Last Saturday Ashford scored three goals in 14 minutes to rescue a point against Horley Town.  They did even better on Saturday, scoring three in six minutes, to see off Guildford City after trailing from the 54th minutes.

Some of the drama came before the match with skipper Russell Canderton somehow hurting his back so badly in the warm-up that an ambulance had to be summoned leading to Russell receiving both gas and air.  The latest news is good though in that our popular captain is back at home and feeling a lot better we understand although the extent of the injury may not be known for a day or so.

The next incident was whether or not the game should take place at all.  Ashford manager Ben Murray felt that the vertical sand filled tramlines, on a heavy surface, were dangerous and could lead to ankle injuries and the like and he was not alone in that view.  It was understandable that Guildford took the opposite point of view, having not played at home for some eight weeks.  The writer’s view is certainly that a number of match officials would not have played the match but Mr. Westlake decided that it should proceed, so we all got on with it, although Ashford remained unhappy with the decision. 

The first half played in yet another high wind had little to commend it with chances few and far between.  It was hard to criticise the players though as the overall conditions made good football almost impossible.

Guildford though made a bright start to the second period, despite the fact that the wind was against them and on 54 minutes they took the lead through Adam Nditi.  It was time for Ashford to get going and to be fair their play improved considerably despite a sending off for Bradley Wainwright.  Whilst on another day he might have got away with a caution, a silly piece of attempted retaliation suddenly gave the Tangerines a far harder task.

The break through was slow in coming, even after the award of a fairly soft penalty which the usually totally reliable Mark Bitmead put over the bar.  Despite the one man disadvantage, and Guildford could count themselves lucky they were not in the same situation, given one or two tackles, Ashford’s ten men were finally starting to take a grip though and in the 85th minute they had their deserved reward, Bitmead the scorer.

The game had changed and just two minutes later Bailey Mummery turned it on its head as he put the Tangerines ahead.  There was only going to be one winner now and it was fitting that the final goal was also scored by Bitmead who took advantage of a wayward clearance followed by a rather headstrong rush by the home keeper from his goal, taking his time and planting a firm shot into the empty net.

Murray was ecstatic, not least because his whole team, sorely depleted on the day with the absence or loss of Dan Fleming (unavailable), Scott Elgar (injured), Max Webb (ill) and Canderton (injured) and others, kept on to the very end just as they had last week and as the manager said himself, they never know when they are beaten.   

The usual “Ashford man of the match” poll took place and it was a dead heat between Will Boye, magnificent at the back today, and Samad Kazi, equally impressive in an unusual position, so they jointly received the award.

After wishing for a quieter game this week, which didn’t happen, Ashford now make the short trip to AFC Hayes next Saturday.  More of that one during the week.

It was a great day for the League in general on Saturday with three clubs through to the 4th Round of the FA Vase, with Camberley facing a home replay on Tuesday evening as they try to make it four.  One of Colliers Wood or Hartley Wintney were bound to go through as they played each other, the latter coming out on top, but superb away performances by Knaphill (at Canterbury City) and Sutton Common Rovers (at hot favourites Eastbourne Town) absolutely stand out and the CCL family will be wishing all our remaining clubs a favourable draw in the 4th Round on Monday.