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.
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.
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