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Ashford’s competitive season ended on Monday evening with the Under-18’s drawing their final match at home to Bedfont Sports, one goal apiece.

With the match looking as if it would end scoreless, Ashford finally took the lead some three minutes from the end through Otman Trad, only for Bedfont to equalise less than a minute later.

Ashford are looking to recruit players for their new ladies’ team, due to start up next season and the first open trial sessions will take place shortly, more details to follow.  In the meantime you can follow the new Ladies’ team on Twitter at @AshfordMiddxLFC

 

 

 
 

ASHFORD TOWN (MIDDLESEX)
FOOTBALL CLUB LIMITED
Robert Parker Stadium, Short Lane, Stanwell, Middx. TW19 7BH
Tel: 01784 245908  Fax: 01784 253913 Web: www.ashfordtownmiddlesexfc.com

37TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE CLUB AND THE 4TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE COMPANY, TO BE HELD 14th MAY 2015 (commencing at 8pm)

AGENDA

1.         MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING (15TH MAY, 2014)

2.         CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

3.         GENERAL SECRETARY’S REPORT

4.         FOOTBALL SECRETARY’S REPORT

5.         FINANCIAL REPORT

6.         FOOTBALL MANAGER’S REPORT

7.         FACILITIES REPORT

8.         MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY’S REPORT

9.         BAR MANAGER’S REPORT

10.       ELECTION OF DIRECTORS

11.       ELECTION OF GENERAL COMMITTEE MEMBERS AND OTHER OFFICERS

12.       ANY OTHER BUSINESS (AS ALLOWED BY THE CHAIRMAN)

Important:

Directors and Committee Members currently in post shall retire and automatically nominated for

re-election unless that have indicated they do not wish to stand.

 

Only Full Members are eligible to be elected to the Board, unless approved by the existing Directors.

 

NOMINATIONS should be submitted in writing to the General Secretary. Any such correspondence must be received no later than 1st May, and may be sent by post to 36 Imperial Road, Bedfont, Middlesex, TW14 8AG, or passed to him in person. The List of Nominations will be published on the Club’s website and displayed in the clubhouse prior to the meeting.

This evening (Monday) Ashford’s Under-18 side, now bolstered by many of Nick Bailey’s U16 side, will stage their final home match of the season at Short Lane against neighbours Bedfont Sports, who have enjoyed a fantastic season, finishing in 2nd spot in the Ryman Youth League and winning the County Senior Youth Cup

For Ashford it is now very much a case of starting to prepare for the future.  Although those involved obviously want to win, the main purpose of the Under-18’s and indeed, every other team in the club, is to prepare and ultimately bring on players to play in the 1st Team.  Over many years now, this has been a highly successful policy at Ashford and even this season, when the Under-18’s have generally not performed as we would have hoped, we have still seen players gradually coming through into 1st Team football.  The most obvious one recently has been Ilia Petrovic, who has been quietly impressive and with his massive frame he certainly has the physique to adapt to 1st Team football.  Another player to have made it into the 1st Team squad in April was Mason Roseboom.

Kick-off tonight is 7.45 pm as usual and the match will also mark the final “official” appearance of manager Sean Coldwell who is leaving us shortly to take up a coaching position in Austria.  Sean has been instrumental in various improvements at the Club and has played a full part in developing players.  We shall miss him and wish him every success in his new job.

With this season almost concluded, we now wait to see who will be coming into and who may be leaving the CCL next season.  We won’t find out until at least the third week of May when the FA usually make their decisions known as they affect Steps 5 and 6.  It is certain that champions Molesey will be promoted, although to which League is yet to be known.  Also definite, as far as anything can be in football, is the relegation of bottom club Frimley Green and possibly Chertsey Town.  Coming up from Division One will be AFC Croydon Athletic and possibly Chessington & Hook United, where a magnificent run in recent weeks has seen them needing to beat Alton Town next Saturday to clinch 3rd place and with it, promotion.  We hope that this season, the FA will not use the CCL as a supply chain for other leagues, with any number of clubs playing outside the CCL when their natural geographical area is within this league but, as all clubs have been warned, anyone can be moved if it is so deemed.

Coming down from Step 4 should be, inter alia, AFC Hayes, North Greenford United, Redhill, Horsham and East Grinstead, all of whom the CCL would see as potential “joinees”.  It won’t happen in every case though, as various clubs who were at higher levels have folded, creating reprieves.  There is a rule now requiring the bottom club in each division to be relegated whatever happens, so that should ensure both AFC Hayes and Horsham (surprisingly) come down, but both are on the fringes as far as the CCL is concerned.  All that can be reasonably asked though is that, at the very least, the League gets at least one club back in place of Molesey.

In Division One, a big well done to Abbey Rangers, who have finished in a promotion position in the Surrey Elite League and, having achieved the grade required to join the CCL, will be with us next season.

Other news is that we will be returning to Sutton United next season, not to play them, but to meet Mole Valley SCR, soon to be known as Sutton Common Rovers, who have secured a ground share at Gander Green Lane, a highly enterprising move indeed.

More news as we get it.

This is to give notice that the Club's AGM will take place on Thursday 14 May, commencing at 8.00 p.m. in the Clubhouse.  

General Secretary Balmer will put up the agenda at the Club very shortly and all people with an interest in the Club are invited to attend.

Firstly we can bring you the good news that, following Cove’s 2-4 defeat at Guildford City on Wednesday evening, we are now virtually assured of 3rd place in the final table.  (Cove would have to beat Hanworth Villa by a 13 goal margin or better on Saturday to top us).  It is important not only because of possible prize money, although the League has not issued any details but also because it should guarantee an exemption to the 1st Round Proper of the FA Vase next season.  Once again, well done to all our players and management for turning the club around following relegation last season.

Secondly male members enter the club at your own peril on Friday evening from 7.00 p.m. onwards as there is a Ladies’ evening taking place, the details of which are shrouded in secrecy, although we understand that the event is something along the likes of an Anne Summers party.  In seriousness, all ladies are warmly invited to attend (there is no entry fee) but just on this one night we would ask our male members not to come along after 7.00 p.m.  Thanks for your co-operation.

Next our Under-18’s have their final match on Monday 27 April when they will entertain Bedfont Sports in the Ryman Youth League, kick-off 7.45 p.m.  It has been a difficult season for the Under-18’s but they have rallied somewhat recently and in their last match pulled off a magnificent 4-0 win away at Aldershot.  Bedfont Sports have had an excellent season at U18 level and it should be a good match.  Also it is manager Sean Caldwell’s last match in charge before he takes up a new coaching job in Austria.  He has been tireless in his efforts for the Club in recent seasons and we wish Sean all the best.  He wil be delighted to see you on Monday if you can make it.

We next come to report upon the magnificent effort last weekend by Pat Munns, along with Anne and others who embarked upon a 26 mile walk to London for charity.  Pat has been with our club since 1967 I believe and this was a superb effort which should be properly lauded.  The party left Hampton Court at just after 8.00 a.m. arriving at the London Eye at 3.45 p.m.  The walk has already raised £800+ for the two charities being supported and there is still the opportunity of making a donation to these worthy causes.  Please leave any such donations in an envelope behind the bar, marked for Pat’s attention, and he will pick them up. 

Alternatively, you can make a donation directly by going to either or both of the Charities’ web sites and donating directly.  They are:  the Midas Plus Charity and Leukaemia Research, and the web sites are:http://www.midasplus.org.uk/ and https://leukaemialymphomaresearch.org.uk/news    Just click on research to make a donation.  Leukaemia Research speaks for itself whilst the Midas Charity is dedicated to helping the disadvantaged in Middlesex, Surrey and surrounding areas.

Finally we have the annual Club Presentation evening on Saturday 9 May, once again at the Moon in Moon, Thames Street, Sunbury, after they looked after us so well last year.  Manager Ben Murray is the principal organiser.  It was extremely popular last year and quite frankly is a snip at £20 per head for guests.  We are limited though to a maximum of 95 people so if you wish to come along please let Ben know.  His email address is:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Just a note for committee members and anyone else who may be available to help.  We have three Surrey Primary League Cup Finals taking place at the ground on Sunday this week, which means we will be extremely busy, so if you are available to lend a hand, please just turn up.  The first match is at 10.00 a.m. and then through the day.

 

Ashford would like to send a message of congratulations to Molesey FC, who effectively clinched the League Championship on Tuesday with a hard fought 2-0 win at Raynes Park Vale.  The home side certainly gave it their best shot and the win only became certain when Molesey scored their second goal in the 90th minute.

It has been a hard fought campaign but Molesey have been there or thereabouts throughout the season and we wish them well as they take their place at Step 4 next season.

Molesey will receive the Championship Trophy at Westfield on Saturday, immediately after their final league match.

On Saturday, Ashford found themselves not only without Mark Bitmead, but also striking partner Dan Fleming, whom we learnt has broken a bone in his foot.  We wish Dan a speedy recovery, certainly in time for next season as this was Ashford’s last game of this season.

Ben Murray played two wide players in Samad Kazi and Sam Balfour and both looked dangerous whenever in possession.  Opponents Hanworth Villa did not seem to play with the urgency that might have been expected from a side facing possible relegation but on the other hand Ashford found it hard to break them down, with no goals in the opening half.  It had looked a fairly scrappy affair to that point which was a shame given that, thanks to Junior Chairman Nick Bailey, an attendance of 220 was registered many comprising of players from the junior teams, resplendent in their Ashford shirts and all eager to claim their free hot dog, again courtesy of Nick.

The second half was far better from Ashford’s point of view and they started to play with some panache at times, although it still took a long time before the opening goal arrived, the 79th minute to be precise when Kazi got on the end of a another decent move and notched from close range.

Hanworth had not done too much attacking but they had already missed a one-on-one earlier and they found themselves with a glorious chance to equalise as the match came to a close.  Instead it was blasted over the bar and turned into a costly error, as Sam Balfour went on another tricky run down the right and crossed for Kazi to force home his second of the afternoon.  Kazi was later named as the “Ashford Man of the Match”.

Having completed their programme, the three points give Ashford a shout for 3rd place with Cove now four points behind but with two matches in hand, namely away to Guildford City and then Hanworth Villa next Saturday.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Camberley went down 0-3 at Molesey in the “big” match of the day and the championship is now Molesey’s to throw away.  At the bottom Frimley Green’s fate is decided after a heavy defeat at Spelthorne.  They cannot now move off the bottom and will be relegated to Division One.  Spare a thought though for Farleigh Rovers, who needed just a point on Saturday to clinch the Division One championship but lost to a solitary goal scored in the 3rd minute of stoppage time by Worcester Park.  Farleigh will have another chance next Saturday when they entertain Staines Lammas.

It is a local affair for Ashford this afternoon as we welcome neighbours Hanworth Villa to Short Lane this afternoon.  Ashford look fairly nailed on now for 4th place but Villa are still not entirely clear from the threat of relegation and will certainly be committed to the game, following a disappointing 0-3 loss at Hartley Wintney last Saturday. 

Ashford for their part will be keen to do better against their opponents than they did in the game at Villa, when the home side came out on top by 3 goals to nil.  Although possibly the three goal margin, with two of the goals coming in stoppage time, did not accurately reflect the overall possession, Ashford rarely looked like scoring on that afternoon and will be keen to put that right.

Today is “Junior Day” when we hope that lots of our junior players will be present.  All adults will be admitted today for a fiver whilst ATFC Junior players wearing their club shirt will receive a free hot dog each, courtesy of the generosity of Junior Chairman Nick Bailey.

Tomorrow we have a very busy day at the club with three junior matches on the back pitch along with three West Surrey Youth League finals taking place on the main pitch from 10.00 am onwards.  At this moment in time, Saturday morning, we are still looking for someone to do the tea and burger bar (or alternatively BBQ) for us, with all the usual helpers unavailable.  If anyone can help, please contact Nick Bailey on 07876 686807

As it is the final match of the season for the 1st Team, may we thank all our loyal supporters, with attendances generally far exceeding those of last season.  It has been remarkable how many people have travelled away to support the team.

After today we have plenty of cup finals at the ground in the next few weeks whilst other exciting developments include a complete refurbishment of the training area, starting next week.  We also hope to have a new Ladies team next season.

A tortuous trip to Farnham Town on Tuesday night, following major problems on both the M3 and the M25, culminated in a 0-1 defeat for Ashford, the goal itself being a strong contender for the most “controversial goal of the season” award.

Once again, Ashford’s resources were stretched to the limit although various players had been allowed to miss the match for different reasons.  Both Jack Beadle and Mitchal Gough were amongst the absentees and they are, of course, key players for Ashford as was evidenced on Saturday at Camberley.  On the positive side though, there was a start for young Ilia Petrovic and he did well enough to be awarded joint “Ashford man of the match” with Samad Kazi.  Mason Roseboom, another youngster came on later and also managed some decent passing.

The pitch was extremely and unavoidably hard and inevitably three touches were generally needed when on a different surface, one would have sufficed.  Nevertheless both teams made a decent fist of it and although Ashford were on top in the earlier stages, there was some good enterprising play from both sides that drew appreciation from the audience, boosted by a commendable number of Ashford supporters who made the trip down.

Chances were fairly infrequent though and the pattern continued in the second half although Farnham went close with a fiercely hit free kick which hit the bar.  At the other end Samad Kazi had a great chance well saved, and Dan Fleming hit a couple over the bar.  Sadly the goal soured the atmosphere and nobody from Ashford could believe it was allowed to stand.  Firstly Russell Canderton was fouled and then keeper Tyler Tobin in quick succession.  The ball ran free and ended up in the net.  After some of the decisions that went against Ashford on Saturday, it was almost too much to put up with.  The club was warned that, overall, the refereeing standards would be lower at this level and sadly, albeit with exceptions, this has proved to be the case, but although this referee was not the worst, this particular decision just about topped them all, coming as it did some 15 seconds after a strong penalty appeal by Ashford for handball had been denied.  Soon afterwards, a ball driven at Rob Curtis, another strong performer last night, from point blank and much closer range then saw him penalised for handball.  It beggared belief.

It was a good job that the League did not depend upon it and well done to Farnham, the win removing any vestige of relegation fears for them.  Yet again though it raised questions – in recent weeks Ashford have played against Hanworth Villa, Frimley Green, Knaphill, Horley Town and now Farnham,  all of whom produced performances that, had they been consistent through the season, would surely have seen them in the top half of the table rather than fighting relegation.  Not a question that Ashford can answer though.

It was not all gloom this week though.  On Monday evening, fielding a team of mostly 16 year olds in the Ryman Youth League, Ashford went to Aldershot Town and won 4-0, a rare success in a frustrating season for the Under-18’s and one that hopefully augurs well for next season, when incidentally Nick Bailey will take over the management from Sean Caldwell who has landed a plum coaching job in Austria.  Nick and Sean have been working together recently.  For the record the scorers at Aldershot were Keji Adenyini x2, Lovelace Owuse and Jamie Walters (pen).

We move on to Saturday now and the final 1st Team match of the season, when we welcome our friends from Hanworth Villa.  There will be more on that one later in the week but just another reminder that all adults will be admitted for £5, partly to thank our loyal supporters who have travelled everywhere, sometimes in numbers, to support the team this season.  For all our junior players entrance is free but we would like you to wear your Ashford Town shirt if possible and get behind the team for what is bound to be another very tough match against a Hanworth side that are still not completely clear of relegation worries.

 

 

Ashford have their final away match of the season on Tuesday evening when they will visit Farnham Town for the first time since October 1999 when a rather dull 0-0 draw ensued.  The ground does have some happy memories for Ashford though as it was at Farnham’s Memorial Ground that Ashford clinched the league title in May 1996 with a 2-0 victory, both coming from the prolific Paul German.

Farnham are currently in mid table with 13 wins and 17 defeats in their 37 matches to date and, although not mathematically certain, do not have any relegation fears.  They have had something of a fluctuating season with some impressive results, including doing the double over Windsor and scoring 10 goals in the process.  On the other side of the coin though, they have suffered a few heavy defeats, the heaviest being a 0-7 reverse at home to Badshot Lea.  They have not been in particularly good form lately with just win from their last six matches.

Ashford came out fighting on Saturday at Camberley, which they had to do if they were not going to be steam rollered.  The Farnham match will doubtless have less intensity but Ben Murray will certainly want his troops to maintain their form right through to the end to hopefully secure 3rd place, maybe even 2nd were Molesey to blow up, although that seems unlikely.

The address of the ground is The Memorial Ground, West Street, Farnham, GU9 7DY and it is an interesting place to visit, with the pitch sunken below the terraces at the top end, and with the changing rooms actually outside the ground and on the opposite side to the clubhouse.  The car park adjacent to the clubhouse is very small so unless you arrive very early you won’t get in it, so best park on the changing room side at the Memorial Hall and walk back to the clubhouse, either round the pitch, or round the road.

Kick-off is 7.45 p.m.

Looking further ahead, the final 1st Team match of the season looms on Saturday when we will welcome Hanworth Villa to Short Lane.  The game has been designated “Junior Day” when all of our players from any of our junior teams can come in for nothing and hopefully enjoy the day with no pressures and some lovely sunshine, if the forecast is correct.

All adults, including our visitors and especially our loyal and regular supporters, will be able to come in at just £5 on Saturday (£3 for OAP’s) as a small gesture of thanks for your support over what has turned into a very enjoyable season overall.

Ashford came very close on Saturday to completing a league double over Camberley, leading by the only goal of the game right through until the 2nd minutes of stoppage time, when the home side finally forced an equaliser.  The result has opened up the championship race, with Camberley now six points ahead of Molesey, with two matches left, whereas Molesey have two games in hand.  On top of that, the two sides meet next Saturday at Molesey and that is not likely to be one for the faint hearted.

Back to yesterday and there was some concern amongst the sizeable Ashford contingent of supporters when they realised just how many regulars were missing.  At the back, Bobby Dormer was suspended, skipper Russell Canderton was missing after a freak eye injury at work whilst Alex Fisher was sitting in a hotel somewhere waiting for Middx County FA to play their County Youth Final today (Sunday).

Others missing were Rob Curtis (injured), Ryan Dearden (injured) and Mark Bitmead (lured away to Kingstonian at the most inconvenient moment, and no doubt also putting his feet up, with them also not playing until today).  In saying that, the Club would wish Mark and any player who can make it at a higher level the very best of luck.  Let’s just hope they play him today and not leave him warming the bench though.

It was, therefore, an unfamiliar Ashford line-up, which included 17year old Ilia Petrovic, making his first 1st team start after a few cameos from the bench.  In central defence we had Mitchal Gough and Max Webb, the latter usually in midfield.  Just in front of them sat the returning Elliott Jones, whilst Sam Balfour came back to occupy the right flank, after missing the last two months.  The full backs were Joe Green and Samad Kazi.

Despite the apparent hotch-potch, the whole side gave it their all and in an intense encounter against a Camberley side hell bent upon winning the league, did more than enough to earn a draw and almost made it three.

The opening exchanges were fierce and Camberley’s main striker Perry Coles could possibly consider himself fortunate to get away with two late tackles that angered the Ashford bench.  After being cautioned for the first one, he escaped with a telling off for the second.  The incidents though raised the temperature and Ashford, playing down the slope, were in no mood to give way to their generally more powerful opponents, taking the lead on 35 minutes when Jack Beadle exchanged a one-two with Dan Fleming and after dribbling into the penalty area hit an unstoppable shot past Craig Bradshaw in the home goal.

The second half saw Camberley playing down the slope and the anticipated onslaught with just about every ball being launched forward from distance certainly materialised.  Most though were defended well although it has to be said that Camberley seemed to be lacking their usual killer instinct.  Nevertheless the pressure was intense at times and was not greatly relieved when Coles finally got what some saw as his comeuppance, committing one foul too many and receiving his marching orders, although this particular tackle did not look unduly nasty.

Despite the Camberley pressure, Ashford arguably had the best two chances of scoring.  The first came when Dan Fleming was sent clear through on goal but he hit his fierce effort a yard over the crossbar as Bradshaw came racing out.  The second came when Tommy Brunton was unceremoniously hacked down in the area for the clearest possible penalty unless, of course, you were the referee who, much to the ire and incredulity of the Ashford supporters waived play on.  Fleming also went down under a challenge soon afterwards but this time the referee was probably right in not awarding a spot kick.

Do referees look to even things up after a player has been sent off for one side?  None will admit to it but with the home side braying at Mr. Edwards (just as, and let’s be honest, Ashford would have done) every time a foul was committed, it became almost inevitable that Ashford would also go down to ten and the unlucky man was Samad Kazi, whose two alleged tackles were barely fouls let along worthy of any disciplinary action.

Camberley intensified their attacking movements but seemed to have no plan B other than the long ball and Ashford continued to hold out until deep into stoppage time.  Finally though a fairly innocuous shot from Nick Sowden beat the excellent Tyler Tobin in Ashford’s goal, taking what looked like an unexpected bounce into the corner of the net.  It was a shame for Tobin and for Ashford in general but it made for probably the fairest result, although another excellent stop from the young Ashford keeper was needed to prevent the home side taking all three points right at the death

It is difficult to mention everyone in the Ashford ranks as absolutely everyone gave of their best.  Petrovic looks a good prospect and did well, after a nervous start.  Every member of the defence stuck to their task magnificently against no mean opposition but Mitchal Gough stood out and, not for the first time, was voted Ashford’s “man of the match”.  Up front Dan Fleming never flagged despite missing his usual strike parrtner, whilst Balfour certainly did not look like a player playing his first match for several weeks.  Elliott Jones was a colossus in midfield for the Tangerines as well but well done everyone.

There are now just two matches left, and on Tuesday the Tangerines travel to Farnham Town.  There is still 3rd place to be fought over with Cove, who scored two injury time goals on Saturday at Mole Valley to rescue a point and the good news is that Ashford should have some if not all their missing players back, although it would actually be quite difficult to leave anyone out.

In the tightest run-in for many years in the CCL, either Camberley or Molesey will be crowned champions and whoever wins it in the end will have done it the hard way with any number of recent results showing that on their day the clubs lower in the table can beat those above them.  In a very tough competition it will be the most consistent club in the end that wins through but Ashford send their best wishes to both Molesey and Camberley, both of whom should be well equipped to do well at the next level.

 

Ashford have just three league matches left this season and whilst the league championship now looks beyond them, barring some very unlikely results, they will be keen to finish as high in the table as they possibly can, to crown an excellent season.  Indeed, if Ashford can keep the bulk of the present squad and add maybe just a little more experience they will certainly be looking to go one better next season.

That’s in the future though and the immediate challenge could not be any tougher with Ashford travelling to Camberley Town on Saturday.  Ashford will be without suspended ex-Camberley player Bobby Dormer and just as annoyingly, young defender Alex Fisher (not Taylor – sorry about that error recently) who will be playing for Middlesex U18 Youth side who have reached the Final of the FA County Youth Cup.  That match is not being played on Saturday but on the Sunday and we wish both Alex and the County good luck but taking U18 players away the day before, which is what they are doing, for a competition that generates little interest unless you are involved in it, seems a little over the top.  It’s just as well that, for Ashford at least, the League championship doesn’t now rest on Saturday which it might well have done a few weeks ago.   We might have had a little more to say although doubtless authority would have won in the end as it invariably does.

At the start of the season Ashford beat Camberley at home by a solitary goal but played very well on the night.  Sadly the same could not be said of the match at Camberley in December, in the Cherry Red Records Premier Challenge Cup when Ashford departed the competition rather tamely in a 0-3 defeat.

For Camberley, of course, it is a vital match.  With Molesey dropping points over the weekend, although they beat a very ineffective Epsom & Ewell side on Wednesday, the championship and subsequent promotion is now in Camberley’s hands.  The exact situation is that Molesey have four matches left, including against Camberley on Saturday week, so could notch up a further 12 points, which would give them a total of 91 points.  They also have currently a better goal difference of eight over Camberley. 

The latter have three matches left and currently have 84 points, so they may need to win them all, to give them a total of 92 points, to ensure the championship.  In the League’s most exciting finish for years, there is then all to play for still and Molesey can be assured that Ashford will wish to give it their best on Saturday.  There has been a lot of talk on social media about Camberley being a long ball side and they certainly use that tactic well, especially through influential keeper Craig Bradshaw whose kicking from hands is exceptional, but they are a lot more than just that.  Another player to watch is Army man Keith Emerson at left back if he is playing and he is another player who particularly caught the writer’s eye in Camberley’s recent League Cup semi-final match at Windsor.  They have power and ability throughout their side but Ben Murray will be keen for his squad to show that they can match them and maintain their own challenge for prize money at the end of the season.

The address of the ground is Krooner Park, Wilton Road, Camberley, GU15 2QW and the directions on Camberley’s web site are as follows:

Exit the M3 motorway at Junction 4. At the end of the slip road, On taking the second exit off the roundabout there is an slip road immediately on the left signposted for Frimley. Take this slip road which takes you onto the Frimley bypass. Remain on the left hand side, this will take you to yet another roundabout. Turn left here onto the B3411, Frimley Road. Go under the motorway bridge and stay on this road, through two sets of traffic lights until you eventually reach a roundabout with an Esso petrol station on the corner. Turn left at this roundabout into Wilton Road. Follow Wilton Road, bearing right, all the way to the end where you will find the entrance to the ground.

There is plenty of parking available.

Ashford’s Under-18’s, with plenty of triallists, played a friendly on Wednesday evening against their equivalents from Abbey Rangers, who should become a CCL side next season, and the result was a 2-2 draw.

Just a further reminder to Ashford folk that the meat draw is going well every Sunday with plenty of money being raised for the Club and usually no less than six prizes to be won, plus a bottle of wine if the first prize winner is in the Club at 3.00 pm every Sunday when the draw is made.

Also the weekly Prediction Competition has not been won for weeks now and the prize money on offer for anyone who can successfully predict the results (not the scores) of six selected matches is now around the £300 mark, just for getting six results correct.  There are forms at the Club for you to enter and they need to be handed back over the bar no later than 3.00 pm on Saturday.

Ashford’s Easter Monday fixture was the local derby away to Bedfont Sports and a 2-0 win for the Tangerines was the outcome.

On a pitch in an excellent condition and not too much wind to spoil proceedings, Ashford were able to play some excellent football at times, especially through the middle where Tommy Brunton was always prominent.  Indeed with both teams trying to play good football along with the warm sunshine, it was a pleasant occasion but it is fair to say that Ashford held the upper hand for much of the game.

That said, Bedfont defended well against the constant probing from their visitors and conceded just the one goal before half-time.  It came from the ever reliable Dan Fleming who has now scored in each of his last four matches.  The goal resulted from a misplaced pass by a Bedfont defender, which put Jack Beadle in possession.  His first effort was blocked but, showing great dexterity, he got on to the rebound and crossed low for Fleming to confidently stroke the ball into the corner of the net.

Samad Kazi then produced the run of the half advancing down the left flank with incredible pace going past three defenders but he then opted to shoot rather than pass to Fleming who looked poised to score again and Josh Richardson in the Bedfont goal was equal to the effort.

Ashford seemed right back on form though after failing to beat Knaphill on Saturday but there was concern at half-time amongst supporters that their levels of possession had not led to a higher tally, and that concern was shown to be correct when Sports enjoyed their first meaningful attack of the second period. a fierce cross shot whistling past Tyler Tobin’s goal.

Indeed the home side had more of the ball in the second half than they had in the first but generally only seemed to have one man up front most of the time and Ashford coped without undue alarm, always looking dangerous themselves.  Nevertheless, the goal that finally clinched the three points did not arrive until the 84th minute and it was fitting that Ashford “man of the match” Mitchal Gough should have a hand in it.  He had been coming up late and wide for corners, rarely being picked up, and eventually he got on the end of an inswinging effort from Beadle and nodded it back for the lively Fleming to sweep home at the far post.

Following the other results, which saw Molesey losing their second match in a row, Camberley are now the clear favourites to win the championship.  Ashford, of course, go to Camberley on Saturday, but whatever happens now, Ashford are now virtually guaranteed to finish in the top four at the very least, which after the trials and tribulations of last season, when little went right, is no mean achievement.  A big well done to our Management and Players for turning matters around when I am sure that most of us would have settled for doing no more than holding our own.

Don’t forget the Race Night this Friday, from 7.30 p.m. onwards, in the Club, everyone welcome.

 

It is rarely ideal to be facing a side near the foot of the table and scrabbling for points and so it proved again on Saturday when Ashford were only able to share the spoils at Short Lane in a 2-2 draw against Knaphill who were making their first ever senior visit to the Tangerines.

The result was probably about right, although the visitors were twice in the lead, but on both occasions not for very long.

After an opening period in which Knaphill did more of the attacking without looking particularly penetrative, the match settled into a rather mundane affair, the stiff breeze not really helping either side.

The first goal came on 37 minutes and it was Knaphill’s Scott Costello who drilled it home after some rather static defending by the Tangerines.  However, it only took a minute before Ashford were level, when a mix-up between defender and keeper presented them with a goal, gleefully hammered into the empty net by Dan Fleming for his 31st competitive goal of the season.

One hoped that the visitors might lay down after that and accept their fate but they most certainly did not and a complete mix up in the home defence presented Costello with his second goal just three minutes into the second half.  However, Jack Beadle, one of Ashford’s mainstays throughout the season, took just three minutes to equalise, after the first effort had been cleared from the line.

In some matches the second half has been the signal for Ashford to really turn it on but not on Saturday as Knaphill continued to give as good as they got and when Bobby Dormer got himself sent off for two yellows with over 15 minutes to go, one wondered if the Knappers might reap a full three point bonus.  Funnily enough though, that final period was actually Ashford’s best of the match as they knocked on the Knaphill door, especially down the left flank, with Alex Taylor and Samad Kazi combining well but it was not to be and the draw was a fair result overall.

Things now move on to Easter Monday when Ashford make their shortest trip of the season to Bedfont Sports.  After enjoying a buoyant first half of the season Bedfont have hit a lean period recently but shared the points in a 1-1 draw on Saturday at Farnham Town.  Although Molesey lost on Saturday, Camberley won, and the championship now looks to be between those two clubs but Ashford will not give up until it is mathematically impossible.  Bedfont are fairly clear of any relegation worries but doubtless Mick Snowden’s side will be keen to build upon the victory they enjoyed over Ashford in the Middlesex Senior Cup, although the league match at Ashford much earlier in the season ended in a 4-1 win for the Tangerines.

Please be aware that the kick-off is at 11.30 a.m. and not 3.00 p.m. as has been showing on the web site.

The season is rapidly drawing to a close and on Saturday Ashford have their penultimate home league match when they welcome Knaphill FC to Short Lane for their first ever competitive 1st Team match at Short Lane.

Knaphill have been an example to all in the manner of how they have developed their ground in recent seasons and were rewarded for all their efforts when they were promoted to the Premier Division at the end of last season.  After a somewhat shaky start to life at Step 5, results improved and they seemed to have done enough to maintain their place at this level.  In recent weeks though they have stuttered just a little, with just two wins from their last six games and that, coupled with the fact that just about every club below them has been picking up points, they now find themselves hovering dangerously close to the relegation area.

That, of course, will make them dangerous opponents for the Tangerines, as evidenced by recent matches against both Frimley and Hanworth Villa.  Ashford though have knocked in eight goals in their last two matches, picking up maximum points and whilst we are dependent upon both Camberley and Molesey dropping points, we have certainly not yet given up on the championship, especially with Camberley and Molesey still to play each other and the fact that we still have to go to Camberley.

Talking of the latter, we congratulate both them and Colliers Wood United, who will contest the Final of the Cherry Red Records Premier Challenge Cup on Friday 1 May, at Woking FC.  Thanks to two goals in a minute last Tuesday Camberley overturned Windsor’s lead whilst the following evening, Colliers Wood needed a late equaliser, but having got it, scored three goals in the later stages of extra time, to record a 5-2 win, which was possibly a little tough on their opponents Farnham Town.

Off the field we have coming up the next Race Night on Friday 10 April.  The last one was hugely successful and hopefully this one will be as well.  Everyone is welcome.

The evening begins from 7.00pm onwards with the Tote opening at 7.15pm for the First Race which starts at 7.40pm. There are 8 Races, with the last race being an auction race. 

To own a horse it will cost you £5 and you get to name your horse. To sponsor and name a race it will cost you £20. 

It is also the night before the Grand National, so there will be a £5 sweepstake on the night for the 40 horses that will take part, with £100 for the winner.