Ashford are one of 11 CCL clubs competing on Saturday to reach the 2nd Round of the FA Vase.  It will be no easy task though, as they have of the toughest matches the Club could have reasonably expected at this stage of the competition, in the shape of Kidlington FC, who compete in the Hellenic League and in which they currently sit in 5th place, with only two league defeats all season, one of which came on Tuesday evening when Kidlington, very handily, played down the road at Ascot United, losing 1-2.

The address of the ground is Yarnton Road, Kidlington, Oxon, OX5 1AT.  It is approximately 51 miles from Short Lane and is a fairly straightforward journey, along the M25, on to the M40 and then leave at Junction 8 on to the A40.  The journey would not normally take more than an hour and a quarter but Kidlington have kindly warned us of roadworks in the vicinity which may cause hold-ups so best leave plenty of time.

We have been told this morning that one of the two buses is only a 9 seater which may cause problems so please be aware that we may not be able to transport everyone who wants to travel on the mini-buses, so pleased be prepared to drive if necessary.  There may be some spare places on the players’ mini-bus so if you can get to the ground by 11.30 am, so much the better.

There will be extra time on Saturday should it be needed but if the scores are still level at that point there will be a replay on Tuesday evening at Short Lane.

Kidlington’s best performance in the Vase came back in the 1976-77 season when they reached the 5th Round before losing at Gosport Borough, but more recently they have reached the 3rd Round twice, in 2012-13 and 2013-14. 

It was only last season, of course, that we returned to the Vase competition after doing quite well overall in the FA Trophy for a number of years.  Last season we found ourselves on the wrong end of a 2-3 defeat at home to Loxwood which was a big blow at the time as we were hoping to go a long way in the competition.

Team wise tomorrow, Ben Murray will still have a difficult task to pick his opening eleven, especially after Tuesday’s sparkling performance against Kent League high-flyers Beckenham Town, despite some ongoing injuries.  Josh Andrew is unavailable having played for Hanworth Villa in the competition this season but Will Boye is OK as his previous club Colliers Wood do not enter the competition until the 2nd Round stage, by virtue of their fine performance the previous season.

Good luck to all the other CCL clubs competing: it’s about time one of us put the League in the spotlight, although Guernsey of course reached the semi-final three seasons ago as a CCL club and Merstham came close to that stage a few seasons back.

British Airways are at home on Saturday to Southall Reserves but the Ladies, who beat South London Ladies 7-0 last week, do not have a match this weekend.  Great incidentally to see some of the Ladies side coming along to support the 1st Team recently.  The Sunday side are away to Hamilton Associates at the Fullers Sports Ground in Chiswick.  Junior fixtures to follow.