Ashford’s first ever match against their Portsmouth opponents, Moneyfields FC, on Saturday resulted in a hard fought win for the Tangerines by two goals to one.

This is Moneyfields’ first season at this level but they have already established a reputation as being tough opponents, arriving at Short Lane in 4th place after going some 15 league games at the start of the season without tasting defeat.  They have wobbled a little lately though and with Ashford looking determined to put the disappointment of the Cambridge City result behind them from last Saturday, an evenly matched and keenly fought encounter ensued.

Ashford were without Kameron English who has decided to return to Marlow, and also skipper Russell Canderton whose fight against back injury goes on.  Scott Weight returned though and Mitchal Gough also played, forming a good partnership with Romario Jonas at the back.  Indeed it was Gough who came closest for Ashford in the first half, seeing a ferocious header from Jack Beadle’s corner hitting the bar and rebounding to safety.  At the other end two super saves in quick succession from Tyler Tobin ensured parity as the teams turned round.

The endeavour from both sides did not slacken and it was looking as if whoever scored first may well go on to win and on this occasion it was the Tangerines who went ahead on 67 minutes, the goal being scored by James Cottee who just about got the final touch following a prolonged goalmouth scramble.  It was controversial as the visitors were adamant the ball had not crossed the line and it took some time for matters to cool down.  The protests went for a long time and more than one of Ashford’s opponents could not have complained if they had been sent off for the ferocity of their protests.

Ashford’s determination to put one or two indifferent performances behind them in recent weeks had been evident throughout, the goal only serving to enforce that determination.  The the destiny of the points seemed assured when the lead was doubled, this time from the spot following a handling offence.  The penalty was taken by Alex Fisher, who made no mistake..

Once again there were protests but far more muted this time which possibly tells its own story but Ashford were now two up.  As Ashford supporters will be only too aware, the Tangerines have contrived to throw away such leads more than once this season but not on this occasion although there was a late scare inevitably when Ryan Penney scored for the visitors with a minute of normal time on the clock.  That was it though and a valuable three points against a top four side were in the bag and Ashford were  back up to ninth.

It doesn’t get any easier with Ashford now at home again tomorrow evening (Tuesday) in a re-arranged match against Marlow, kick-off 7.45 p.m. at Short Lane.