Ashford’s attempts to gain promotion were dealt a blow on Tuesday evening at Raynes Park Vale when a sub-standard defensive performance nullified two quality first half goals, leaving the home side the victors by three goals to two.

A positive start by the visitors belied what was to come but despite dominating possession throughout the early stages, Ashford found themselves a goal behind in the home side’s first attack of any note in the 11th minute.  It did not seem as if too much harm had been caused as just four minutes later Mark Bitmead restored parity when he got on the end of a superb cross from Dan Fleming.

Just before the half-hour mark, the roles were reversed when Bitmead dug out an excellent cross and Fleming’s header put Ashford in front.

It was a major disappointment though when the home side equalised on 38 minutes from a corner kick, following a mix-up on the goal line, although it was quite difficult to see from the other end, as half the lights don’t seem to be working at Raynes Park Vale leaving one end distinctly shadowy.

Nevertheless with 45 minutes to come down the slope, Ashford’s supporters were reasonably confident of better things to come in the second period but the visitors just never got going and another dreadful defensive error allowed the home side to go ahead on 63 minutes.

We then endured quite an unpleasant fracas that saw a home player removed for violent conduct and a caution for Jack Beadle but it took so long for the official to get play going again that it led to some major frustration, especially from the Ashford bench.

That was it though.  A superb effort from Max Webb that the keeper tipped over the bar was about the only time that Ashford really threatened to pull the match round and the game ended in severe disappointment for the Tangerines.

So what now?  There are two choices really.  Either the club concedes that it will not overhaul our major rivals and settles for another season in the CCL, or we roll our sleeves up and play as hard as we can for the 33 points that are still available to be won and see where it takes us.  It is worth remembering that all the clubs near the top have suffered unexpected defeats in recent weeks and there is not one club in this league who cannot win against anyone on their day. 

The next match is at home on Saturday against neighbours Bedfont Sports and they will arrive in good form with four successive wins behind them but more on this game later in the week.

Forthcoming Events

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