Dates for your Diary
|05 May 2016|
08:00PM - 10:00PM
Ladies Team Open Trials
|09 May 2016|
British Airways v New Hanford
|12 May 2016|
Annual General Meeting
|20 May 2016|
07:00PM - 12:00AM
Presentation Evening @ Kempton Park
|20 May 2016|
07:00PM - 12:00AM
Presentation Evening @ Kempton Park
|11 Jun 2016|
Ashford Town (Middlesex) Juniors Tournament
|11 Jun 2016|
Ashford Town (Middlesex) Juniors Tournament
- Written by Exile
Ashford Town (Middlesex) have been promoted to Step 4 after League Champions Hartley Wintney defeated Camberley Town by 3-2 this afternoon to prevent the Krooners from going ahead of Ashford and taking second place in the table.
The Row had led the table for most of the season and have won the title convincingly, but announced at the end of March that they had not secured the ground grading required for promotion, which meant that the runners-up would be promoted instead.
Ashford completed their fixtures on Saturday holding the all-important second spot but Camberley knew that if they could crash their hosts’ Championship party by winning the match then it would be them making the step up next season.
With over 300 paying spectators present at the match, the hosts drew first blood when Rossi Cook scored from the penalty spot. Camberley’s prolific striker Perry Coles equalised in the first minute of the second half before a defensive effort allowed Cook to go through on goal, rounding the goalkeeper to give Hartley the lead.
With just over 20 minutes remaining, Camberley’s goalkeeper Craig Bradshaw scored for his side, hitting a free-kick from inside his own penalty area that sailed 80 yards and into the net without even bouncing along the way. That kind of unusual goal can turn a game a team’s way but Hartley underlined why they have won the League by ten points by shrugging off the incident. As the game drew to a close, Camberley had a player dismissed but continued to pour men forward and were eventually caught in the final minute, Sam Argent tapping into the net after a well-worked counter-attack.
Immediately afterwards, Hartley Wintney received the Championship Trophy their efforts this season so richly deserve while Ashford were able to celebrate a return to the level from which they were relegated two years ago. There has been some talk on social media about the Ash Trees’ promotion being somehow diminished by dint of going up as runners-up rather than as champions, but to those people, we would point out that Ashford were champions of the League four seasons in succession during the 1990s, only to be repeatedly denied entry to the Isthmian League by changing ground grading regulations. The rules as they stand now are set by The FA, rather than individual competitions and are the same around the country. While there is no doubt that both Hartley Wintney and Camberley Town are more than good enough to play at Step 4, our level is the only one in the country where only one team is promoted per League and it is to be hoped that those now in charge of the game at Wembley will do something about that. We offer our best wishes to both The Row and The Krooners and for the latter, the season is not yet finished as they are still engaged in three Cup competitions. Hopefully, Camberley will secure some silverware to complete a remarkable season for them, which also saw them reach the quarter-final of The FA Vase.
For Ashford, thoughts now turn to next season. We will be placed into a Step 4 League by The FA Leagues Committee, although it would seem most likely that we will go into Division One Central of the Evo-Stik Southern League. Being placed there would give us a local derby against Egham Town, as well as relatively local fixtures against Uxbridge, Hanwell Town and Northwood, mixed with several trips into Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire. The FA may yet decide otherwise, however!
In the meantime, we would like to pay tribute to all of the players, management and coaching staff for their hard work and express our thanks to our supporters for their unstinting backing of the side throughout the campaign. We have had two highly enjoyable and competitive seasons back in the CCL and the League is probably stronger now than it has ever been, with so many clubs moving forward positively on and off the pitch. We will look back fondly on our return to the competition but can start to plan for the challenges ahead.
- Written by Brady
Ashford’s destiny at the end of this current season is now out of their hands but in the last few weeks players could have done little more than they did, winning their last four matches without conceding a goal. Saturday’s match at Epsom & Ewell looked a tough one on paper and so it was, but there was a steely determination about Ben Murray’s men to take it to the end and whilst there was only one goal in it, there was little doubt that the Tangerines deserved to take all three points on the day.
With Samad Kazi suspended, Will Boye came back into the starting line up, whilst up front Dan Fleming got the nod over Bradley Wainwright. These two sides are basically evenly matched and there were few chances of note, although Ashford certainly enjoyed the greater possession. It looked a hammer blow though for the Tangerines when Scott Weight received a straight red. He certainly barged into his opponent and was deemed to have used an elbow. In the context of the game, especially at that point, it was possibly a little harsh but that was the decision and Ashford now had to contend with their opponents with just ten men in a match they had to win.
Murray opted to keep two players up front and on the day, the reduction in personnel did not seem to make very much difference. The killer blow for Ashford came just after the hour mark when Perry Luckins, who enjoyed an excellent second half, sent a ball through to Mark Bitmead on the left. With the keeper coming out and the Epsom defenders gone AWOL, Bitmead did what he has done for the club on so many occasions and calmly lobbed the ball into an empty net, for his 42nd goal of the season in all competitions, and his 6th in the last three matches.
There remained tension in the air amongst the Ashford supporters, of whom there were plenty, but also a growing sense that the job had been done, with Russell Canderton and Boye superb at the heart of the defence and keeper Tobin on top of his game. So it proved and the three points left Ashford two places in front of Camberley who play their final match today, at Hartley Wintney, kicking off at 1.00 p.m. Goals don’t matter now and the equation is simple: if Camberley win they will be promoted, anything else and it will be Ashford.
Whether we go up or not, it has been a superb season with some amazing football being played by the Tangerines at times in a league of ever growing competitiveness when not a single match can be taken for granted. A big thank you goes to our manager and his staff and all the players who have contributed. A thank you also goes to all our supporters. Attendances have been much improved overall, and we have been taking plenty of people to away matches as well. If we are still in the CCL next season then so be it, and we will endeavour to be even stronger next season and do a little better in the FA Vase! If we go up, we believe that the current squad is more than capable of doing well at the next level.
- Written by Brady
We have received a copy of the details and excellent report from the recent Ladies' Cup Final, written by County President Jim Taylor, who is a frequent and very welcome visitor to Short Lane. Here it is:
This is the third season of the Capital Women’s Cup, which is a joint venture, involving The Amateur Football Alliance, London FA and Middlesex FA. It replaces the separate Associations’ Cups with the purpose of increasing the level of competitiveness. The competition is divided into 3 sections, Junior, Intermediate and Senior.
The Middlesex FA was responsible for organising the Junior Cup final this season, between University College London Women’s FC and Ashford Town (Middlesex) Ladies FC. The match was hosted for us by Wealdstone FC at their excellent Grosvenor Vale HQ. It was an exhilarating and enjoyable encounter played in a very good spirit.
The UCL starting line up was Pauline Borel-Charlet, Jessica Wadey, Kiah Rutz, Christina Sofianos (capt), Emily Sprake, Sophie Britton, Tara Mathias, Andrea Silksoset, Kirsten Walker, Natalie Faktor and Danika Bethune.
Substitutes (the repeat substitution rule applies in this competition): Fareeha Khan, Myra Adra, Meghan Root, Layla Zahawi and Ariane Maharaj.
Ashford Town (Middlesex) started with Lauren Restel, Laura Huse, Amber Luzar, Jess Boyd, Tia Prior, Lavana Neufville, Irisha Smith, Vicky James (capt), Claire Samuels, Ashley Cheatley and Charmaine Benham.
Substitutes: Jade Harker, Charlotte McGregor and Amy O’Sullivan.
Ashley Cheatley opened the scoring for Ashford Town in the 3rd minute, when she volleyed home Charmaine Benham’s cross.
Play then moved from end to end in an entertaining manner. However, although both goalkeepers were kept busy neither was severely tested at this early stage. After 25 minutes, UCL keeper Pauline Borel-Charlet, was adjudged to have picked up a back pass. Skipper Vicky James received the resultant indirect free kick from Lavana Neufville and cleared the defensive wall with her shot but couldn’t make it dip sufficiently and it passed narrowly over the cross bar.
UCL equalised in the 29th minute. Jess Wadey put Californian striker, Danika Bethune, clear and Danika took the ball around keeper, Lauren Restel before slotting the ball home. Then, within a minute, UCL were ahead. Danika was again the scorer, this time with the assistance of Natalie Faktor. Soon after this, Lauren Restel made a good save from Natalie at the expense of a corner.
Ashford Town got back on equal terms in the 40th minute, when Ashley Cheatley netted, following a corner taken by Vicky James. Then, they almost took the lead, when a well struck low shot by Lavana Neufville, from another Vicky James corner flew narrowly wide.
Half time score: UCL 2 Ashford Town (Middlesex) 2
In the opening minutes of the second half UCL’s French goalkeeper, Pauline Borel-Charlet, was hurt in a collision with Ashford Town’s Irisha Smith. Both players were going for the ball, which had run loose, after Pauline had made a diving save. Pauline recovered after treatment and continued to enjoy an outstanding match.
After 55 minutes, Ashley Cheatley hit the UCL post, after being released through the middle by Vicky James. However, 3 minutes later, Ashley completed her hat trick and put Ashford Town ahead again. Irisha passed to Charmaine Benham, who worked her way through the UCL defence to enable Ashley to flick the ball into the net from close range.
The excitement continued and play flowed up and down the pitch. A long free kick from UCL’s Jess Wadey skimmed the cross bar. Ashley Cheatley robbed a defender but her fierce drive was turned over the bar by the excellent Pauline Borel-Charlet. Danika Bethune worked clear but her well struck shot was efficiently dealt with by Lauren Restel. Charmaine Benham fed Amber Luzar whose shot was headed off of the goal line by UCL skipper Christina Sofianos.
In the 73rd minute, Danika penetrated the Ashford Town defence and netted to complete her hat trick and level the scores again.
Pauline Borel-Charlet made 2 brave saves at the feet of Lavana Neufville and Ashley Cheatley respectively. Both keepers distinguished themselves in this match.
Charmaine Benham had a good chance to win the match for Ashford Town, after being put through by Vicky James but she hit her shot over the bar from close range.
Score at full time: UCL 3 Ashford Town (Middlesex) 3
After 3 minutes of extra time, a long ball by Vicky was taken on by Ashley and converted to make the score 4-3 to Ashford Town. Up to now all the goals in this game had been scored by players wearing number 16 (4 by Ashley Cheatley and 3 by Danika Bethune).
Pauline punched away a cross shot from Claire Samuels. A penetrating run by Amber Luzar, during which she lost and regained possession, ended with her shot testing the keeper from a narrow angle. Ashley made a run down the left and cut in to provide Claire Samuels with an opportunity. However, In the Pauline saved Claire’s shot.
UCL equalised in the 22nd minute of extra time. Kirsten Walker (number 13) stopped the trend of Number 16s scoring by netting from close range, following a corner taken by Jess Wadey.
Ashley Cheatley worked her way through the UCL defence yet again and fired narrowly over the bar with the very last kick of the match.
Score after extra time: UCL 4 Ashford Town (Middlesex) 4
Vicky James took the first penalty of the shoot out for Ashford Town but her shot was saved by Pauline, diving to her left.
The next 3 kickers, Jess Wadey (UCL), Laura Huse (Ashford Town) and then Kirsten Walker (UCL) all scored, making the score 2-1 to UCL.
In the 3rd set of kicks Lavana’s shot crashed against the cross bar and bounced down onto the goal line and Meghan Root scored for UCL. (3-1 to UCL).
The 4th set saw Pauline get her hands to Ashley’s penalty without being able to prevent it crossing the line and Tara Mathias hitting the bar. (3-2 to UCL).
Then Charmaine Benham scored with a shot which Pauline touched and Sophie Britton converted her kick to win the match for UCL.
Penalty shoot-out score: UCL 4 Ashford Town 3
The Middlesex quartet of match officials, Referee Chris Fernandes, Assistant Referees, Leah Ambridge and Steven Simpson and Fourth Official Dario Zavagno controlled proceedings admirably and contributed to the excellent entertainment.
The Guest of Honour, John Taylor, Chairman of Middlesex FA presented the trophy and mementoes after the game and selected Ashley Cheatley as Player of the Match. John said that this was a very closely fought battle between several outstanding candidates.
The attendance was 57.
This match was followed by the Capital Women’s Intermediate Cup Final, which was organised by London FA. Charlton Athletic Women Reserves beat AFC Wimbledon Ladies Development 3-0 with 2 goals from Kylie Manktelow and 1 from Darcy Wells.
Our thanks are given to Wealdstone FC for the use of their facilities and to James Klarfeld and Paul Fruin for looking after us so well on the day.