Ashford travel to meet 7th placed Epsom & Ewell on Saturday at their adopted home of Chipstead FC.  It goes without saying that it will be a difficult match as Epsom are certainly one of the clubs with promotion in mind.  They were right up there last season until falling away a little near the end to finish in 3rd position, whilst this season, after a fairly indifferent start, they have hit some form with four wins out of six in recent league matches and they also registered a 2-1 home win over Knaphill in the League Cup on Tuesday.

It is known that Epsom always try to play good football and the generally excellent Chipstead pitch should suit both teams.  The address of the ground is High Road, Chipstead, CR5 3SF.  It’s quite a trek off the A217 along narrow roads but you do get there in the end!

Whether past form can be used as any kind of reliable indicator is very doubtful, which is a shame as we have generally had the better of things, whenever we have met over the years.  The very first meeting, back at their original ground if the writer’s memory serves him well was in the Preliminary Round of the FA Vase in October 1993, when an Andy Smith goal helped us to a 1-1 draw after extra time  For whatever reason, the replay did not take place until 17 October 1993, when once again extra time was required before we managed to go through by three goals to one, scorers Keith Hoad 2 and Michael Scott.

Meetings between the two clubs were fairly sparse after that until the early 2000’s when we met regularly in the Ryman League but in recent times the only two meetings have been in the Surrey Senior Cup, in 2005 and 2009, the latter occasion being the semi-final prior to our victory over Woking in the Final.  It was an even game and the final score of 4-1 in our favour possibly did not reflect the overall play but no-one from Ashford was too concerned, our scorers being Billy Jeffreys, Scott and Warren Harris, and Ricky Wellard, now at Sutton, of course.

The fates have been fairly kind to us in terms of cup draws this season but not so in the 3rd Round of the League Cup (the Cherry Red Records Premier Challenge Cup to give it its full name) as we will travel to Camberley Town, who ousted Molesey on penalties earlier this week, after a nil-nil draw.  There is no date yet nor a new date for the postponed encounter at Chessington & Hook on Tuesday in the S. Comb. Cup