Ashford continued their pre-season build up on Saturday with a 3-1 win over Sussex League side Loxwood, the club who knocked the Tangerines out of the FA Vase last season.

The match took place at Egham Leisure Centre once again and once again a number of triallists took part over the 90 minutes.  It was an even start but Ashford had an early chance to go ahead when Samad Kazi was fouled in the area, but Jack Beadle’s effort was well saved.  From the resulting corner though It was the returning Joe Green who put Ashford ahead on 6 minutes when he latched onto a corner from Alex Fisher that the keeper couldn’t gather, and sent a very decent header looping over the custodian into the far corner.

Loxwood had plenty of players who had played in last season’s Vase match and caused the Ashford rearguard some problems.  Within minutes they had equalised from a very similar goal to that scored by Ashford.

Kazi was then sent in by a penetrating through ball from Beadle but had strayed just offside and his effort was disallowed.  Loxwood should then have gone ahead when an error by keeper Tobin gave the visitors a golden opportunity but they fluffed their lines as Ashford got back quickly.

Just before the half-hour mark, Ashford went ahead again.  Another well placed pass from Tommy Brunton found ace marksman Dan Fleming who had some work to do but his control enabled him to take the ball down before slotting home with aplomb.

After that Ashford generally looked stronger than their opponents and effectively sealed the match on 68 minutes when the speedy Kazi took advantage when, under no great pressure,  Loxwood gave the ball away and there was no stopping the young Ashford striker as he raced clear evading a desperate challenge from the keeper before scoring in to an empty net.

Any number of substitutions from both sides inevitably upset the rhythm of the match but although sub keeper Jake Taylor had to make a smart save near the end, Ashford remained largely untroubled and manager Ben Murray was generally pleased with the performance and the ongoing preparation.

The next match was to have been against Frimley Green on Tuesday evening, again at Egham Sports Centre but our opponents have had to pull out.  Secretary Geoff Knock is trying to find a replacement team at short notice so keep your eye on the web site for further details.

In the mantime, please note that next Saturday’s match against Hellenic League Ascot United is to be played at Addlestone Leisure Centre, kick-off 3.00 pm.  Further details of that one later in the week.