It is a bonus to complete the season with a Cup Final and, following the win over Hampton & Richmond last Tuesday, Ashford now look forward to the Middlesex Charity Cup Final against Wealdstone on Bank Holiday Monday, to be played at Hanwell Town FC, kick-off 7.30 p.m.
Following a 1-1 draw on Saturday, away to East Thurrock, Wealdstone have just finished in 8th place in the National League South, so we are very much underdogs, as, of course, we were in the last two rounds against Wingate & Finchley and Hampton & Richmond Borough. We have the bonus though of coming into the match full of confidence with three consecutive victories behind us, no injuries and just one defeat in the last nine competitive games.
One former player we may come up against in the Wealdstone squad is Ricky Wellard, who left us for AFC Wimbledon, for whom he played in the Football League and is now at Wealdstone. Ricky left us at the end of the 2008-2009 season, with 190 appearances for the club under his belt and 25 goals. This will be the first occasion we have come across him since then as a direct rival.
We have actually come up against Wealdstone in competitive games on 12 previous occasions, the most recent being in December 2012, when, after a nil-nil draw we managed to win the penalty shoot out by 5 goals to 4 in the Senior Cup, our penalty scorers on that night being Mark Bitmead, Joe Bennett, Kofi Lockhart-Adams, Jack Mullan and Perry Luckins. We were competitors for three seasons in the Ryman Premier, until they went one way and we went the other, and we actually managed to complete a double over them in the 2007-2008 season. All in the past, of course, and we congratulate Wealdstone and long serving manager Gordon Bartlett upon reaching their current level and having a good season that saw them on the edge of the play-offs.
Don’t forget that Ashford Ladies have two cup finals still to play, the details being as follows:
Sunday 7th May 2017 Capital Womens Cup
Fixture: Whyteleafe Ladies v Ashford Town (Middlesex) Ladies FC
Venue: Bedfont Sports Football Club (3G Pitch) TW14 9JR
Kick Off: 14:00
Sunday 21st May 2017 GLWFL Trophy
Fixture: Ashford Town (Middlesex) Ladies FC v Battersea & Hammersmith
Venue: Hampton & Richmond Borough FC (Grass Pitch) TW12 2BX
Kick Off: 13:15
Also a reminder that we have the annual presentation evening on Friday 12 May at the Meadhurst Club. If you are coming and have not yet paid, please see Graham Cooley asap as places are limited. We shall certainly have one cup to re-present, that being the County Cup won by one of our Under-13 sides a few weeks.
The Club AGM is the evening before, on 11 May at the Club (8.00 p.m.) when everyone with an interest in the club is very welcome to attend
We now have absolute confirmation from Middx. County FA that the Charity Cup Final against Wealdstone will be on Monday 1 May at Hanwell Town, kick-off 7.30 p.m.
Well done to the Under-18's including several younger players who won their home game against Camberley Town U18 4-3 lat night in the Ryman Youth Match.
Farnborough and Barton Rovers won their respective play-off matches yesterday evening against Egham and Marlow, so will meet in the play-off Final on Saturday, at Farnborough.
Ashford reached the Final of the Middesex Charity Cup on Tuesday evening with a win that was more convincing than the eventual scoreline suggests, beating Hampton & Richmond Borough by 2 goals to 1, Hampton’s goal being the last kick of the match.
With one eye on the possibility of reaching the play-offs, Hampton clearly fielded something of a mixed side but one that was never good enough to trouble the Tangerines, currently on top form and full of confidence.
The surface is clearly showing signs of strain after a long hard season and the quicker work starts on it, the better, but both sides did their best to play good football in the opening period, which was relatively even. It did not take too long though for Ashford to take the initiative and on 9 minutes they went one up. The excellent Samad Kazi somehow retrieved the ball wide on the right, went past a defender before sending in a perfect cross to the far post leaving the unmarked Dan Fleming to plant his header firmly into the back of the net.
There was no further scoring before the break although both sides went close. Ashford had cause to be grateful to Tyler Tobin twice in succession but it was still mainly the Tangerines after the break even though Hampton reverted to generally playing it long. That was meat and drink for Russ Canderton and Romario Jonas, who have now forged an excellent partnership and it was not really a surprise when Jack Beadle doubled the lead on 61 minutes, thanks to a pin point through ball from Tommy Brunton. Jack still had plenty to do but was calmness personified as he controlled the ball and knocked it home for the winning goal for the third time in as many matches.
A third goal should have come but somehow the visiting keeper stopped a point blank header from Fleming but as the match went into stoppage time it looked game over. Then in the third minute added on by the referee, Hampton pulled one back following a free kick and a nervy last few minutes looked on the clock. There had been a number of stoppages and six minutes extra could not have been argued with but Mr. Richardson blew his whistle immediately the ball went in, just short of three minutes and Ashford were in the Final. The Ashford “man of the match” could have been just about anyone but Max Webb shaded it in a close vote.
To the best of our knowledge the Final will take place on Bank Holiday Monday 1 May, at Hanwell Town, kick-off 7.30 p.m. So far though nobody from Middlesex has come back to confirm this information, especially the kick-off time, which may have been because there was a possibility that Wealdstone could have been involved in a play-off situation. That is no longer the case (see statement on the Wealdstone web site) so we should have full confirmation very shortly which will appear on here as soon as possible.