Ashford once again found their best form on Saturday, beating close rivals Hanworth Villa by 4 goals to 1 on a beautiful sunny afternoon at Short Lane in front of an audience of more than 200.

Ashford knew this match was likely to present their toughest match of the season so far in the shape of the unbeaten Villa and were clearly ready for it, enjoying the lion’s share of possession in the earlier stages.  They thought they had scored the opening goal some 25 minutes in when Max Webb got up to power home a header but it was disallowed for a push that none of us on the stand side saw.  It was later confirmed by Ashford Chairman Dave Baker that there had indeed been a push albeit slight.

It did not take too long though before Ashford were able to go ahead when a slide rule through pass from the excellent Bailey Mummery saw Samad Kazi in the clear and a deft finish sent it past the invariably efficient Villa keeper, Terry Buss, who had already denied Ashford on several occasions.

Tyler Tobin at the other end also had to be sharp just before half-time but the match had barely resumed in the second half when Ashford were awarded a penalty for a trip in the area.  Mark Bitmead made light work of scoring, to give Ashford a two goal cushion.

Ashford soon increased the lead again from the penalty spot when Mummery was fouled as he weaved his way in from the goal line, having made another characteristic break from his full back position.  This one was more controversial as Villa felt the ball had been played first, with the result that it took a little time to restore order.  It did not worry Bitmead though as he calmly sent the ball past Buss to make it 3-0.

Play had been more even in the second period with Villa forcing a series of corners.  Ashford defended stoutly though and the Villains then handicapped themselves when they had a player sent off for a second caution.  The second tackle did not look horrendous by any means but having been booked already for quite a bad foul, the player concerned was perhaps unwise to commit himself to the tackle in question.

They are not though the type of side to lay down and there was a brief period of anxiety in the Short Lane camp on 82 minutes when Jesse Atiase pulled one back with a fine effort giving Tobin no chance.

Ashford though are fast becoming a resolute side and it was Scott Elgar, receiving the ball from a short free kick, who made his way into the area without being challenged and stabbing the ball past Buss for the final goal of the game.

Once again there is no midweek 1st Team match but the Tangerines now face four tough away matches, starting next Saturday at Westfield, followed quickly by a midweek visit to Hartley Wintney and then Camberley and Colliers Wood United.

Ashford had a number of junior teams and their parents present yesterday and we thank them for their attendance.  At least one visitor was highly appreciative of the fare on offer, served up by the lovely Louise and Charlotte and we hope that some of them at least will become regular supporters.  It did not go unnoticed either that virtually all the Villa players and several supporters stayed on at the club for a long time afterwards, which was great to see and they were very welcome.

There is more football on offer at Short Lane this afternoon when Ashford Ladies take on Phoenix Ladies in the Greater London Women’s League, kicking off at 2.00 pm.  Will they be able to improve upon last week’s 18 goals?

Unfortunately British Airways suffered a close 1-2 defeat away to Kensington Dragons yesterday in the Alec Smith Middlesex County League Cup.  Next Saturday they will be at home to West Essex FC in a league match.