This last week will not be remembered with any affection by anyone associated with Ashford!

Following the unlucky last minute defeat at the hands of Molesey in midweek, Ashford capitulated on Saturday at Hanworth Villa, losing by three goals to nil.  The scoreline is misleading in terms of possession with the Villans scoring two of their three goals right at the death, as Ashford threw caution to the wind in an attempt to find an equaliser to Hanworth’s first goal on the stroke of half-time but we all know the result is all that counts in the end.   

The weather has now turned with the result that the pitch was hard and not a little bumpy and this together with the stiff and very cold breeze that persisted throughout, made it difficult for either side to play much football.  Ashford were without key players in Mark Bitmead and Mitchal Gough but Elliott Jones was fit again and came on later from the bench.

In terms of possession Ashford had more of it throughout the first half but neither keeper was ever seriously threatened.  Three free kicks awarded to Ashford just outside the area,  gave the away supporters some hope given past heroics but Dan Fleming didn’t have his shooting boots on and all were safely collected by Terry Buss in the home goal.

On the stroke of half-time Ashford conceded a goal.  There seemed no particular danger but sloppy defending allowed a cross to come in from the right flank, and Hanworth’s Dale Marvell glanced it home at the near post.  It was a good finish.

The second half saw Hanworth often putting all eleven men behind the ball to protect their lead, which they did, if not with ease, yet certainly comfortably, as despite the vast  amount of possession, Ashford never really looked like redeeming the situation and then came the final twist as Hanworth rubbed it in with two goals in the closing seconds.  Well played to them, they took their chances when Ashford failed to create hardly a single opportunity of note.

It never sounds good when a beaten team criticises a referee and it certainly made no difference to the result but Mr. Hurst seemed to lose his way after a positive start, awarding free kicks the wrong way and failing to clamp down on the time wasting, not helped by only two match balls being provided.  All teams are prone to do it when they are holding a narrow lead near the end, not least Ashford, but when will referees learn that the only way to clamp down on it is by issuing a card or two rather than keep tapping their wrist, which fools no-one.   Mr. Hurst added on five minutes of stoppage time but just one incident took just about that long to sort out and there was another embarrassing and prolonged hold-up whilst a ball was retrieved.  Neither were Ashford impressed with the fact that they received four yellow cards to Hanworth’s one.

With all the other leading clubs losing or only able to draw it was a shame that Ashford chose to have such a spectacular off day but it is gone now and one senses there will  be a determination to put on a much better display when the Tangerines go to Mole Valley on Tuesday evening before a home game beckons on Saturday.  More tomorrow about Tuesday’s match.

 

Forthcoming Events

02 Jun 2018
11:00AM -
Junior Presentation Day and Evening
09 Jun 2018
09:00AM - 09:00PM
Junior Tournament