Ashford entertained Enfield Town in the Quarter Final of the Middlesex Charity Cup on Tuesday evening but after an even first half, eventually lost by three goals to one, Enfield’s third goal coming in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

The visitors showed a greater intensity than might have been expected in a supplementary cup competition, fielding a full 1st Team, as did Ashford.  There was a certain class about their play, especially in the second period when they were mostly on top, but despite some extremely pacey players, it was perhaps also noticeable that they rarely looked as if they would finish off the chances that came their way, as Ashford defended stoutly.

It took just seven minutes for Enfield to go ahead in the first half, a fierce effort eluding the clutches of Tyler Tobin who, at his absolute best might well have tipped it over the bar, although the velocity of the shot was such that it would be hard to blame Ashford’s young keeper, who would go on to redeem himself later in the match.

Ashford were more than a match for their talented rivals at this stage though and it was no great surprise when Jack Beadle equalised on 23 minutes, intercepting a terrible pass across the visitors’ penalty area and finishing with some aplomb.

Despite the fact that this will sound like sour grapes, referee Gill then effectively put his mark on the match with two incredible errors.  Firstly Beadle was punished with a free kick against him when he clearly played the ball  and Enfield went straight down the field, the move culminating in Tobin conceding a penalty.  No card was issued and more importantly no goal was scored as Tobin made a superb stop to keep the sides level.

Some of Mr. Gill’s decisions were now being openly questioned and there is no doubt that one or two were difficult to understand but the Enfield goal that turned the match in their favour on 37 minutes had Ashford livid in their protests.  The energetic Max Webb was clearly fouled on the edge of the visiting penalty area but nothing was forthcoming from the official, and once again Enfield broke with pace.  The ball was played forward and two attackers looked offside.  There was no flag from the assistant in question who looked as if he may have been caught out with the pace of the move and Ashford felt a sense of injustice, to say the least.

With only a one goal deficit, Ashford supporters fully expected their side to rally to the cause in the second period but whilst there was no lack of effort nor determination, the undeniable  fact was that Enfield took the match over and whilst they were profligate in front of goal, as stated, they rarely looked as if they would surrender the lead, just about Ashford’s only effort of note being a snap shot from Dan Fleming which flew over the bar.

The final goal in stoppage time for the visitors merely confirmed their superiority and they now go into a semi-final against Cockfosters FC who narrowly beat Staines Lammas by two goals to one.

For Ashford supporters it was great to see Billy Jeffreys back in a tangerine shirt, kindly  loaned to us on a dual registration by Slough whilst Mitchal Gough serves out his suspension for being sent off against Cove.  Thanks to the person who filmed that incident, we thought we had concrete evidence that Mitchal was wrongly sent off and the case was the first one relating to video evidence ever received by Middlesex FA.  Just about every person who saw the video was of the view that it showed Mitchal’s innocence except the County Commission who considered it, one of whom didn’t even want to watch it originally as he couldn’t download it to his computer.  Thanks to the staff at the County, arrangements were made for him to view it but it made no difference.

Ashford now look forward to the far more important visit of Epsom & Ewell on Saturday, and there will be more on that tomorrow.