Ashford secured all three points at Uxbridge on Saturday, winning by two goals to nil, to record their second “double” of the season.

It was a full blooded affair at times and Ashford were furious when Max Herbert received the first card of the match for a comparatively gentle push, after three late tackles from the home side had left Ashford players needing treatment.  Lest the writer be accused of being blinkered, the Tangerines also had cause to be grateful for some lenient refereeing in the second half when tackles from Tommy Brunton and Samad Kazi could, on another day, have seen them enjoying an early bath.

There was plenty of good attacking football as well with ex-Ashford keeper Paul McCarthy  in good form between the sticks for Uxbridge, pushing away determined efforts from the likes of Max Webb and Dan Fleming.  Tyler Tobin was in equally imperious form for the Tangerines but on balance he had less to do.  It remained goalless at the break though.

It was fairly clear that the opening goal would be significant and it did not take too long for Ashford to achieve this, just six minutes into the re-start.  A free kick from the rejuvenated Mark Bitmead was too well placed for McCarthy to hold and as it went loose Romario Jonas  was the first to react to put the ball in the net.

That was the key for a determined fight back from the home side and Ashford’s seeming insistence upon conceding silly fouls in dangerous areas did not help.  However, a combination of poor finishing and determined defensive work ensured that there was no breakthrough and in the 66th minute Ashford effectively made the game safe with the second goal, when a deft through ball from Fleming saw Bitmead doing what he does best, slipping the ball past McCarthy with aplomb.

Ashford defended reasonably comfortably after that and might even have scored one or two more themselves.  The final score though was satisfying as it meant a clean sheet and the third win from the last four matches.  Max Webb’s non-stop running and determination saw him voted the “Ashford man of the match” by supporters, but nobody did badly and the lightning pace of Eli Ogunseye provided more than one “wow” moment.

The recent form has completely dispelled some of the gloom that had started to creep in and Ashford will now go into the home match on Tuesday against champions elect, Royston Town, in excellent spirits, which they will need against arguably the best side in the division.  Our opponents have suffered only one defeat since the turn of the year, against Kidlington and are now sitting fairly comfortably at the top of the table with a five point and two match advantage over nearest rivals Farnborough.  It was only a few weeks ago though that we gave them a very close game up at Royston.  The match kicks off at 7.45 pm at Short Lane.

A big well done goes to the Under-13’s who made it to their County Cup final on Sunday morning and also to Larry’s juniors who also won their semi-final.  There will hopefully be some more details on these matches later in the week.  Also the Ladies made it through to the semi-final of the Capital Women’s Cup with a 4-2 win over AFC Phoenix Res.  The scorers were Laura Huse (2), Beth Sheehan and Charmaine Benham.  We also understand that Ashley Cheatley, recently departed to Millwall Lionesses in the Women’s Premier League scored her first goal for them today in a 3-1 win over Nottingham Forest in the SSE Women’s FA Cup.