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.

Ashford’s next friendly is on Tuesday evening (19 July) just down the road at Spelthorne Sports, kick-off 7.45 p.m.

Following that, on Saturday we have the trip down to Sussex to play against Shoreham, which is around 7 miles from Brighton.  There will be a full preview on the site later in the week.

Ashford found themselves on the wrong end of a 0-3 defeat on Wednesday at Colliers Wood.  Two late goals masked some reasonable football by the Tangerines at times but it was also quite apparent that some of the players were a little on the rusty side following holidays and so on.  It should also be said that Colliers Wood played very well.

Ashford move on to the next friendly, this afternoon (Saturday) when they make the short trip to play CB Hounslow at their own ground, namely Osterley Sports Club, Tentelow Ln, Southall UB2 4LW.  Kick-off is 3.00 p.m.

Ashford found themselves on the wrong end of a 0-3 defeat on Wednesday at Colliers Wood.  Two late goals masked some reasonable football by the Tangerines at times but it was also quite apparent that some of the players were a little on the rusty side following holidays and so on.  It should also be said that Colliers Wood played very well.

Ashford move on to the next friendly, this afternoon (Saturday) when they make the short trip to play CB Hounslow at their own ground, namely Osterley Sports Club, Tentelow Ln, Southall UB2 4LW.  Kick-off is 3.00 p.m.

Ashford found themselves on the wrong end of a 0-3 defeat on Wednesday at Colliers Wood.  Two late goals masked some reasonable football by the Tangerines at times but it was also quite apparent that some of the players were a little on the rusty side following holidays and so on.  It should also be said that Colliers Wood played very well.

Ashford move on to the next friendly, this afternoon (Saturday) when they make the short trip to play CB Hounslow at their own ground, namely Osterley Sports Club, Tentelow Ln, Southall UB2 4LW.  Kick-off is 3.00 p.m.

With lots of people away, details from Ashford's opening friendly at Knaphill on Saturday 9 July are sketchy at the moment, apart from the result which was one apiece.  With manager Ben Murray back from Wimbledon duties, the momentum will now start to gather and the second friendly arrives tomorrow evening, (Tuesday 12 July) when Ashford make the trip to Colliers Wood United, where they can be assured of an excellent surface.

Colliers Wood play at the Wibbandune Sports Ground, Robin Hood Way (A3 south bound), Wimbledon, SW20 0AA.  Doubtless most will be aware but the car park is quite small so if you arrive late it is better to park on the other side of the road, where there is a slip road and then walk over the footbridge.  Kick-off at Colliers Wood is usually 7.30 p.m. but it has been agreed that tomorrow's match will start at 7.45 p.m. to allow a little extra time

We have received a letter from the Football Association advising that Liam Balmer and Steve Honey from Ashford Town (Middlesex) have been placed within the top six groundsmen in the National Step 5 and 6 award category throughout the country.

The winners will be announced at the FA’s “Groundsman of the Year Awards Day” on Tuesday 16 August at St. Georges Park and both Liam and Steve have been invited to attend.  All the finalists will receive a certificate from the FA.

Our pitch was better than it has ever been last season and full credit and congratulations go to Liam and to Steve and his colleagues.

Ashford Town (Middlesex) have been handed difficult away ties in all three of The FA's competitions in which the club has entered.

In the Emirates FA Cup, we will travel to Shortwood United of the Evo-Stik League Southern Division One South and West.  "The Wood" play in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, a town in which we have played an FA Cup tie once before; away to Forest Green Rovers in a Fourth Round Qualifying replay.  It will be a long journey, but an interesting challenge and a new opponent for the club.

We face slightly more familiar opposition in The FA Trophy. We make our return to the competition at the Preliminary Round stage and will travel to AFC Hornchurch. Our last FA Trophy meeting with the Urchins, who are in the Ryman League Division One North, was in the First Round Proper in 2011. The Tangerines enjoyed home advantage in that tie and won it 1-0 thanks to a late Jones Awuah goal.  The winner of the match at Hornchurch's Bridge Avenue Stadium then travels to Ryman League Premier Division club Tonbridge Angels.

Even the Under-18 team were sent on their travels in The FA Youth Cup. They will go to Potters Bar Town in the Preliminary Round, with the winners playing away to either Spelthorne Sports or Hadley Wood & Wingate.