able to take place once more at Short Lane on Saturday when the visitors will be Arlesey Town from Bedfordshire.

Our opponents will arrive in 19th place in the table.  Their last outing was on 10th January when they drew one apiece at Kempston.  The two league matches before that saw them suffer 0-2 defeats at the hands of Uxbridge and Royston respectfully.  We travelled to Arlesey in the early part of the season and managed to win by three goals to nil, our scorers being Scott Weight, Jack Beadle and Mark Bitmead.

Kick-off tomorrow is 3.00 p.m.

There will be more on the web site tomorrow morning about our other teams in action this weekend.

This evening's Ryman Youth League match at home to Aldershot Town U18 has been postponed due to the ongoing frozen pitch.

With the weather due to warm up a bit towards the weekend, we anticipate that Saturday's match at home to Arlesey Town will go ahead as normal.

A live band Purple#9 will be performing at the club on Friday evening from 8.00 p.m. on in what we hope will become a regular feature.  They are a local band with an excellent reputation and all members and guests are welcome.  Entry is entirely FREE and there will be some bar deals on the night.

Please come down and enjoy yourself.

 

Three of our junior sides have made excellent progress in their various County Cups, with two having reached the semi-finals and one the quarter finals.

Andy Ollerenshaw has kindly produced a summary as the matches they face as shown below:

Paul's under U13s 

They play Old Isworthians away in the quarter final on Sunday 29th, this is the third attempt to play this match, each time getting postponed due to the weather and pitch condition - we hope that on Sunday the lads can finally put this match to bed.  The winners will play Parkfield Youth away on the 12th Feb and if they come through these two games they could face a possible final against Hanwell, Wheatstone or Brookhouse on the 2nd April. 

Fin & Lees U14s

They are through to the semifinal after an impressive 4-2 away win to Pinner United,  their opposition in the semi final are Ruislip Rangers who they will play away on the 12th Feb.  If they are successful in that match their opposition for the final will be Sandgate or Hampton youth - again on the 2nd April. 

Ben's U16s 

After winning their quarter final against Teddington they will now face the winners of the match between CB Hounslow or Conquest in the semi final, with this match  scheduled to be played on the 12th Feb at home.  If they are successful in this semi final match they will face the winners of the other semi final (Bedfont or Acton) - game scheduled for a 19:30KO on the 30th March.

At 3.00 p.m. this afternoon the pitch remained frozen and as a precaution we have arranged for an official inspection on Saturday morning.  A further message will be put out once there has been a decision.

Ashford look forward to the visit of league leaders Royston Town to Short Lane on Saturday.

Our opponents enjoyed an impressive sounding victory over 2nd placed Farnborough on Tuesday evening but not very long ago we came close at Royston, hauling ourselves back from three down to make it three apiece, only to concede two more in the closing minutes.

Past form against our opponents does not make great reading for Ashford supporters as we have yet to win in five previous encounters, the two previous home matches resulting in a 1-1 draw in the 2012-2013 season, our goal coming from Kofi Lockhart-Adams, and a 0-2 defeat in season 2013-2014.

The squad has been boosted this week by the signing of two players on loan from Barnet FC, namely Theo Alexis and Nathan Dennis.  Theo is a physical central midfielder whilst Dennis is a pacey full back.  We welcome them both to Short Lane.

Kick-off is at 3.00 p.m. as usual and here are all the junior fixtures on Sunday:

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

Martin U15s v Epsom & Ewell 10am

John U13s v Kew Park Rangers 11.30am

Fin U14s v Kings Park 1pm

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

Simon U16s v Ashtead 10am

Ben U16s v Croygas 11.30am

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch 1

Cass U8s v Walton & Hersham 10am

Michael U7s v CB Hounslow 11am

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch 2

Steve U8s v CB Hounslow 11am

Neil U8s v Esher Wizards 12pm

Ashford Town 7 – 7 Pitch

Andy U9s v Mitcham Park 10am

Chris U8s v Walton & Hersham 11am

Ashford Town 9 – 9 Pitch

Joe U12s v Corinthian 10am

Graham U11s v AFC Walcountians 11am

Kirk U11s v Halliford 12pm

Ashford Town – Outfield

Larry U13s v Spelthorne 12.30

Away Games

Bill U8s v Sutton United

Matt U9s v FC Sunbury

Rhys U9s v Kew Association

Ryan U9s v Sheen Lions

Nelson U11s v Molesey

Paul U13s v Old Isworthians (County Cup)

Craig U14s v Stoneleigh

 

In addition, the Ladies will be at home on Sunday afternoon to Putney Vale in the Greater London Women’s League, kick-off 2.00 p.m. whilst the Sunday men are due to be away to NLO FC at Northwick Park

 

Ashford departed this season’s Middlesex Senior Cup competition on Tuesday evening, losing 2-3 to Hanworth Villa.

On an unexpectedly frosty surface, given that the thermometer was not due to hit zero until 4.00 in the morning, Ashford and Villa fought out what could reasonably be deemed an end to end contest, a penalty kick for Villa shortly after the resumption effectively clinching victory for the away side, who will now meet Hampton in the semi-final.

Max Webb and Tommy Brunton were given a rest, no doubt with Saturday’s big match at home to Royston in mind.  The early play was frantic and it was a surprise that nobody was able to break the deadlock until the 31st minute, when Villa’s Jesse Atiase took full advantage of a void at the back to put his side ahead.  Within minutes though, Kam English had equalised and well done to him for his persistence.  Put through by Dan Fleming, he went round the keeper but then stumbled over the ball and it looked as if the chance had gone but Kam recovered well, got back on his feet and slammed home.

Just two minutes later though Tom Neale put his side ahead for the second time but with barely time to breathe Ashford equalised again, a short corner kick leading to a cross to the far post, powerfully headed in by Scott Weight for his first goal of the season.

One hoped that Ashford might now go on to take the initiative, especially as some of their approach play was impressive but the Villains, who are a strong outfit this season, had other ideas and took the lead for the third time on 52 minutes, from the spot, scorer Jack Buckle.  It was impossible to see from the far end why the penalty was awarded but it was telling that there seemed to be very few arguments.

The remainder of the match saw Ashford frantically trying to notch a third equaliser which on the balance of possession they probably deserved, but chances that were flying in earlier in the season now seem to be flying just over or wide instead, or the opposition keeper makes a great save, or, as in this case, the referee points to the spot and then changes his mind and gives the foul outside the area which it probably was.

Let it also be stated that Villa, although under the cosh at times, still made chances of their own, one header in particular bringing a wonder save from Tyler Tobin in goal.  Indeed whether it was the need to push forward that caused it but there was a point where it seemed that whenever the visitors broke they were getting through the home defence with alarming ease at times.

It would be hard to criticise anyone for effort on a very cold evening but for the writer, the stand-out Ashford player was Bayley Mummery who showed both tenacity and no little skill throughout the match, whilst Kam English also produced some telling runs at times.

Ashford are something of an enigma at the moment, still producing some excellent football at times but without getting the results.  They certainly made enough chances last night, but are just not making them count at the moment.  Bad luck and some poor refereeing decisions have not always helped but the earlier part of this season amply demonstrated that Ashford can compete well at Step 4 and it is time to re-prove it with the opportunity to do so on Saturday when league leaders Royston Town come to Short Lane.  They enjoyed an emphatic win (5-0) over Farnborough yesterday evening and will be perhaps the toughest competitors that we will face over the remainder of this season.  It will obviously be a tall order against a powerful side at this level but It does not need saying that a win for the Tangerines would lift any despondency and without doubt, would be a springboard for the remainder of the season.

The Under-18’s are due to travel to meet Hendon U18 this evening (Wednesday) at Silver Jubilee Park in the Ryman Youth League unless the weather steps in.

Other news is that we now lose Alex Fisher for a while as he has to undergo an operation not connected with football and we wish him well and hope to see him back as soon as possible.  We also extend huge thanks to Ginge from the Juniors whose latest contribution has seen a third television put up in the bar.  His next self-stated task is to build a new trophy cabinet, just in case!

There is a break from league action on Tuesday evening when Ashford will entertain Hanworth Villa in the Quarter-Final of the Middlesex Senior Cup.

The postponement of Saturday’s league encounter at AFC Kempston will mean that Ashford will be ready and raring to go and the writer is advised that Romario Jonas will be back from injury and in the squad which is great news.  Villa, under the control of Rufus Brevett, will be no push overs, that’s for certain, standing as they do, in 3rd place in the CCL and fresh from a solitary goal victory over Epsom & Ewell on Saturday.  That goal was scored by Cyril Ocansey who had a spell at Short Lane, playing in 21 matches for us in the 13-14 season.

We have some pedigree in the Middlesex Senior Cup, our best run coming in the 2012-2013 season when we reached the Final, losing 0-2 to Staines Town at Uxbridge, whereas last season an epic battle away to Enfield Town eventually saw us going out by 6 goals to 4 after extra time.

The match kicks off at 7.45 p.m. and if the scores are level after 90 minutes, we go straight to penalties as there is no longer any extra time in this competition.

Two of our junior sides reached the semi-finals of their respective County Cups yesterday, namely Ben’s Under-16’s who will now play at home to CB Hounslow U16 or Conquest U16 in the semi-final on 12 February, and Fin’s U-14’s whose 4-2 win at Pinner will see them making a similar journey in their semi-final away to Ruislip Rangers on the same day.

Fin’s Under-13’s Quarter Final match is now next Sunday away to Old Isleworthians. 

All of yesterday’s junior results are shown below:

Michael U7s 7-2 Bedfont Eagles

Cass U8s 5-5 Bedfont Eagles

Bill U8s 3-1 Hampton Youth

Neil U8s 7-2 Claygate

Andy U9s 0-6 Kew Association

Matt U10s 1-2 Halliford

Graham U11s 4-3 CB Hounslow

Fin U14s 4-2 Pinner (County Cup)

Martin U15s 3-2 Victoria

Ben U16s 1-0 Teddington (County Cup) 

The Sunday Social side sustained a heavy defeat 3-11 away to Heston Celtic whilst the Ladies’ match away to Greenhouse Sports was postponed.  They are due to be back at Short Lane next Sunday (22 Jan) at home to Putney Vale Ladies.  A belated well done to Ashley Cheatley and Lavana Neufvill who were selected to represent the Middlesex FA Rep Squad in their recent Southern Counties Cup Tie against Kent FA, which Kent won 4-3 after being three down.  Needless to mention, Ashley was on the scorers’ sheet, notching two of the three Middlesex goals.

A new innovation will see music at Ashford one Friday evening every month.  More information to follow shortly.

There is to be a pitch inspection at Kempston at 10.15 a.m. to see if the game can go ahead

The toughest looking away trips, judging by league positions, are all coming at once and on Saturday, Ashford visit Kempston Rovers, currently in 5th place.

The address of the ground is Hillgrounds Leisure, Hillgrounds Road, Kempston, Bedfordshire, MK42 8SZ.  It is a journey of 60 miles up the M1, leaving the motorway at Junction 13 on to the A421.  Given the current weather, there may be a doubt about the match but the local forecast suggests that it will hover close to freezing overnight or just below, rising to 4 degrees by kick-off time, 3.00 p.m., so hopefully the match will go ahead.  If you want to check, best phone the club beforehand as it may not be possible to update the website.  Ashford’s clubhouse number is 01784 245908 whilst Kempston’s is 01234 852346.

We have only played Kempston once before, which was last season when we enjoyed a narrow victory by a goal to nil in the FA Cup.  They were then known as AFC Kempston but have now dropped the AFC tag.  Mark Bitmead scored the vital goal in that match and both of us were then promoted at the end of last season.  Kempston have done very well this campaign but like ourselves they have not enjoyed the best of results in January, a defeat at home to Barton (0-2) followed by two 1-1 draws, away to Hanwell Town and at home to Arlesey Town on Tuesday.   

Congratulations go to Alex Fisher who made his 150th competitive appearance for Ashford on Tuesday at Marlow, just 7 days after his 21st birthday.

There is the usual host of junior fixtures on Sunday with three of our sides playing in the quarter finals of their various County Cups, so we wish them particular good luck.  All the junior games are below and please note that kick-off time for Ben’s Under-16’s at home to Teddington in the County Cup is now 11.30 a.m. and not 10.30 as previously advised.

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

John U13s v Worcester Park 10am

Conor U16s v Camberley Town 11.30am

Martin U15s v Victoria 1pm

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

Ben U16s v Teddington 10.30 (County Cup)

Ashford Sports Club – 9 – 9 Pitch

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch 2

Cass U8s v Bedfont Eagles 10am

Bill U8s v Hampton Youth 11am

Ashford Town 7 – 7 Pitch

Matt U10s v Barnes Eagles 10.30am 

Ryan U9s v Bracknell Town 12pm

Ashford Town – Outfield

Simon U16s v Waddon Wanderers 10am

Craig U14s v Hampton Youth 11.30am

Away Games

Michael U7s v Bedfont Eagles

Chris U8s v Bedfont Eagles

Neil U8s v Claygate

Steve U8s v Bedfont Eagles

Andy U9s v Kew Association

Matt U9s v Raynes Park

Rhys U9s v SCR Colts

Matt U10s v Halliford

Graham U11s v CB Hounslow

Kirk U11s v Carshalton

Nelson U11s v Claygate

Joe U12s v Chertsey Town

Larry U13s v Kingstonian

Paul U13s v Old Isworthians (County Cup)

Fin U14s v Pinner United (County Cup)

The Ladies are back to league action on Sunday and will play away to Greenhouse Sports in the Greater London Women’s League, kick-off 2.00 p.m.  The Sunday Men’s team play away to Heston Celtic at Cranford School, kick-off 10.30 a.m.

 

 

 

This evening's Ryman Youth League match away to Wealdstone has been postponed as the pitch is waterlogged.

The League Cup semi-final, 1st leg, Southampton  v  Liverpool will be showing at the club

On the balance of possession Ashford were unlucky to sustain a 0-1 defeat at Marlow on Tuesday evening.

The match was effectively won by the home side by a whirlwind start, during which they forced a number of early corners and from one of them Ashford conceded to go one down within two minutes of the kick-off.  Inevitably the match evened up but real opportunities for either side were at a premium.  Kam English in particular looked dangerous at times but the final ball against a ruggedly efficient Marlow defence was just not quite there.

The second half saw Max Webb off the field with a knock and Mark Bitmead also had to be substituted soon afterwards.  Hopefully both will be OK for the weekend.  Harry Herdman and Max Herbert were their capable deputies and the longer the match wore on, the greater possession Ashford enjoyed but the goal would not come as Marlow continued to defend capably.  There was any amount of time wasting but Ashford’s main chance came when Bailey Mummery appeared to be blatantly tripped in the penalty area but the appeals were waived away.  You sometimes wonder just what officials think they see, this being a raw subject for Ashford at the moment following the huge refereeing howler at Farnborough.

Ashford piled more and more men forward at the end leaving them vulnerable to the counter attack but Marlow stood solid and a match that had one or two unpleasant overtones ended with some handbags that threatened to overspill.

This has been a frustrating period for the Tangerines recently with big decisions going against them, not helped by the fixture list which has seen us playing away to the top three clubs in succession.  That sequence rather continues on Saturday when we visit 5th placed Kempston Rovers for the first time ever.  More on that one later in the week.

Against a good team, Ashford fought out a 1-1 draw at home to Bedford Town on Saturday.

Ashford looked very lively at the start and went ahead on just five minutes when Mark Bitmead and Dan Fleming combined to send Kam English in.  Kam still had plenty to do but Ashford’s on-form player made light of it as he planted the ball firmly in the net.

The visitors started to come into the match but had hardly threatened until they levelled the scores on 18 minutes.  Ashford conceded a daft free kick wide on the right and a fairly straightforward cross allowed Bedford’s unmarked Lee Roache to  head home from close range.  From Ashford’s point of view it was a poor goal to concede although a good enough header.

After that the match was fairly even for the rest of the half with plenty of effort but definite goal scoring opportunities were relatively limited.  The second half continued in much the same vein although Ashford certainly improved their possession percentage.  As the game drew to a close, a fairly soft foul on Scott Weight saw the Tangerines awarded a penalty but unfortunately Dan Fleming, after two impressive penalties in recent weeks, got underneath the ball and it went over the top.

There were further scares and opportunities at both ends, with Tyler Tobin excelling on more than one occasion, whilst his counterpart in goal for the Eagles looked equally solid.  In the boardroom at least, both sides agreed that it was a fair result overall.

The vote for “Ashford man of the match” went to Samad Kazi by a significant margin, for an immaculate display at the back bot others also played well, not least Mark Bitmead, who has suffered something of a slump in the goal scoring stakes recently by his own standards but he worked his socks off for the team, popping up at left back on one occasion to clear a dangerous situation.

Player news is that goalkeeper Kav Keadall has gone to Spelthorne Sports to ensure he remains active but by agreement we have retained his registration.  Also it is understood that Romario Jonas is back in training after dislocating his shoulder two months ago.  Max Herbert was unwell on Saturday.

Ashford now face two very tough away matches, firstly at Marlow on Tuesday evening and then Kempston Rovers on Saturday.  The address of the Marlow ground is The Alfred Davies Ground, Oak Tree Road, Marlow, SL7 3ED.  Kick-off is 7.45 p.m. and hopefully the traffic will be less severe than it was when we went there shortly before Christmas only for the referee to postpone the match due to a frozen surface.  Marlow have done well in recent months despite losing at home to Egham on Saturday and currently sit in 5th place in the table.  We did enjoy a fairly convincing win against them at Short Lane early in the season though.

The Under-18's are in action this midweek and will be playing at Wealdstone on Wednesday evening in the Ryman Youth League, kick-off 7.45 p.m.

The majority of our junior sides are also continuing to do well and here are yesterday’s results:

Chris U8s 4-2 Manorcroft

Andy U9s 3-1 Walton

Joe U12s 1-6 Caterham Pumas

Larry U13s 4-1 Halliford

John U13s 4-3 AFC Ewell

Paul U13s 0-1 Caterham

Fin U14s 5-2 Shelton Athletic

Martin U15s 2-1 SCR Colts

Ben U16s 6-2 Barnes Eagles

Conor U16s 1-2 Binfield

Simon U16s 1-12 NPL 

Next Sunday no less than three of our sides have reached the quarter finals of their County Cup.  Paul’s Under-13’s will be away to Old Isleworthians, whilst Fin’s Under-14’s will be away to Pinner United.  Ben’s Under-16’s though will be playing at home to Teddington with the match taking place at the Cricket Club, kicking off at 10.30 a.m.

The Ladies suffered a rare defeat yesterday losing 3-4 to Hemel Hempstead in the John Greenacre Trophy.  Ashford’s scorers were Laura Huse, Vicky James and Irisha Smith. Next Sunday the Ladies play away to Greenhouse Sports in the Greater London Women’s League.

 

 

The sending-off suffered by Will Boye at Farnborough on Monday, and which changed the game, has been rescinded by the FA and he will not now have to serve a suspension.  We don’t get another chance at the match itself of course and Will would have missed just one game but at least the injustice of the dismissal has been righted to an extent.

The referee claimed that Will tripped his opponent  but a crystal clear video of the incident shows without a shadow of doubt that Will never even got close to the player he allegedly tripped.

 

Please note that this evening's Ryman Youth match at home to Camberley Town U18 has been postponed.

The club though will be open as usual, with the Tottenham v Chelsea match showing on TV.

Ten man Ashford sustained a narrow defeat at Farnborough on Monday, losing by 2 goals to 1.

Unlike the match at Royston recently when Ashford could just not get themselves going in the first half, this game was entirely different as the Tangerines looked every bit as decent as their top of the table opponents.  Sadly though referee Desborough took a hand in the proceedings quite early on, an unusual incident resulting in central defender Will Boye being sent off for something he didn’t do.

There was a mix-up between Boye and keeper Tyler Tobin which looked initially as if would result in ex-Camberley player Perry Coles putting the ball into an empty net.  As Tobin came rushing out though, there was a collision between him and Coles, who had slipped, on the edge of the area but Boye had absolutely nothing to do with it.  He made no contact with either player and Ashford have appealed against the referee’s decision to the FA.  The collision was as a result of Coles slipping and there is irrefutable evidence.

The reduction to ten men did not initially trouble Ashford.  The whole side were fired up with the injustice of what had occurred and for quite some time they took the game to Farnborough and took the lead when Mark Bitmead found Kam English who strode forward and hit a rocket past Aaron Bufton in the Farnborough goal.

The Tangerines remained comfortable at half-time and could have doubled their advantage immediately after the resumption, when Bitmead beat the advancing Bufton and lobbed him only to see the ball go tantalisingly wide of the goal.

However, it was inevitable that a talented side like Farnborough would make their advantage tell and so it proved with an equaliser soon afterwards when in a messy goalmouth scramble Dan Fleming ended up putting the ball into his own net.  For the remainder of the match, it was a case of repelling boarders as Farnborough pushed hard for a second goal and it arrived on 72 minutes when Nic Ciardini headed home.

Farnborough were able to relax and Ashford pushed forward in a desperate attempt to equalise but it was not to be.  At the conclusion, it was another “magnificent” defeat but a loss nonetheless and Ashford really do need to turn their generally decent football into points.   The effort from the squad though in this match was superb and cannot be faulted and Ashford will hope to take this into the home match on Saturday against Bedford Town.

In the meantime, Ashford U18’s entertain Camberley Town U18 this evening (Wednesday) in the Ryman Youth League, kick-off 7.45 p.m. whilst at the same time the big Premiership match between Tottenham and Chelsea will be on in the clubhouse.