An intriguing match away to Molesey on Tuesday evening saw Ashford defeated by the only goal of the game, scored in the final minute of the 90 by Stafford Palmer, from a corner kick.

It was certainly a disappointment for the Tangerines who had rarely looked like conceding and who, especially in the first half, had created a number of chances to go ahead.  Bobby Dormer was the stand-out Ashford “man of the match” with a superb and disciplined defensive display, especially during the second half when Molesey, although not dominating play, certainly enjoyed significantly more possession than they had in the first period.

Ashford were without the influential MItchal Gough, who had not recovered from a knock sustained against Windsor on Saturday, but brought in Samad Kazi,  generally playing wide on the left flank where he was perhaps an unanticipated threat to Molesey, who clearly had a plan to shackle both Mark Bitmead and Dan Fleming.

The match as a whole was an absorbing contest, without hitting the heights football wise, with both defences generally on top and eager to get the ball away from their penalty areas at the first sign of danger.

One way of looking at it though if Ashford had been offered away draws at Windsor and Molesey in this little period of extremely tough fixtures, they may well have accepted but in the end a win and a defeat gives them maybe a point more than would have been acceptable.  It does mean though that the championship is now Molesey’s to lose although they also face some tough games in their 10 match run-in, which is, of course, exactly 25% of their season, including their return match against Camberley on 18 April, so no-one will be giving up yet in the Ashford camp but it is obviously tougher after last night’s result.  Things can change very quickly though in football.

Ashford make the short trip to meet Hanworth Villa on Saturday for the first time this season.  They enjoyed a resounding win at Bedfont Sports last night and are fighting a relegation battle, which certainly wouldn’t have been expected at the start of the season.  Ashford will be well aware that they can expect a very difficult match at The Ranch but more on that later in the week.

This evening, Wednesday, Ashford’s Under-18’s head down the road to meet Bedfont Sports, whom we congratulate upon winning the Middlesex Senior Youth Cup last week, with a Cup Final win over Wingate & Finchley.

Also the very first match for our new Ladies Team next season arrives on Monday 30 March when they will play a friendly against a Norwegian Ladies side, at Short Lane, kick-off 7.45 p.m.  More on that one tomorrow.