For the second match in a row, Ashford built up a two goal lead on Saturday, only to squander it, allowing visitors Bedford Town back into the game and in the end a 2-2 draw was probably the fairest outcome.

Ashford found themselves heavily depleted with several regulars missing.  Apart from the long term injury sustained by Mark Bitmead, both Yah-Ya El Kabouche and Scott Weight were suspended, whilst Jack Beadle was disappointingly unavailable, having generally been Ashford’s “star man” in recent games.  When James Cottee had to go off after 12 minutes of the match, Ashford, from that point were missing their three leading scorers whilst Dan Fleming was playing despite not being fully fit.

Whether everything could be attributed to that fact is a matter of opinion but the fine football that we have come to enjoy for much of the season was only on display in isolated moments and it was the visitors who enjoyed much of the possession.  Ashford’s defenders though were coping well until skipper Russell Canderton committed a clear foul in the area and a penalty was awarded which fortunately for the Tangerines, was blazed wide.

Alex Fisher then showed how it should be done by scoring from the spot, following a dangerous kick in the referee's view by a Bedford defender.  The goal came on the stroke of half-time and, following an almighty scramble, the rejuvenated Will Boye forced the ball home to double the lead just four minutes after the break after the keeper had dropped the ball.

Ashford were giving away too many free kicks and within six minutes Bedford pulled a goal back from a free kick , an excellent header from David Manu giving Tyler Tobin no chance.  Ashford still coped quite well with what had become fairly one-way traffic but another free kick and another powerful header brought the scores level on 76 minutes, the scorer this time being James Peters.

Matters were looking ominous for the Tangerines with Bedford now scenting victory but to their credit, Ashford rallied and could easily have scored themselves in the final period of the match.  Referee Myatt was now dishing out cautions with monotonous regularity, one being for Jabir Laraba who was distinctly unlucky as he failed to make contact with his opponent who nonetheless pretended that he had.  The incident led to an unseemly disturbance in front of the home dug out.

The match seemed somewhat surreal for Ashford supporters with so many players missing.  Fortunately Jack Beadle returns home today whilst both Scott Weight and Yah-Ya El-Kabouche have completed their suspensions.  In all their absences, Samad Kazi once again showed his incredible versatility moving forward from central defence and he, along with Max Webb, who gave another powerful performance, ensured that Bedford did not have matters all their own way, Webb being voted “Ashford Man of the Match”, by home supporters.  With a number of draws on Saturday, Ashford lost no ground but with more cup matches on both Tuesday and Saturday, of course, we will be playing catch-up at least through until Christmas.  We remain the top scorers in the League still, despite the lack of league matches.

Tomorrow evening (Tuesday) we make the wearisome journey to play a Barnet X1 in the Middlesex Senior Cup but it will hopefully be an enjoyable occasion, playing at a Football League ground.  Barnet are only charging £3 for entry and the directions taken from their website are: 

From the M40 continue on to Western Avenue / A40

At Hanger Lane roundabout take the 2nd exit on to A406

Take the 1st exit left at Staples Corner roundabout onto the A5 / Edgware Road.

Follow the A5 straight for 3 miles

Turn left onto Camrose Avenue

Continue straight along Camrose Avenue and The Hive will be on your right just after the width restriction.

 

The address of the ground is:  The Hive London, Camrose Avenue, London HA8 6AG and kick-off is at 8.00 p.m.

 

Before that, and under their new managers, the Under-18 team take on Wealdstone Youth this evening (Monday) at Short Lane in  the Ryman Youth League, kick-off 7.45 p.m.

 

We can report another win for the Ladies yesterday, as they won 4-1 away to Kingstonian and now sit proudly at the top of the Greater London Women’s League, Division One with maximum points from their opening five league matches.  Next Sunday, they will hope to make further progress in the Women’s FA Cup at the expense of Milton Keynes Dons Ladies, at Short Lane.  It will undoubtedly be their toughest match so far and your support will be welcomed.  Kick-off is an hour earlier than usual at 1.00 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)