Ashford Town (Middlesex) 1
Aylesbury 2

Zamaretto League Central Division
Robert Parker Stadium
22nd January 2011

 

Despite manager Jamie Lawrence fielding what was close to his best side, on Saturday, they went down by the odd goal in three in what can only be described as a lacklustre performance, well below par for what the supporters have been used to seeing in the last few months. Gone was the confident swagger and controlled one touch passing that has delighted us all recently to be replaced by too many wayward passes and with skilled players treating the ball like it was a hot potato.

 

That’s to take nothing away from Aylesbury who worked hard and thoroughly deserved their victory on the day but, with the players that we have in this team, I for one would have expected to win this match as we have done twice this season against Aylesbury already. 

The visitors had their hosts pinned in their own half for the first 10 minutes as, yet again, Ashford were slow out of the blocks, but in that time the only shot aimed at Andray Baptiste’s goal was from Ricky Miller from a cushioned headed pass by Jonathan Douglas.

 

Having weathered the early storm, Ashford started to exert some pressure of their own as Isaiah Rankin and Jamie Lawrence set about disrupting the opposition defence with some good running and interchanging football but when Miller ran on to a long ball out of the Aylesbury defence with only Baptiste in front of him it seemed he must at least hit the target, but out of nowhere Billy Jeffreys appeared with a great covering tackle. Shortly after, Kieron Schmidt wrestled his way past Oscar Lubwama on the left but Baptiste made easy work of plucking the Aylesbury winger’s cross out of the air. 

Lawrence and Rankin combined again on the quarter hour and the latter’s shot as he cut in from the left had to be smartly dealt with by Aaron Burton in the visitor’s goal then, four minutes later, Ashford opened their account. Rankin received the ball wide on the left and left a defender trailing in his wake before cutting in to play a well directed ball to the near post where Jones Awuah had made his run and he flicked the ball past Burton for his 5th goal against Aylesbury this season.

 

Ashford’s lead lasted 7 minutes, a free kick for a foul on Miller was played into the Ashford penalty area where it was only half cleared and Schmidt found himself in the right place to force the ball over the line for the equaliser. 

Aylesbury seemed to gain encouragement from that and suddenly they looked half a yard faster than their hosts while Ashford struggled to find their passing range, giving the ball away time and time again, and it was directly from one of these lapses that Aylesbury scored their second. A poor pass out of defence was intercepted by Gareth Price who wasted no time in finding Miller in a dangerous position, the Aylesbury striker shrugged off the attentions of his marker to plant a shot into the corner of the Ashford net to give his side a 34th minute lead.

 

Still, we thought, the lads have plenty of time to get back in the game, no need to panic. Luke Hickie had a shot blocked after good build up play from Lawrence and Jordan Kiffin then Akwasi Edusei sped down the left before delivering a cross that Burton very nearly fumbled. 

In time added, Price managed to break through two Ashford challenges but could only fire over.

 

Ashford Town FC

 

Aylesbury FC

Andray Baptiste

GK

Aaron Burton

Oscar Lubwama

2

Ashley Smith

Akwasi Edusei

3

Dan Mead

Russ Canderton

4

Ben Stevens

Billy Jeffreys (C)

5

Jonathan Darby

Alain Behi

6

Mathew Butler

Jordan Kiffin

7

Gareth Price

Luke Hickie

8

Greg Williams

Jamie Lawrence

9

Ricky Miller

Isaiah Rankin

10

Jonathan Douglas

Jones Awuah

11

Kieron Schmidt

Rob Curtis

12

Glen Hawkins

Paul Burgess

13

Matthew Timberlake

Tom Kanek

14

Riccardo Biggi

Spencer Taffurelli

15

Jeanmal Prosper

Theron Wood

16

Dale Brown

 

Referee:

Mr. L Wood

       

 

Two changes were made to the Ashford line-up for the second half, new signing Theron Wood came on for the unusually quiet Alain Behi and Rob Curtis replaced Edusei who had succumbed to a knock. 

Wood showed a nice touch as he surged through the middle, shortly after the re-start, finding Awuah on the right with a good ball but the Ashford top scorer delayed his pass to Kiffin too long and the ball was cleared.

 

The impressive Aylesbury left back Dan Mead crossed left footed to the far post, following a corner, but Douglas climbed unmarked to head wide then, with Jeffreys off the pitched receiving treatment, Schmidt cut in from the left to force a brilliant diving save from Baptiste at the cost of a corner. Jeffreys injured ankle eventually forced him off to be replaced by Tom Kanek necessitating a little re-arranging of the formation of the team. 

Cautions for Ashford’s Curtis (handball) and Aylesbury’s Miller (for a late challenge on Curtis) were metered out by pedantic referee Mr Wood, then Lubwama found himself in the book for a foul on Miller.

 

Kanek and Wood combined well down the left but Wood’s cross was cleared then Ashford had what they thought was a legitimate claim for a penalty when Lawrence was bought down in the Aylesbury penalty area but referee Wood was not interested. 

After Schmidt had bought another good save out of Baptiste, down at the other end Lubwama played a good ball into the path of Rankin who cut in from the right and was disappointed to see his shot hit the side netting.

 

Aylesbury, mainly in the shape of goalkeeper Burton then subjected the crowd to blatant time wasting for the last 10 minutes or so but referee Wood, despite making a big thing about looking at his watch and wagging his finger, failed to add any extra time on or discipline the culprit. 

With Rugby Town at Short Lane on Tuesday, Jamie and his management team are going to have to work hard to pick up the team in time for this match and the away match on Saturday at 3rd placed Woodford.