Report of last Thursday's Ryman Youth Match, from Nick Bailey

After a late 17:15 inspection the pitch was passed fit to play we made our way down the M3 to Camberley to play a very strong side who in their last 5 league games have won 4 and drew 1. On arrival I could see why the inspection was necessary, it was very wet and boggy, heavy with no by-line down one side, but credit must go to Camberley for getting the game on where others would have called it off.

Camberley’s first attack on goal lead to an Ashford defender giving away a cheap penalty inside 2 minutes which was saved by Nick Bennett, but that was as good as it got in the first half.

Camberley scored 3 goals inside 25 mad minutes, all soft and all from set pieces. The first was direct from an in swinging corner that went straight in, the second was another corner and their third was a free kick that looked a routine save but our keeper misjudged the flight and it went straight in.  All in all, this could have been a very long and painful evening.

However, we pulled one back just before half time, Harry Herdman whipped in a wonderful ball which met the rising head of Isaac Mplane and the half finished 3-1.

The message in the dressing room was simple, we had to go against everything that we work on and go route one, the pitch by this time being very heavy and every player on the park was slipping and struggling to play their normal game. A slight change to personnel saw Isaac come off and Harry go up top to hold any long balls that were pumped up to him, Keegan was introduced down the right and it wasn’t long before the change worked and we scored from a goal by Jacob Bennett 3-2.

The game had swung and playing down the slope we had another chance to even it up but didn’t take advantage, the killer blow from Camberley came in the 60th minute where another poor clearance lead to their 4th goal and a mountain to climb for our young lads 4-2.

On summary the 3 goals that we conceded in the first 25 minutes is what eventually killed us.  We were playing a very well organised side who on paper will be right up the table come the end of the season and we just can’t afford to gift goals the way we did.  We showed real character to get back into the match but on the night it wasn’t enough.

Ashford "Man of the match" was Harry who was superb all game, holding up play and causing Camberley’s defence numerous problems.