Ashford are at home on Saturday when 5th placed Epsom & Ewell are the visitors.  Despite a rapid exit from most of the cup competitions, they have made a fairly decent start to the season, only losing their first league match last Saturday when Chertsey Town rather surprisingly came away with all three points.  Indeed Epsom’s overall record this season is better on the road, with big wins coming at both Cove and Spelthorne Sports, the latter being before their recent change of management which seems to have revitalised the club.

Last season honours were shared with Epsom winning at Short Lane and the Tangerines doing likewise at Epsom (Chipstead).  We will be facing two trips to Epsom later in the season as we have been drawn away to them in the 3rd Round of the League Cup (The Cherry Red Records Premier Challenge Cup) to give it its full title.

Ashford will still be without Mark Bitmead and Lewis Taylor on Saturday but the return from holiday of Joey Robson and the arrival this week of Will Boye from Colliers Wood plus  the recent return from injury of Dan Fleming still gives Ben Murray a difficult task in picking his opening eleven, with just about everyone in good form at the moment.  A special mention goes to George Marks, who has installed a toughness at the back since his return and that has been a significant factor in Ashford’s current run of five consecutive wins in all competitions, none of them spectacular but all solid enough.

Kick-off as always is at 3.00 p.m. and we thank the Villager Newspaper for their generous sponsorship of the match.

Of our other immediate rivals near the top of the table, Camberley Town are at home to Sutton Common Rovers whilst Hartley Wintney are away to Knaphill.  Horley Town probably have the toughest test of those three playing just down the road at Spelthorne.

The Under-18’s suffered a disappointing defeat on Wednesday evening at home to Northwood, losing 0-3, in a match where Ashford only showed up after they had gone three down.  After beating Wealdstone the previous week, such a poor display was unexpected but it will add to the squad’s growing experience and they are actually playing twice next week, once against Staines Town and once against Bedfont Sports, on Monday and Thursday respectively.  More details on those games later.

The 1st Team are in Surrey Senior Cup action on Tuesday when we entertain Beckenham Town with the winner to play away to Knaphill in the 2nd Round, the latter having got the better of Camberley on Tuesday evening, winning on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

Other matches this weekend are as follows:

British Airways are away to Indian Gymkhana in the Premier Division of the Middlesex Couty League

There are less junior matches on Sunday than normal due to half-term but the games are:

Ashford Sports Club – Short Lane 11-a-side Pitch

Conor U15s v Woking Cougars 11.30 a.m.

Joe U17s v Walton Casuals 1pm (Friendly)

Ashford Town 7 – 7 Pitch

Graham U10s v Spelthorne Sports 10.00 a.m.

Away Matches

Larry U12s v Kew Association

Fin U13s v Hook Youth

Martin U14s v Wallington Wanderers

Ben U15s v Ewell Saxons

The Sunday Men’s team are at home to Fulwell City whilst the Ladies are at home to South London Women FC, who are in 3rd place in the table.