Ben Murray made a number of changes for Tuesday evening’s Southern Combination Cup match away to CB Hounslow but after 120 minutes of football it was the home side who went  through on penalties after a 1-1 draw, both goals coming in extra time and both being penalties.

The hosts attacked the match with considerable gusto and probably deserved to win on that basis alone as they ran and harried all night long on a bobbly and drying surface that defied anyone to play much football.  Neither side though was able to break the deadlock after 90 minutes but Ashford finally went ahead in extra time from the spot, converted by sub Mark Bitmead.  That probably should have been that but some minutes later CB were also awarded a penalty, again for handball.  The culprit was Elliott Jones who claimed he had been shoved as he went up to head a ball that was actually drifting out for a corner.  His protests were to no avail though and CB duly equalised.

And so to penalties to decide the match.  CB took the first and after nine generally unstoppable penalties were in the lead by 5 goals to 4.  Up stepped Tom Brunton who had stood out on the pitch as one of the few players to master the surface but a weak effort gave the home side the victory and a semi-final tie away to Walton Casuals or Chipstead.  Ashford scorers were, in order, Max Webb, Jack Beadle, Mark Bitmead and Rob Curtis.  Despite his miss, Brunton was named as “Ashford Man of the Match”.

Ashford, of course, have two rather bigger matches in their sights when they travel to Molesey in the League on Saturday and then entertain Westfield next Tuesday in the quarter-final of the Surrey Senior Cup.  Molesey were also due to be in action last night in the S. Comb. Cup but a serious injury to a Molesey player very early in the game caused an abandonment and we send our best wishes to the player concerned for a speedy recovery.  We also wish CB well in this competition.

This evening (Wednesday) the Under-18’s are at home to Frimley Green U18 in the Ryman Youth League, kick-off 7.45 p.m. and will hope to build on their fighting 3-3 draw with Northwood last week.  Also, the Chelsea v Everton match will be showing live on BT Sport in the Clubhouse.