Ashford’s third “big” game in a row arrives on Tuesday evening, when the Tangerines make the short trip to meet Molesey.

The Moles have enjoyed a highly successful season to date but have been hampered to a degree by numerous postponements especially at their own Walton Road ground, as a result of which they find themselves with matches to catch up on all their main rivals at the top of the table, although if they were to win them all, they would indeed head the table themselves.  Like ourselves, they have also reached the semi-final of the Surrey Senior Cup but unlike ourselves, they are still in it and will play at home to Metropolitan Police next Tuesday.  We genuinely wish them every success and hope they get through to play against Merstham in the Final.

Ashford for their part will be stirred by the performance at Windsor on Saturday and will come into tomorrow evening’s match unbeaten in league matches since the beginning of February and with four wins and a draw from their last five league matches.  Elliott Jones is still injured but other than that Ben Murray’s side should be at full strength for the encounter.  Molesey have a similar record, their only blip being a home defeat recently against mid-table Badshot Lea, so we could have a classic match on our hands tomorrow evening.

That said, nobody will win the League tomorrow whatever the result.  It will certainly give the winners additional confidence but with Ashford having another eight matches left after tomorrow and Molesey ten, there will still be plenty to play for, so it is better not to build the game up to false heights.  Deviating for a minute, It is possibly against the odds now but were the Tangerines to win the League, there is little doubt that they would be back in the Southern League.  Molesey though are probably on the north-Western fringe of the Ryman Div 1 South boundary (indeed the Ryman League tried a few seasons ago to make them play in Ryman North), so it is interesting to speculate into which Step 4 Division they may go were they to win the League,  It is unlikely on balance but they could also find themselves, just as we had to, travelling up to the Midlands in the Southern League (Central) which is OK to be honest as most of the clubs in that part of the world are friendly enough and it is certainly an experience, even though it takes all day or sometimes, all night.

Back to the present, or rather the past, Molesey won the first encounter this season at Short Lane, by the only goal of the game and frankly deserved to do so by a greater margin as they were much the better side on the day.  Ashford, therefore, have something to prove tomorrow.  That said, whether it can be regarded as an omen or not is a moot point, but in six previous matches at Short Lane, including this season’s against the Moles, Ashford have yet to record a win.  At Molesey though, in five previous matches, Ashford have only tasted defeat once, an odd statistic overall.

The address of the ground is 412 Walton Road, East Molesey, KT8 2JG.  There is a small car park which fills up very quickly so get there early if you want a space.  Kick-off is 7.45 p.m.

Finally just a quick note that this year’s Junior Tournament will be staged over the weekend of the 13th and 14th June.  Full details of the event will appear on the website tomorrow, along with various other event dates.