Monday 28 August 2017                               Evostick League South, East Division

ASHFORD TOWN (MIDDX)  2    EGHAM TOWN  3                           Att. 137

Bitmead, Fleming                                      Woods, Matthew, Wiseman

Prior to this match and stretching back into last season, Ashford had gone eleven successive competitive matches without losing so it was inevitable that they would lose one at some stage.

The circumstances of the defeat though at home to local rivals Egham Town by the odd goal in five were a little frustrating given that Ashford had taken a two goal lead only to see Egham get it back to two apiece and then score the winning goal in stoppage time.

As the scoring pattern shows, Ashford started well against a fancied Egham side and duly went ahead on ten minutes when a trademark free kick from Mark Bitmead gave a rather shaky Pat Ohman in the Egham goal no chance.  At this point Ashford were rampant and doubled the lead just eight minutes later when Dan Fleming cut in from the left and unleashed a fine effort. 

At that stage, Egham were unable to get a foothold in the match to any extent and Fleming missed a golden opportunity to make it three when his point blank header rebounded off Ohman.  That was not the only missed opportunity to increase the lead even though Egham had started to come more into the match.

They had not really looked as if they would score though but on 38 minutes they did so, rather out of the blue and looking back, that moment changed the game.  It was a very decent effort in the first place that Tyler Tobin in goal did well to get to but unfortunately for Ashford, he was unable to push the ball to safety and Egham’s Matt Woods was on hand to turn in the rebound.

Although there were no further goals before the break, Ashford seemed all on edge after that with hurried clearances, and a lack of cohesion.  Egham became the dominant side and it was not a surprise when they levelled the scores on 58 minutes when a rare error from Tobin led to him not getting the ball away and it found its way to Brendan Matthews who made no mistake.

Ashford steadied and for a while started to play their football again but no-one had their shooting boots on now and frustration once again took hold with far too many free kicks being conceded in dangerous areas.  One such kick in the 92nd minute led to Ashford’s complete downfall as the ball made its way to Mitchell Wiseman to power home as the defending once again wasn’t good enough.

Looking at yesterday’s results, it seems that the league will continue to be extremely competitive, with both Hartley Wintney and AFC Rushden & Diamonds losing their 100% record and Ashford need not be too down hearted over one defeat.  There will be things for manager Ben Murray to ponder though before Ashford entertain Corinthian-Casuals on Saturday in the Emirates FA Cup.  Incidentally, our opponents also lost yesterday at home to Carshalton Athletic in the Bostick League by four goals to two.

The next Ashford match at Short Lane is this coming Wednesday when the Under-18’s will entertain Aldershot Town U18 in the Ryman Youth League, kick-off 7.45 p.m.