It is fair to say that, in normal circumstances, a home draw against Northwood would not have merited any special attention but on Saturday, after seven consecutive losses, the point in a 2-2 draw was greeted with both relief and enthusasm by Ashford supporters.

The rather dismal display against Hanworth Villa in the week was forgotten as Ashford fought with incredible determination to end this unfortunate run that, generally has been undeserved.  Indeed apart from the Villa match on Tuesday and the second half performance against Hanwell Town, the Tangerines have deserved far more than the “nul points” that has been the outcome in recent matches and, without getting carried away,  everyone will be hoping that matters are back on track now that the slide has been arrested.

It was all Ashford at the beginning and the early lead on nine minutes was well deserved.  It came from a free kick taken by Jack Beadle which found its way to the far post and right back Elliot Poley slid in well to turn the ball in for his first ever Ashford goal. 

Northwood had not really been in it at that point but they began to show that they have some useful players and they equalised on 24 minutes with a fine movement that saw an Ashford attack broken up and the ball swiftly transferred to the other end, culminating in a headed goal from Wilson Chingoka.

That goal brought the visitors fully into the match and it was end to end stuff, with the extremely soft pitch and the incessant rainfall making life difficult for both sets of defences but exciting for spectators.

There was no further scoring before half-time but within nine minutes of the restart Ashford got their noses in front again.  This time it came from the penalty spot.  Tommy Brunton advanced into the area and an attempt to tackle him was a soft but clear foul.  He tried to stay on his feet and may have forced the ball into the net but referee Dyson was quick to bring the ball back for the penalty.  Northwood were incensed but there was no changing the official’s mind and Alex Fisher made no mistake.

Teams are often vulnerable immediately after a goal and it took about a minute for Northwood to equalise for a second time.  Once again it was Chingoka who forced the ball home after an almighty scramble in the goalmouth.

As the match entered its final phase, Ashford rather regained the ascendancy and had more than one opportunity to score again.  Northwood keeper Xavi Comas was in top form though and stopped just about everything thrown at him.  Ashford were convinced they should have had a second penalty when Max Webb was brought down but the referee deemed that the foul had taken place just outside the area and the free kick came to nothing.  Northwood continued to look dangerous on the break and Ashford had cause to be grateful to Tyler Tobin in goal on more than one occasion.

In the sapping conditions, neither side could muster up a third goal though which would surely have won the match and it ended in a point apiece which was enough though to have the home supporters cheering their side off after a determined performance against a side who belied their 16th position in the table and who were also clapped off.   Poley, who enjoyed a fine match apart from his goal was voted the “Hitchcock and King Ashford man of the match” but just about everyone merits a mention.  Tom Howard was superb in midfield until he went off with cramp near the end, whilst Jack Beadle, James Cottee and Tommy Brunton were all prominent throughout the match.

For the first time in ages there is no midweek match so the squad will have a chance to recover and prepare fully for next Saturday’s encounter away to Aylesbury, more of which in the week.  The Under-18’s are due to be away to Northwood on Thursday.  The Ladies match against QPR had to be postponed on Sunday as the pitch was in no state to stage the match after Saturday, so it will be a blessing not to have a game on it during the week.  Next Sunday, the Ladies are due to be at home to Godalming Town Ladies but possibly the postponed cup match against QPR will be given preference.

The tickets are now available for the Ladies’ Hen Night on Friday 9 March which is being organised by Sally (Mash) and promises to be some night.  No men allowed other than the performers of course!  Just phone the club (01784 245908) or contact Sally, the cost is only £10 per lady.

Forthcoming Events

02 Jun 2018
11:00AM -
Junior Presentation Day and Evening
09 Jun 2018
09:00AM - 09:00PM
Junior Tournament