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.