It is rarely ideal to be facing a side near the foot of the table and scrabbling for points and so it proved again on Saturday when Ashford were only able to share the spoils at Short Lane in a 2-2 draw against Knaphill who were making their first ever senior visit to the Tangerines.

The result was probably about right, although the visitors were twice in the lead, but on both occasions not for very long.

After an opening period in which Knaphill did more of the attacking without looking particularly penetrative, the match settled into a rather mundane affair, the stiff breeze not really helping either side.

The first goal came on 37 minutes and it was Knaphill’s Scott Costello who drilled it home after some rather static defending by the Tangerines.  However, it only took a minute before Ashford were level, when a mix-up between defender and keeper presented them with a goal, gleefully hammered into the empty net by Dan Fleming for his 31st competitive goal of the season.

One hoped that the visitors might lay down after that and accept their fate but they most certainly did not and a complete mix up in the home defence presented Costello with his second goal just three minutes into the second half.  However, Jack Beadle, one of Ashford’s mainstays throughout the season, took just three minutes to equalise, after the first effort had been cleared from the line.

In some matches the second half has been the signal for Ashford to really turn it on but not on Saturday as Knaphill continued to give as good as they got and when Bobby Dormer got himself sent off for two yellows with over 15 minutes to go, one wondered if the Knappers might reap a full three point bonus.  Funnily enough though, that final period was actually Ashford’s best of the match as they knocked on the Knaphill door, especially down the left flank, with Alex Taylor and Samad Kazi combining well but it was not to be and the draw was a fair result overall.

Things now move on to Easter Monday when Ashford make their shortest trip of the season to Bedfont Sports.  After enjoying a buoyant first half of the season Bedfont have hit a lean period recently but shared the points in a 1-1 draw on Saturday at Farnham Town.  Although Molesey lost on Saturday, Camberley won, and the championship now looks to be between those two clubs but Ashford will not give up until it is mathematically impossible.  Bedfont are fairly clear of any relegation worries but doubtless Mick Snowden’s side will be keen to build upon the victory they enjoyed over Ashford in the Middlesex Senior Cup, although the league match at Ashford much earlier in the season ended in a 4-1 win for the Tangerines.

Please be aware that the kick-off is at 11.30 a.m. and not 3.00 p.m. as has been showing on the web site.