Ashford manager Ben Murray demanded a reaction from his players after the FA Cup defeat at Hoddesdon on Saturday and despite the apparent closeness of the scoreline, he got just that as Ashford gave another impressive home performance that would have seen them win by more than one goal apart from Farnham keeper Matt Petts who performed heroics for his club especially in the first half.

That said, Farnham themselves when in possession played some excellent football as well and one would imagine that any neutral spectators would have enjoyed a match full of fine football for much of the time.  It was only in the last ten minutes or so that the game finally became a little more ragged as Farnham chased a second equaliser.

Ashford had the returning Tyler Tobin back in goal whilst Samad Kazi was on the bench after his protracted absence.  Dan Fleming was not quite fit to return but it is hoped he will be raring to go on Saturday.

Despite the football on offer, there were no goals in the first half, despite any number of close calls but the second period sprang to life immediately as straight from the kick off Jack Beadle fed Mark Bitmead and Ashford’s leading scorer made no mistake.  The goal was scored on just 22 seconds.

The immediate feeling was that Ashford had finally made the breakthrough and that supporters could now settle down and hopefully enjoy a few more goals.  Farnham though had other ideas and with the game now more even, equalised soon afterwards, when Luke Whiddett provided a tidy finish that gave Tobin little chance.

Suddenly it was game on but Ashford did not have to wait too long to go ahead again as Tommy Brunton put Jack Beadle in and his immaculate finish gave Petts no chance.

Both sides continued to look good in possession although it was noticeable that Farnham were now playing the long ball more often.  The two defences held out although there was a hearts in the mouth moment for Ashford when Lewis Taylor clashed with an opponent in the penalty area but referee Desai waved play on, saying afterwards that in his view it had been shoulder to shoulder.  From the other end of the field it certainly looked a close call.  The decision not to award a penalty led to a flurry of dissent and cautions, the match being held up for some time.  It was not in the visitors’ interest though to waste valuable time and the final whistle came soon afterwards with no further incident.

It does seem to the writer that the CCL is now more competitive than ever.  Although one would not have anticipated as such when the fixtures were issued, Ashford’s opponents to date have largely been clubs currently in the bottom half of the table and yet every one, with possibly one exception, has looked a decent side.  Although it will decide nothing at this early stage, Ashford have a big test on Saturday when they look forward to the visit of Hanworth Villa who themselves are unbeaten in league matches to date, only dropping points when they drew at Chessington & Hook United a week or so back.  There will be a preview of that gamelater in the week.

The Under-18’s are without a match this week, again, but we should finish by congratulating Hartley Wintney upon their FA Cup replay win at Fleet last night by four goals to nil, a victory which has secured them a trip to Wales to meet Merthyr Town in the 2nd Qualifying Round.


Forthcoming Events

26 Mar 2018
07:45PM -
Bostik Youth League v Northwood (H)
31 Mar 2018
03:00PM -
Evo-Stik League South v Uxbridge (H)
02 Apr 2018
03:00PM -
Evo-Stik League South v Moneyfields (a)
04 Apr 2018
07:45PM -
Bostik Youth League v Wealdstone (a)
07 Apr 2018
03:00PM -
Evo-Stik League South v Chalfont St Peter (H)
11 Apr 2018
07:45PM -
Bostik Youth League v Hendon (a)
14 Apr 2018
03:00PM -
Evo-Stik League South v Marlow (a)
15 Apr 2018
10:30AM -
British Airways Vets v Bedfont Sunday Vets
16 Apr 2018
07:45PM -
Bostik Youth League v Staines Town (H)
21 Apr 2018
03:00PM -
Evo-Stik League South v Hartley Wintney (H)
22 Apr 2018
10:30AM - 05:00PM
Middlesex FA Sunday Intermediate Cup Final
28 Apr 2018
03:00PM -
Evo-Stik League South v AFC Rushden & Diamonds (a)
10 May 2018
07:30PM -
Annual General Meeting
02 Jun 2018
11:00AM -
Junior Presentation Day and Evening
09 Jun 2018
09:00AM - 09:00PM
Junior Tournament