Ashford have often approached matches against Fleet Town with a degree of trepidation as the Tangerines have rarely played well against them and prior to last night’s game, they had lost four in a row against their opponents.  That trepidation was possibly increased last night as Fleet came into the match on the back of a 2-0 success over Marlow on Saturday whilst Ashford had succumbed fairly weakly at Thame.

The odds upon a 10-0 win for the Tangerines beforehand, therefore, would have been extremely long but that was how it turned out, with Ashford in superlative form.  It should be conceded that one or two decisions went their way for a change whilst Fleet produced arguably the most spectacular shot of the night when they were only one down, the effort crashing off the underside of the bar and rebounding to safety.  Ashford’s opponents also had a player sent off on around 20 minutes when Ashford were already two up and looking strong.

The scoring started in the 7th minute when James Cottee followed up on a shot from Max Webb (?) and was on hand to stroke the ball into the net.  Play was reasonably even for a while after that and whilst Ashford were looking far better than they had on Saturday, there was no hint of what was to come.  A strong run though from Jack Beadle produced the second goal on 26 minutes, as he took the ball past three defenders and smashed it home.  Two minutes later it was three, this time from the spot, when a penalty was awarded for handball.  Alex Fisher made no mistake.

Fleet were starting to look in some disarray, having gone down to ten men for an over violent reaction to a tackle and the fourth goal arrived when Dan Fleming was adjudged onside but still with a lot to do.  He made no mistake though and rounded the keeper and scored.  Overall it was an excellent movement but It should be conceded that a number of Ashford supporters also felt that an offside decision could have been given in the build-up.

There was no let up for the beleaguered defenders though and on the stroke of half-time, Fleming struck again, taking full advantage of a precise cross from the busy Tommy Brunton.

The second half was similar and nine minutes into it, Max Webb met another cross from Brunton and his powerful header found its way in despite a brave effort from the keeper.  Fleming followed in just in case but it was clearly already over the line.

Cottee made it eight on 64 minutes when he headed in Beadle’s corner and we then had a lull in the goalscoring largely because Ashford became wasteful, missing numerous chances.  Fleet to their credit kept going but on the night the ten men had no answer and eventually it was sub Jabir Laraba who made it eight, following up his own rebound from the post to slot home.

With five minutes left on the clock, Cottee  completed his hatrick to make it nine with a fierce effort from the edge of the area and the magic tenth goal was a much deserved effort from Brunton, just into stoppage time.

The question was asked afterwards when Ashford had last scored ten goals in a competitive match, speculation settling upon the FA Cup match against Badshot Lea in 2009.  There has though been a more recent example and that was on 30 March 2013, when Ashford beat Woodford United, also in a Southern League match, by 10 goals to nil.

The win will put Ashford in good heart for their trip to Hastings United on Saturday in the FA trophy.  There will be more on that match later in the week but there are still some spaces left on the coach at the moment.   The list is on the notice in the clubhouse.

Finally the Under-18’s are at home this evening (Wednesday 25 Oct) to Hampton & Richmond U18 in the Ryman Youth League, kick-ff 7.45 p.m.

 

Forthcoming Events

25 Nov 2017
03:00PM -
Evo-Stik League South v AFC Rushden & Diamonds (H)
28 Nov 2017
07:45PM -
Evo-Stik League South v Hartley Wintney (a)