On Saturday, Ashford found themselves not only without Mark Bitmead, but also striking partner Dan Fleming, whom we learnt has broken a bone in his foot.  We wish Dan a speedy recovery, certainly in time for next season as this was Ashford’s last game of this season.

Ben Murray played two wide players in Samad Kazi and Sam Balfour and both looked dangerous whenever in possession.  Opponents Hanworth Villa did not seem to play with the urgency that might have been expected from a side facing possible relegation but on the other hand Ashford found it hard to break them down, with no goals in the opening half.  It had looked a fairly scrappy affair to that point which was a shame given that, thanks to Junior Chairman Nick Bailey, an attendance of 220 was registered many comprising of players from the junior teams, resplendent in their Ashford shirts and all eager to claim their free hot dog, again courtesy of Nick.

The second half was far better from Ashford’s point of view and they started to play with some panache at times, although it still took a long time before the opening goal arrived, the 79th minute to be precise when Kazi got on the end of a another decent move and notched from close range.

Hanworth had not done too much attacking but they had already missed a one-on-one earlier and they found themselves with a glorious chance to equalise as the match came to a close.  Instead it was blasted over the bar and turned into a costly error, as Sam Balfour went on another tricky run down the right and crossed for Kazi to force home his second of the afternoon.  Kazi was later named as the “Ashford Man of the Match”.

Having completed their programme, the three points give Ashford a shout for 3rd place with Cove now four points behind but with two matches in hand, namely away to Guildford City and then Hanworth Villa next Saturday.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Camberley went down 0-3 at Molesey in the “big” match of the day and the championship is now Molesey’s to throw away.  At the bottom Frimley Green’s fate is decided after a heavy defeat at Spelthorne.  They cannot now move off the bottom and will be relegated to Division One.  Spare a thought though for Farleigh Rovers, who needed just a point on Saturday to clinch the Division One championship but lost to a solitary goal scored in the 3rd minute of stoppage time by Worcester Park.  Farleigh will have another chance next Saturday when they entertain Staines Lammas.