Easter Monday was a "big" day for the club with the visit of all the lovely ladies from the HASAG Charity and the official “retirement” day of physio and erstwhile goalkeeper Pat Munns.
Some incredible generosity from both Ashford and Farnborough supporters raised several hundred pounds for their valuable work and we thank everyone who contributed. Hopefully the ladies had an enjoyable afternoon in our company.
Pat, in the meantime, had decided to give up active service with the club after starting as a goalkeeper with Ashford back in 1967, when we were still in the Hounslow and District League. Fulsome praise has already been given for his exploits as a keeper but since retiring he has been kept busy on the bench in the physio role and deserves a rest after 50 years! It was great to see so many old faces come along to join in the celebrations as Pat received a medal to commemorate his long service and also a framed and signed goalkeeper shirt with “No. 1 Munns” on the back.
As to the match against Farnborough, it was probably a good time to play them as they cannot now finish anywhere other than second place and, even if their players didn’t, their management certainly had a big eye on the play-offs to come next week and were very keen to avoid injuries. We hope the two players who did sustain knocks regain their fitness in time.
As far as Ashford were concerned, there wasn’t anything special to play for but the squad were certainly motivated sufficiently enough. The pitch was not at its best unfortunately and we badly need the remedial work in the summer to start immediately it closes down on 8 May, which has been duly planned.
Inevitably Farnham looked dangerous when in possession, given the reputation of some of their players, but Ashford held their own and were not without chances of their own. The only goal of the game was scored by the Tangerines on 66 minutes through Jack Beadle, his first since returning to the Club from Egham and it was a goal to remember. Jack had already seen two meaningful efforts either go just wide or saved but there was no stopping this one as he unleashed a tremendous effort from some 25 yards that just flew into the net.
After that it was largely a case of backs to the wall, really for the first time in the game, as Farnborough intensified their efforts. Keeper Tobin was in inspired form though, with two stunning stops while the woodwork also intervened on Ashford’s behalf, with two other efforts cleared from the line. Despite all that it was not all one way and Ashford could have scored again themselves but found Farnborough keeper Aaron Bufton equally adept.
The match was witnessed by a healthy 217 spectators and well refereed by Connor Griffin, handling his first match at this level. The "Ashford man of the match" award was won narrowly by Romario Jonas, immense at the heart of the defence.
The final league match of the season is next Saturday when we travel to Oxfordshire to meet up with Kidlington FC again. More on that one later in the week.