After two successive victories on the road, Ashford are back at Short Lane on Saturday when the visitors will be Histon FC from Cambridgeshire, who will be playing at Short Lane for the first time ever.

We were made extremely welcome at Histon earlier in the season and will aim to reciprocate that tomorrow but it has not been a happy season for our visitors who sit on the edge of relegation, eight points behind Aylesbury the 3rd bottom club, with both having five matches left to play.  It is a bridge that could be crossed though and we are well aware that Histon will be fighting to avoid dropping into Step 5.

We have been in good form recently with three wins on the spin, two in the League and one against Ryman Premier opposition in the shape of Wingate & Finchley so an exciting match looks in prospect.

We had never previously met Histon at any level until this season when we managed to win at their ground by four goals to one.  After a shaky start when Histon could easily have scored more than once, we hit a purple patch which secured the result although our opponents came back at us strongly in the later stages without success.

We are at home again next Saturday, when Kempston Rovers will be the visitors.

Our opposition in the semi-final of the Middlesex Charity Cup is now down to two:  it will be either Spelthorne Sports or Hampton & Richmond Borough, who are playing each other this coming Wednesday at Spelthorne.  We have already arranged that, should Spelthorne win, we will play them here on Tuesday 11 April.  It won’t be that date if Hampton win, as they have a re-arranged match in the Middlesex Senior Cup that week against Hanworth Villa.

We wish the best of luck to our Under-13 side who are playing in their County Cup Final on Sunday morning against Hanwell U13 at Northwood FC, kick-off 10.30 a.m.  If you can get over to support the lads, they will be pleased to see you.  The address of the ground is Northwood Park, Chestnut Avenue, Northwood, HA6 1HR.

Finally we getting up a new Ashford 100 club up and running under the expert eye of Graham Felce.  It costs just £5 a month and we need to get the remaining numbers allocated as quickly as possible.  Please pick up a form from the clubhouse and let us have your first payment (cash or cheque or direct transfer or standing order) as soon as possible.  There are two big prizes to be won, in August and at Christmas plus monthly draws.

Here are this week’s junior fixtures:

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch 2

Michael U7s v Twickenham 10am

Ashford Town 7 – 7 Pitch

Matt U10s v Molesey 11am

Ashford Town 9 – 9 Pitch

Kirk U11s v Kew Park Rangers 10am

Ashford Town – Outfield

Gary 10:30am

John U13s v Kew Park Rangers 12:30

Fin U14s v Ascot 2pm

Away Games

Chris U8s v Hampton Youth

Cass U8s v Moormead

Neil U8s v Woking Cougars

Steve U8s v Walton Casuals

Andy U9s v Esher Colts

Ryan U9s v Lyne

Paul U13s COUNTY CUP FINAL at Northwood (10.30 a.m.)

Conor U16s v Camberley (D/H)

 

Last week’s results were:

Michael U7s 2-5 Rocks Lane

Cass U8s 5-3 Hampton

Matt U9s 2-1 CB Hounslow

Dave U12s 0-6 Corinthian

Larry U13s 6-1 Whitton

John U13s 0-2 Motspur

Paul U13s 4-1 Sutton

Fin U14s 5-2 Carshalton

Martin U15s 6-3 Kew

Ben U16s 0-2 Met Police

Conor U16s 1-2 Wandgas

Simon U16s 0-3 Lyne 

 

Thanks to the efforts of Club Treasurer, Jason Brown, we once again have BT Sport at the Club.  New negotiations have allowed us to take it up again and we hope that all members will take advantage.

Ashford’s much improved performances of late continued on Saturday with a 2-1 victory at Beaconsfield SYCOB, the winning goal coming as late as the 5th minute of additional time

The winning run now sees the Tangerines into the top half of the table but it was a hard fought encounter played in terribly difficult windy conditions.  Ashford were without both the unavailable Dan Fleming and Samad Kazi, enabling Conor Moody to make his first start since returning to the club and he gave a good performance holding the ball up well.

The first half ended goalless and although Ashford had made more chances than their opponents, nobody had come too close to breaking the deadlock.  The second half was different as both teams seemed to get to grips, to an extent at least with the conditions. It was far from one-sided but Ashford were putting more pressure on and finally broke the deadlock on 59 minutes with arguably the best move of the match.  Max Herbert got on the ball from his left back spot and drilled a diagonal crossfield ball behind the Beaconsfield defence to  enable Mark Bitmead to get on the ball and he cut in and sent a low hard shot into the net that gave keeper no chance.

Ashford were looking for a second but it was the home side who equalised on 71 minutes from the spot when skipper Russell Canderton was adjudged to have fouled his opponent just inside the area for a somewhat soft penalty.  That didn’t worry Beaconsfield’s Charlie Lassaso  who drove home to put his side level.

Ashford were a little aggrieved and even more so when referee Turner put his whistle to his lips for a foul only to see if any advantage accrued, which it quickly didn’t and instead of bringing the play back, allowed it to continue and Beaconsfied quickly went up the other end and almost took the lead. Borders were repelled though and only Hakim Hammami, who had come on at half-time for Scott Weight and had played well, could tell you how he missed what looked an open goal as the ball was crossed.

In the end it didn’t matter, as in the 5th and final minute of stoppage time a scramble in the goal area saw the Beaconsfield boys unable to clear their lines and Ashford’s “man of the match” Mark Bitmead crashed it home for his second goal ensuring all three points at the same time.  Beaconsfield had by this time had a man sent off for two cautions but many of us missed it.

There is no midweek match so the next game will see us playing at home to Histon next Saturday, kick-off 3.00 p.m.

Our possible opponents in the semi-final of the Middlesex Charity Cup have now been narrowed down to two, following Spelthorne’s victory over Rayners Lane 2-0 last week.  Spelthorne will now entertain Hampton & Richmond Borough to see who comes to us in the semi-final.  There are no dates as yet.

Also we have the Under-13 County Cup Final next Sunday, at Northwood FC, kick-off 10.30 a.m.  It is not easy reaching any County Final and the side deserve a lot of support if we can plenty of Ashford people to attend, More on all the forthcoming matches over the next few days.

Ashford make the fairly short trip to play Beaconsfield SYCOB on Saturday and a win would not only see the Tangerines leap frog over their opponents, but could also propel them into the top half of the table, depending upon other results.  After two hard fought victories in their last two matches Ashford’s confidence is high, especially as Beaconsfield have not been in great form recently, without a win in March.  Their only point though was a “good one” when they drew at Potters Bar recently.

In 11 previous matches against SYCOB, we have 7 wins, three defeats and one draw.  However, the three defeats have come in the last three games against our opponents, including a loss by 2 goals to 1 at Short Lane back in December.

The address of the ground is Holloways Park Windsor Road Beaconsfield Buckinghamshire HP9 2SE and it is within two minutes of Junction 2 of the M40.  It is 16 miles from ground to ground and there is a large car park.  Kick-off is at 3.00 p.m. as usual.

All tomorrow's junior matches can be found on the Ashford Facebook Page

 

After a very decent performance against Aylesbury United on Saturday, Ashford produced one of their best performances of the season on Tuesday evening, beating Wingate & Finchley from the Ryman Premier Division by two goals to nil, to advance into the semi-final of the Middlesex Charity Cup.

We don’t know who we will be playing yet as much of the information on the County web site concerning cup competitions seems to have been removed but there will be information here as soon as have it.

The match started at a fast pace with both sides striving to play good football.  Ashford always seemed to have a little edge though and the pressure was rewarded on just 10 minutes when Mark Bitmead was on hand to a reach cross first and slam the ball home.

Although Tyler Tobin was busy throughout the evening, in goal, Wingate were unable to create too many real opportunities and it wasn’t really a surprise when Ashford doubled the lead on 37 minutes.  Max Herbert took a short corner, soon got the ball back and resisted pressure to send the ball into the corner via a slight deflection, to give Ashford a comfortable half-time lead.

The pace died to an extent in the second half and the visitors certainly had more of the game but were unable to make a telling impression.  Ashford were generally pleasing supporters with a tremendously committed display and, although there were no further goals, saw the match out reasonably comfortably to take their place in the last four.  Although everyone performed well, one player stood out for many and that man was Bailey Mummery, who easily won the “Ashford Man of the Match” award as voted by supporters.

It’s back to the League on Saturday with the short visit to play Beaconsfield SYCOB, who have just a one point advantage over the Tangerines, but are three places ahead in the table.  A win could see Ashford moving up the table by up to three places  but more on that match later in the week.

Some of our younger sides from Under-7 upwards, namely the U-7's, 8's Colts, 9's Colts, Warriors and Juniors and the 11's. put in a long stint packing bags at Tescos last Saturday and made a huge impression, with their manners and helpfulness, raising no less than £600 in a Day.  Having raised far more than anticipated, it has been decided that £300 should be passed to local lad Alfie, whose story can be read at:  https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/HelpAlfiethecham

This is Alfie’s story from his mum:

Alfie needs antibody therapy to get him the life that he deserves....
My little boy Alfie was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma when he was 5. He completed 18 months of treatment to be classed as in Remission. Remission was short lived bacuse he relapsed at the age of 9, he was subjected to another 18 months of treatment and classed as NED.
Sadly in April 2016 Alfie relapsed for the 2nd time....
Alfie so far has had 8 rounds of chemotherapy and have managed to shrink his tumour. He is starting oral chemo in the next feed days to keep his tumour stable while the plan and organise the next stage of treatment.

He will be having Mibg therapy late March.

I spoke with Alfie's consultant today and asked what we really need to do to get Alfie the life he needs to live.... she said antibodies. I knew this was coming and said if I was to fundraise how much would we need. We need £600,000 to save my beautiful boy.

Alfie is such a lovely boy, at 14 he's already been through enough. He's spent 10 years of his life fighting this awful disease. So knowing what I know now I'm asking for your help to fundraise to give him the chance he deserves.

Shelley... Alfie's mum x

Shelley has already written a thank you to the lads which you can read on the Ashford Facebook page but It may be that a few more of us at the Club would like to help this very worthy cause and anyone who wishes to should head for the special fundraising site at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/HelpAlfiethechamp?utm_id=108&utm_term=P9QA49ady

Back to our lads and well done to all the players involved and their managers, who did a superb job.

 

 

Ashford travelled to meet Aylesbury United on Saturday and returned with all three points in a 2-1 victory, a win that leaves the Tangerines mathematically clear of relegation although it was virtually assured anyway.

The match was played in windy conditions but both sides made the best of it and there was some excellent football all round at times.  With the wind behind them in the first half, Aylesbury started strongly and used the wind to their advantage, putting Ashford’s back four under considerable pressure and it was deserved when they took the lead on just 11 minutes when a low cross was swept in by the unmarked Lee Coulter.

Ashford though fought back well and equalised within two minutes when Mark Bitmead saw his first effort well saved but he got to the rebound and smashed it home.  The scoreline was now even and so was the match as Ashford started to get their game together.

In the second period Ashford had the wind largely behind them and gradually got on top although both sides still had opportunities.  It was Ashford who clinched it though when skipper Russell Canderton scored from a corner kick, with ten minutes or so left.  Once again his first effort was blocked but he was able to hook the rebound into the net.

It was a good day for the Tangerines not least because Jack Beadle and Conor Moody are both back with the club, Jack playing the full 90 minutes and Conor coming on quite early in the second half.  Although players obviously come and go, the club has always been fairly tight knit in terms of players, witnessed by the number in the current squad who have played 100 matches or more (10 of the current squad) and this seemed very much a home coming, clearly much welcomed by the Ashford supporters present.  We should like to thank both Egham Town and Bedfont Sports for allowing the two moves to go through so quickly.

The hospitality at Aylesbury was excellent as was the referee, Mr. Lewis, who controlled the game very well and there wasn’t a caution in sight, the second consecutive match that this has happened.  The only drawback was to find when we got back to the Club that the bitter had run out due to an oversight on the ordering front.  It didn’t spoil an excellent day though.

We now turn our attention to the Quarter Final of the Middlesex Charity Cup, in which we are at home to Wingate and Finchley on Tuesday evening, kick-off 7.45 p.m.  Although they suffered defeat on Saturday, they are doing well this season in the Premier Division of the Ryman League and it is likely to be a tough test for us but one to relish.  We have only played each other on six previous competitions, mostly cup matches, the most recent meeting being in October 2008, when we lost at Wingate by four goals to two in an FA Trophy replay, after drawing one apiece at Short Lane three days earlier.

There won’t be any extra time tomorrow.  Should the match be level at 90 minutes, we go straight to penalties.

The Ladies and junior results, etc., will be on here shortly, along with a special article about the excellent work done by some of our younger sides on Saturday.

Ashford make the journey to play Aylesbury United on Saturday and will be hoping to have their full squad available, following Tuesday’s rather difficult trip to Kempston Rovers.

Few, if any of us, will have visited the ground before as Aylesbury ground share at Thame United and their ground is a new one and not the one in which we met Thame in earlier seasons.  The address is:  Thame United FC, The ASMN Stadium, Meadow View Park, Thame, Oxfordshire, OX9 3RN.  Ground to ground it is a journey of around 42 miles along the M40, leaving at Junction 7, on to the A329, towards Thame. From there it is just over 4 miles to the ground.  Kick-off is 3.00 p.m.

Earlier in the season we drew one apiece at Short Lane, our goal being a penalty from Mark Bitmead.  In league terms, until this season our two clubs only met in the 2013-2014 season, when we lost both games by the odd goal.  That is balanced and doubtless well remembered by our older supporters when 13 years ago, when our opponents were a far bigger club than ourselves, we went to their old ground and won in the FA Cup by one goal to nil.  Our scorer was Ryan Lake.

After tomorrow we have our last chance for this season of any cup success, when we entertain Ryman Premier side Wingate & Finchley in the quarter-final of the Middlesex Charity Cup.  They are in the same position so will probably field a strong team but such matches tend to bring the best from us sometimes and we will certainly harbour though of victory.

Here are Sunday’s junior fixtures:

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

John U13s v Hampton Youth 10am

Paul U13s v Ascot United 11:30

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch 2

Bill U8s v Sutton Unites 11am

Ashford Town 9 – 9 Pitch

Kirk U11s v Halliford 10am

Nelson U11s v Claygate 11am

Dave/Joe U12s v Westside 12pm

Ashford Town – Outfield

Carl 10:30am

Simon U16s v Claygate 12:30

Ashford Town Stadium

Middlesex County Cup Final 10:30 U15s 

 

Away Games

Michael U7s v Bedfont

Chris U8s v Whitton Wanderers

Cass U8s v Hampton Rangers

Neil U8s v Twickenham Tigers

Steve U8s v Spelthorne Sports

Andy U9s v Sandgate

Matt U9s v Sheen Lions

Rhys U9s v Whitton Wanderers

Ryan U9s v Woking Cougars

Matt U10s v Esher Colts

Graham U11s v Roehampton

Larry U13s v Spelthorne

Fin U14s v Corinthian Casuals

Ben U16s v Worcester Park

Conor U16s v Wandgas

 

Ashford Ladies have a big match on Sunday away to New London Lionesses in the semi-final of the Capital Junior Cup.

Ashford made the 60 mile trip into Bedfordshire on Tuesday evening to play Kempston Rovers but came away losing by two goals to nil.  Although generally, the League schedules its fixtures well, a few midweek longer trips are part and parcel of this level of football but it can be problematic and Ashford’s squad was stretched to the limit on Tuesday, with key players unable to make it, including top scorer Mark Bitmead.

It was the first visit to Kempston whose facilities are excellent.  They are also looking to get into the play-offs but in the first half, which was relatively even, the visitors stood up to the task even though the home side had a greater number of chances.  Although always a little prone to the long ball behind, the back four were coping well with some lively forward play from the home side and Tyler Tobin in goal was superb all evening, with some excellent goalkeeping.  On one occasion, three successive corners in quick succession led to some last ditch defending but the Tangerines stood firm at this point.

There were chances for Ashford, the two main ones falling to Dan Fleming, ploughing at times a lonely furrow up front and, on another day, he would have taken them.  One effort was hit hard and true but it was straight at Kempston’s diminutive keeper and he was able to push it away, whilst the other came crashing back off the bar.  There was no scoring at the break.

The second half was a different story.  It was another match where the first goal looked as if it would be significant and within five minutes it was scored by Kempston.  The ball was not properly cleared and an attack down their right flank led to a low cross and the ball was stabbed home by Ashley Fuller.

That really settled the match even though there was plenty of time left, as it became largely a matter of repelling boarders for Ashford with the home side intensifying their attacks.  By hook or by crook, Ashford kept them out for a long time and had Theo Alexis been able to make more of an excellent but isolated opportunity it might have turned out differently but a defender got in a tackle at the last moment.

On 73 minutes the match was definitely settled when Kempston scored their second through Jake Newman.  Ashford did not let their heads drop but with Fleming isolated up top until the last few minutes when Samad Kazi pushed up, they did not look like scoring and it was another defeat, even though it would have been difficult to criticise any one Ashford player as they gave their all against a very good side, whose distribution from the back was excellent.  Young Keegan Stuart made his senior debut with just a few moments to go.

The game was played in a good spirit and neither side incurred a caution and the refereeing was good.  The League Chairman was present as he had not yet seen Ashford this season and we had a very interesting talk with him before the match.  We face Kempston at home in a few weeks when we will have a few more supporters.  It is difficult for supporters to travel longer distances in midweek so well done to Dan Weight who was the only one who made it, (we think) apart from committee members.

We have another away match on Saturday when we travel to Thame United’s new ground to meet Aylesbury United, who ground share there.  Although we have played Thame in the past, we have not played at their present stadium so it will be another new experience.  There will be more details on here tomorrow.

In the meantime here are last Sunday’s junior results:

Michael U7s 6-5 Molesey

Andy U9s 3-2 Whitton

Matt U9s 3-1 Walton

Matt U10s 2-1 Sheen Lions

Graham U11s 6-1 Kingston Town

Kirk U11s 5-1 Kew Association

Joe U12s 1-1 Walton Casuals

Paul U13s 6-3 Woking

Craig U14s 6-1 Kew Park

Fin U14s 4-1 Kings Park

Ben U16s 1-1 Croygas

The Ladies carried on their merry way, with a 10-1 home victory over Crystal Palace Development on Sunday and now sit five points behind Godalming (their match against them the previous week was a cup-tie by the way, so apologies for assuming it was a league match) with three matches in hand.

The Ladies have been drawn at home against New London Lionesses in the semi finals of the Greater London Women's Football League Trophy.  Elsewhere Battersea & Hammersmith will face Putney Vale away in the other semi final.

The semi-finals are scheduled to be played on Sunday 9th April and will be a single leg only going to penalties if the scoreline is a draw after 90 minutes.

The final is due to be played on 21st May 2017.

 

Ashford suffered a disappointing defeat at home to Potters Bar Town, on Saturday, losing at home by three goals to nil.

Every game in this League is very different and it is never easy to predict beforehand just how a particular match will go.  Ashford came into this game in reasonably good form whilst their opponents, although higher in the table, had not had that great a time recently.

Despite the eventual scoreline, the game was much of a stalemate with Ashford, despite their best efforts, struggling to break down a very competent and well organised defence.  Inevitably there were close things at both end but it remained scoreless at half-time and it certainly started to look as if the first team to score would probably go on to win.

So it proved.  Potters Bar got their noses in front just after the hour mark and it was controversial.  Rusell Canderton was the alleged guilty man although he was livid, claiming that his opponent had dived.  Once the inevitable fracas had died down, the resulting penalty kick was calmly despatched and the away side were on their way.

As the match went on two more incidents had a bearing on the match.  As Ashford attacked, a foul on his full-back by Mark Bitmead saw the visiting right back jump up and clearly retaliate with a considerable degree of violence.  It was a poor foul and Bitmead was rightly cautioned but the violence of the retaliation seemed a clear sending off to everyone bar Mr.Bandara who only issued a yellow card.  We get players sent off when they’re nowhere near the ball whilst this player got away with it  but nothing we can do.

The other major incident that could well have made all the difference from Ashford's point of view was a superb effort from Dan Fleming that beat the keeper and crashed back into play from the bar.  That would have levelled the scores had it gone in but very quickly the visitors broke and ended up by doubling the scoreline.

Ashford pushed more men forward as the game drew to its conclusion but as they did so, and as so often happens, Potters Bar broke away again and emphasised the three points with a third goal.  So not the greatest day in Ashford’s history.  Although it was obviously the same for both sides the pitch did not help Ashford on the day, being unusually bobbly and it could have clearly done with some water on it, such is the drainage which at times is a boon but it wasn’t on Saturday.  That said, Ashford managed a perfectly competent display on a worse surface at Barton the previous week.

We can only move on and on Tuesday evening we make the 60 mile trip to meet Kempston Rovers at the third time of asking.  The address of the ground is shown in the previous article and kick-off is at 7.45 p.m.  It is a longer trip, especially in midweek, but the lads will certainly appreciate your support if possible.

A round up of the junior games and the Ladies, etc., will appear tomorrow.

Following last week’s stirring draw at Barton Rovers, Ashford are back at Short Lane on Saturday when the visitors will be Potters Bar Town FC.  They have been enjoying a generally successful season although their form has slipped a little in recent weeks.  They will arrive in 9th place in the table with a nine point advantage over Ashford although the Tangerines have a match in hand.

Earlier in the season we lost 2-3 at Potters Bar when the match ended rather controversially, following two refereeing decisions that went against us near the end.  This will in fact be only the second visit that Potters Bar have made to our ground, the last one being in November 2013 when they went away with all three points in a 2-0 victory.

Kick-off as usual is at 3.00 p.m.

We have picked up more than sufficient points in recent weeks to ensure there are no relegation worries (for what it’s worth mathematically, we need six more points to be absolutely certain, or for Histon to drop just six more) and we will look to the remainder of the season to win as many matches as possible to get ourselves into the top half of the table.

On Tuesday we travel to meet Kempston Rovers for the first time this season.  The address of their ground is Hillgrounds Leisure, Hillgrounds Road, Kempston, Bedford, MK42 8SZ and it is a journey of 60 miles, leaving the M1 at Junction 13, and then the A421 to Kempston.  Kick-off is 7.45 p.m.

Thoughts will start to drift to next season, at the end of which big changes are planned by the FA with the formation of an extra division at both Steps 3 and 4, the latter being our current level.  The two extra divisions are likely to be Midlands based but it should, overall, mean less travelling and inevitably there will be changes.  We could even find ourselves back in the Ryman League.  It is likely that just one side will be relegated from each of the Step 4 divisions at the end of next season and there may be enhanced promotion opportunities.  Overall though each division at Step 4 will have just 20 sides.

It is now definite that next season will commence on Saturday 12 August and thanks to some nippy work by the manager we already have one pre-season game lined up, away on Saturday 5 August to South Park FC from the Ryman League Division One South.

Ashford Under-18’s have a home match this evening against Hayes & Yeading U18, which is always a difficult fixture.  Kick-off is 7.45 p.m. although there will be a cursory pitch inspection this afternoon.

Following Will Boye’s resignation as U18 manager, 1st Team supremo Ben Murray will be running the side for the final 8 matches this season, assisted by Conor Moody.

As a side note, we are missing our usual gateman this evening, so if there is anyone who could step in, please come forward (phone 07956 930719)

Also, just to re-confirm, the 1st Team re-arranged match at Kempston Rovers takes place next Tuesday, 14 March, whilst the 1st Team home game against Wingate & Finchley is scheduled for the following Tuesday, 21 March.

Ashford came within two minutes of beating 3rd placed Barton Rovers on Saturday, but a goal in the 88th minute from the home side left the match tied at one apiece.

On a heavy and unpredictable surface, meaning that quality football was always going to be at a premium, Ashford nevertheless had a determination about them from the start which possibly surprised their high flying opponents.

Ashford closed down well throughout, with Mark Bitmead and Dan Fleming setting the example from the front.  Neither keeper had been seriously troubled in the opening exchanges but the Tangerines went in front on 13 minutes, when Bitmead, receiving from Samad Kazi, advanced down the right and, under pressure, delivered a superb cross, met by Fleming who knocked it into the net in an instant before neither his closest marker nor the keeper could intercept or get a tackle in.

Ashford survived a penalty scare shortly before half-time when referee Hart quite rightly adjudged that Kazi had not handled deliberately, if atall, although Barton may have taken a different view.

The anticipated fight back from the home side did not really materialise after the break and the game remained generally even, with arguably, the visitors still looking the more likely to score.  Bitmead was unlucky not to double the lead when a fierce effort was goal bound but one of Barton’s giant defenders managed to head the ball over the bar possibly more through luck than judgement.  As the final minutes approached Ashford were generally looking comfortable, and had a huge penalty shout in the dying minutes when Fleming was bundled over quite blatantly it seemed, but Mr. Hart thought otherwise and waved play on.  Within seconds, a long clearance was flicked on and for the first time in the match Ashford found themselves caught out as Barton debutant Danny Watson got the final touch, despite Kazi’s best efforts to get it off the line.

Mark Bitmead was voted by Ashford supporters as their “Ashford Man of the Match” but just about anyone would have had a claim and it was a far better performance than the one the previous week when Ashford had just scraped home against Petersfield.  In particular, a dominant performance by central defenders Russell Canderton and Romario Jonas, now seemingly back to full match fitness, was notable.  The midfield competed for every ball and Ashford now look forward to their next home match against Potters Bar Town on Saturday.

There are no details yet but the Ladies came out on top yesterday in their top of the table clash against Godalming Town Ladies, winning by 2 goals to 1, giving themselves an excellent chance of winning their division for the second season in a row.

The junior results are to hand as follows:

Cass U8s 5-6 Whitton

Bill U7s 1-1 Epsom

Michael U7s 3-0 Kingston

Chris U8s 6-5 Walton & Hersham

Andy U9s 1-3 AFC Walcountians

Matt U9s 3-2 Carshalton

Ryan U9s 0-1 Kew Association

Matt U10s 2-5 Bedfont

Joe U12s 0-3 South Park

Larry U13s 2-3 Corinthian

John U13s 5-3 Kew Park

Paul U13s 4-2 Woking Cougars

Craig U14s 3-1 Stoneleigh

Fin U14s 4-2 Kings Park

Martin U15s 6-1 Mitcham Park

Ben U16s 5-3 Croygas

Conor U16s 0-0 Meadow Sports

We wish Will Boye well as he has decided to return to his previous club, Colliers Wood United, although he is still running the Ladies’ side.  Will played 52 times for the Tangerines, five as sub, scoring just the one goal, since joining us last season.

On the other side of the coin, giant Frenchman Dylan Duby has joined us.  He played only a cameo role on Saturday coming on in stoppage time, following International Clearance being granted two days earlier, but he looks a real find.

Ashford have been drawn at home to Wingate & Finchley in the quarter-final of the Middlesex Charity Cup, and the game has been fixed for Tuesday 21 March.

 

Finally, we would like to thank Barton for their excellent hospitality on Saturday which was greatly appreciated.

 

Ashford travel to 3rd placed Barton Rovers on Saturday in what will be a tough match.  Barton’s recent form shows a 1-1 draw at Bedford Town last Saturday, preceded by two home wins over Northwood (5-1) and Aylesbury (3-2),  Before that, they lost 2-3 at Beaconsfield SYCOB.  Back in October, Ashford managed to beat their opponents in a high scoring match, winning by six goals to three, ours coming from Mark Bitmead (2), Dan Fleming (2) and Kam English (2).

We first met Barton in the 2001-02 season in what was then Ryman League Division 2.  There have been eleven matches over the years between us, with both clubs winning five each and one draw.

The address of the ground is Luton Road, Barton Le Clay, Bedfordshire MK45 4LQ and it is a journey of around 42 miles from ground to ground using the M25 and the M1 (leave M1 at Junction 11), although there are various alternative roads that can be used.  Kick-off is at 3.00 p.m.

As usual most of our junior sides are in action on Sunday and here are the fixtures:

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

FC Hatton 10:30

Larry U14s v Corinthian Casuals 12:30

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

Conor U16s v Meadow Sports 10am

Ben U16s v Croygas 11:30

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch 1

Cass U8s v Whitton Wanderers 10am

Chris U8s v Walton & Hersham 11am

Ashford Town 5 – 5 Pitch 2

Neil U8s v Spelthorne Sports 10am

Steve U8s v Twickenham Tigers 11am

Ashford Town 7 – 7 Pitch

Rhys U9s v Barnes Eagles 10am

Ryan U9s v Kew Association 11am

Matt U10s v Bedfont Eagles 12pm  

Ashford Town 9 – 9 Pitch

Joe U12s v South Park 10am

Ashford Town – Outfield

Gary 10:30am

Craig U14s v Stoneleigh 12:30

Ashford Town Stadium

Ladies v Godalming 2pm 

Away Games

Michael U7s v Kingston Town

Bill U8s v Epsom Athletic

Andy U9s v AFC Walcountians

Matt U9s v Carshalton

Graham U11s v Elm Grove

Kirk U11s v St Helier

Nelson U11s v Carshalton

John U13s v Kew Park Rangers

Paul U13s v Woking Cougars

Fin U14s v Kings Park

Martin U15s v Mitcham Park

Simon U16s v Lyne Lions

 

The Ladies have what might be called their “crunch” match on Sunday when they entertain Godalming Ladies at Short Lane , kick-off 2.00 p.m.  Godalming are top of the league five points ahead of Ashford but have played three matches more.

 

 

Ashford have been drawn at home to Wingate & Finchley in the 3rd Round (Quarter Final) of the Middlesex Charity Cup.  There is no date yet but Wingate & Finchley are in the Ryman League and they currently sit in 5th place in the Premier Division table.

We have not played them since October 2008, when we lost 2-4 at home in an FA Trophy replay, after drawing one apiece at their ground.  Our scorers in the replay were Scott Todd and John Palmer.  At Wingate, it was Byron Harrison who got our goal.

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