Please note that this evening’s match at Abbey Rangers will kick off at 7.15 p.m. and not 7.45 as previously assumed.

Pre-season training has now stepped up, with the first friendly next week on Tuesday 18 July, when we visit CCL side Abbey Rangers.  We played them last season on a very windy day in early August when we lost 1-2, our goal a penalty from Mark Bitmead.  It was clear they had the makings of a very good side which was demonstrated through the campaign as they went on to finish in 10th place last season in their first season in the Premier Division of the Combined Counties League.

The address of the ground is Addlestone Moor, Addlestone, KT15 2QH.  It is assumed that kick-off is 7.45 p.m.

One additional friendly has now been arranged , when we will get the opportunity to play at Bedfont Sports’ superb new surface on Thursday 3 August, when we play against their tenants Deportivo Galicia.

Pre-season training has now stepped up, with the first friendly arriving on Tuesday 18 July, when we visit CCL side Abbey Rangers.  We played them last season on a very windy day when we lost 1-2, our goal a penalty from Mark Bitmead.  It was clear they had the makings of a very good side which was shown clearly enough as they went on to finish in 10th place last season in their first season in the Premier Division of the Combined Counties League.

The address of the ground is Addlestone Moor, Addlestone, KT15 2QH.  It is assumed that kick-off is 7.45 p.m.

One additional friendly has now been arranged , when we will get the opportunity to play at Bedfont Sports’ superb new surface on Thursday 3 August, when we play against their tenants Deportivo Galicia.

The League fixtures for the new season have been released this morning and Ashford commence on Saturday 12 August with just about their longest trip of the season, away to Cambridge City, who were relegated last season from the Premier Division.  We have never previously played against them.

Our first home match is on the Tuesday evening, 15 August, when Arlesey Town have a fairly long midweek journey down to Short Lane.

Bank Holiday fixtures see us paired against Egham Town at home on the late August Bank Holiday, 28 August, with the return “leg” at Egham on Boxing Day.

The matches on New Year’s Day and Easter Monday are certainly not local, with Moneyfields from Portsmouth coming to us on New Year’s day, 1 January, the return trip down to Moneyfields coming on Easter Monday.

We finish the season as we started it, with a fairly long trip, this time to AFC Rushden & Diamonds whilst we go to ex-CCL club Hartley Wintney on a Tuesday evening, just as we did two seasons ago.  They come to us in our final home match on Saturday 21 April. 

The full fixture list will be on the web site as soon as possible or you can view it upon the league web site.

News has comethrough  that ex-Ashford player Dave MacArthur died on Saturday 8 July 2017.  Dave will not be remembered by many people currently involved with the club as he played back in the late 60's and early 70's but he was a commanding central-defender, well respected by team mates and opponents alike.  The funeral will take place this Friday: 10.00am - Kent and Sussex Crematorium, Tunbridge Wells.

The draws for the early rounds of the FA Competitions have been released today by the FA and for Ashford they are:

Emirates FA Cup - Preliminary Round

Ashford  v  Windsor or Wembley

Buildbase FA Trophy - Preliminary Round

Ashford  v  Uxbridge

Buildbase FA Trophy - 1st Qualifying Round

Romford or Hastings Town  v  Ashford or Uxbridge

FA Youth Cup - 1st Qualifying Round

Chalfont St. Peter or Wingate & Finchley  v  Ashford

 

 

The Southern Football League has announced that the upcoming 2017-18 League Challenge Cup will be sponsored by www.bigfreebet.com, a leading online sports predictions, news and tips site.

Proceeds from the deal will contribute to developing the league and the growth in grassroots English football that has seen players such as Jamie Vardy and Chris Smalling rise through the ranks to become elite European football athletes.

Don Gillies, Director of BigFreeBet.com, said:

“We are very happy about sponsoring the cup and providing funding to help nurture local English talent. Long term, we hope to see more home-grown talent breaking through to Europe’s top leagues and sponsorship of this cup will be one small step to achieving this goal.”

Founded in 1894, the Southern Football League exemplifies the heritage and strength of local grassroots football in the UK.

The League Chairman has thanked BigFreeBet.com for their Agreement to sponsor the League Cup for Season 2017-2018.

League Chairman Terry Barratt said, “I am pleased that BigFreeBet.com share the same views that Non-League football is full of players with potential that could make it at a higher level. We are the shop window of opportunity”.

The BigFreeBet.com League Challenge Cup will run from October to April and will be available to watch through YouTube channels and on a selection of Club websites.

Last season saw newcomers to the League’s Premier Division, Hayes & Yeading United defeat St Ives Town 4-2 on penalties following a 1-1 draw after normal time.

There are a number of ex-Professional players now plying their trade in the Southern Football League who are due to appear in this year’s competition, including Jamie Cook, Jamie Cureton, Barry Hayles and Andy Sandell to name a few.

Always gamble responsibly. The club wishes to remind its players, officials and volunteers to adhere at all times to the relevant FA Regulations concerning betting on football.

Although two clubs were wiling to play us this Tuesday evening, the logisitics just did not work, so the next pre-season friendly will be on Saturday 30 July, when Ashford will face a Barnet FC X1, kick-off 3.00 p.m.  This will be the first match on the hallowed turf for the new season and we look forward to welcoming our supporters who will hopefully wish to give our promotion winning side their support as they look forward to the challenges of the Evostick League.  Ben has retained most of last season's squad and with one or two additions, one of whom supporters will be very pleased to see back at Short Lane.  There will be a little more detail once the writer has seen confirmation of all the signings but it is looking good now the rustiness of the first two friendlies has been overcome.

Some incredible work has been done in the close season and if you haven't yet seen the refurbished bar area, you are in for a treat.  IN addition the match officials' room has been extended in line with the new requirements due to come in on 31 March 2018 whilst the pitch is looking good.  There is still some tidying up to be done before Saturday so if anyone can spare a few hours any time Wednesday to Friday, you will be very welcome. As previously reported, our main sponsors Hitchcock & King have doubled their sponsorship amount for the new season and we cannot thank them enough.

For different reasons both tomorrow's match at Shoreham and  that on Tuesday at Banstead have been called off.  Ashford are looking for an alternative match on Tuesday, when Short Lane will now be available if required.  We apologise to Shoreham FC for this very late decison.

A distinctly improved performance was given by Ashford in their friendly away to Spelthorne Sports on Tuesday resulting in a narrow 2-1 victory against another side who may well be challenging for CCL honours at the end of the season.  Both Ashford goals came from excellent moves, even though the first one was finally headed into his own net by a defender.  The second came from Mark Bitmead right at the start of the second half.  Following the rather abject performance at CB Hounslow on Saturday, it was good to see how hard all the players worked in a very hot temperature

It is getting more serious now and on Saturday Ashford will be travelling down to Shoreham FC for their first ever match against our opponents.  We thank Shoreham in advance for hosting the match and hopefully as many of our supporters as possible will make the trip.

Kick-off is at 3.00 p.m. and the address of the ground is The Taxi-Link Community Ground, Middle Road, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, BN43 6GA, just 7 miles from Brighton..  It is a journey of just over 71 miles and shouldn’t take longer than an hour and a half.  Should it be necessary, the phone number of the ground is 01273 454261

Finally best wishes go to our Chairman Dave Baker, who goes into hospital this evening for a minor operation.  He will hopefully be out early next week.