Ashford reached the Final of the Middesex Charity Cup on Tuesday evening with a win that was more convincing than the eventual scoreline suggests, beating Hampton & Richmond Borough by 2 goals to 1, Hampton’s goal being the last kick of the match.

With one eye on the possibility of reaching the play-offs, Hampton clearly fielded something of a mixed side but one that was never good enough to trouble the Tangerines, currently on top form and full of confidence. 

The surface is clearly showing signs of strain after a long hard season and the quicker work starts on it, the better, but both sides did their best to play good football in the opening period, which was relatively even.  It did not take too long though for Ashford to take the initiative and on 9 minutes they went one up.  The excellent Samad Kazi somehow retrieved the ball wide on the right, went past a defender before sending in a perfect cross to the far post leaving the unmarked Dan Fleming to plant his header firmly into the back of the net.

There was no further scoring before the break although both sides went close.  Ashford had cause to be grateful to Tyler Tobin twice in succession but it was still mainly the Tangerines after the break even though Hampton reverted to generally playing it long.  That was meat and drink for Russ Canderton and Romario Jonas, who have now forged an excellent partnership and it was not really a surprise when Jack Beadle doubled the lead on 61 minutes, thanks to a pin point through ball from Tommy Brunton.  Jack still had plenty to do but was calmness personified as he controlled the ball and knocked it home for the winning goal for the third time in as many matches.

A third goal should have come but somehow the visiting keeper stopped a point blank header from Fleming but as the match went into stoppage time it looked game over.  Then in the third minute added on by the referee, Hampton pulled one back following a free kick and a nervy last few minutes looked on the clock.  There had been a number of stoppages and six minutes extra could not have been argued with but Mr. Richardson blew his whistle immediately the ball went in, just short of three minutes and Ashford were in the Final.  The Ashford “man of the match” could have been just about anyone but Max Webb shaded it in a close vote.

To the best of our knowledge the Final will take place on Bank Holiday Monday 1 May, at Hanwell Town, kick-off 7.30 p.m.  So far though nobody from Middlesex has come back to confirm this information, especially the kick-off time, which may have been because there was a possibility that Wealdstone could have been involved in a play-off situation.  That is no longer the case (see statement on the Wealdstone web site) so we should have full confirmation very shortly which will appear on here as soon as possible.