Ashford Town (Middlesex) 1

Aylesbury 1

Evo-Stik League Southern, Division One Central
Robert Parker Stadium, Stanwell
27th October 2012

Ashford Town (Middlesex) were made to summon deep wells of character to stop on form Aylesbury from recording a seventh consecutive victory. Mark Bitmead's excellent volley instead ensured the points were shared as Ashford moved to six matches unbeaten in all competitions.

Two form teams of the Southern Division One Central provided a close match, and the draw seemed a fair reflection of the play.

Nonetheless, Ashford may feel that had they converted one of the numerous first-half chances that they fashioned and not fallen behind, there could have been a different final scoreline.

Within a minute, Kofi Lockhart-Adams headed a difficult chance wide.

Mark Bitmead started well and registered the game's first shot on goal with a drilled long-range effort. Ashford were having most of their success down the left side, with Bitmead and Ed Thomas interlinking with overlapping runs.

Pressure was being exerted on Aylesbury's right-back Lamar Simpson and it amounted to the defender being caught on the ball. Lockhart-Adams did well to nick possession but the referee adjudged the striker had won it unfairly and Simpson's blushes were spared.

Next Lockhart-Adams put his strikepartner Dan Brown through on goal, but the ball was bobbling and Brown's shot missed wide and high.

Somewhat against the run of play, Aylesbury took the lead with a sweeping move that was tucked inside the post neatly by Sonny French.

It was to be the only blemish to a well-rounded debut  performance from goalkeeper Kyle Merson, who was signed on Friday from Staines. The goalkeeper, drafted immediately into the lineup due to injury to Paul McCarthy, showed good distribution and length on kicks and throws.

Aylesbury threatened to double their lead with a shot from distance early in the second half. Merson was able to parry and captain Russell Canderton was alert to the danger and cleared.

Ashford continued to probe for an equaliser and when it arrived it came in fine form. Joe Bennett drove up the right flank and sent the ball across the centre to Bitmead, just inside to the left of the penalty area, who placed an angled volley comfortably beyond the goalkeeper's reach.

Ashford remained lively with the full share of the points a goal away for either team. Lockhart-Adams looked eager to get on the scoresheet and had a curled effort miss the top corner narrowly as the energetically-played match slowed to a end.