A match full of good football from both sides on Tuesday evening saw Ashford beating Beckenham Town by three goals to one in the 1st Round of the Surrey Senior Cup.  Ashford will now be away to Knaphill in the next round on Tuesday 1 December.

With Saturday’s FA Vase matches doubtless in mind, both teams had important players either on the bench or not present but it made little difference as an even first half ensued, played at a fast pace that, for much of the time, was a pleasure to watch.  With recently signed Josh Andrews and Will Boye both available, Ben Murray gave them both a start, with just Bradley Wainwright up front, replacing Dan Fleming who has a niggling ham string injury.  Scott Weight also started butGeorge Marks, Tommy Brunton and Samad Kazi were all left on the bench in reserve, although none of them were required to take the field in the end.

Despite the best efforts of both reams there were no goals in the first half but just seven minutes into the second period, it was Boye who opened the scoring with an unstoppable header from Alex Fisher’s corner.  At that point Ashford seemed to be assuming some form of control for the first time in the game but it was the visitors who scored the next goal on 67 minutes when a decent finish from James Humphreys saw them level.

Goals tend to change mind sets and for a while it was the visitors who looked more threatening but it was Ashford who went ahead again soon afterwards when Jack Beadle picked the ball up on the left flank and cut inside before unleashing a swerving effort that gave the keeper little chance. 

Ashford tails were now back up and a flowing movement worthy of the entrance money alone saw Andrews in the right place to score the third and final goal of the game with seven minutes left on the clock.

Against an excellent side with eleven unbeaten matches behind them, who would definitely enhance the CCL, should the FA gods ever consider same, Ashford gave a competent display, that left it difficult to pick anyone out but a special mention should perhaps be given to Bradley Wainwright, whose non-stop running and harrying kept the visitors’ defence on their toes for the full 90 minutes, and did not go unappreciated by the Ashford support.

We now look forward to the 1st Round Proper of the FA Vase on Saturday when we travel to Hellenic League side Kidlington FC.  It looks like one of the hardest draws we could have got at this stage, with Kidlington doing very well in their league but they will doubtless be thinking along similar lines.  More on that later in the week but just to confirm that we have a supporters’ mini bus going to Kidlington, leaving Short Lane at 12.30.  There are limited spaces available so you need to get your name down on the list on the notice board (first come, first served).  If you can’t get down in person, you can ring the club on 01784 245908 (after midday any day) to get them to add your name to the list.  Cost of travel on the bus will be £10, payable upon boarding.

Not such a good story to tell from the Under-18’s who were beaten 2-5 at Staines Town on Monday evening.  A very useful Staines side scored four before the interval and a rout looked possible but manager Nick Bailey shuffled things round and to be fair Ashford had a far more determined look about them in the second period, pulling two goals back, before Staines hit their fifth at the death.  This season is very much a learning curve for the Under-18’s most of whom were playing junior Sunday football last season and they can only benefit from playing in the Ryman Youth League, which is full of good sides.  This evening (Wednesday) the lads have their second match of the week, when they will be at home to Bedfont Sports in the 1st Round of the Lucas-Fettes Cup (League Cup).  Sports are another very strong side who almost reached the 1st Round Proper of the FA Youth Cup last week.  Kick-off is 7.45 p.m.