In all the four previous encounters between the clubs, Ashford have won the lot but a rare off day coupled with a determined display from the visitors saw the points shared on this occasion and nobody could complain about the result overall.

Indeed the visitors, after taking a 14th minute lead from the spot courtesy of Dan Harding, following a clumsy tackle by Samad Kazi, should have really capitalised upon any number of chances in the first half, many created by the fleet footed Elijah Ogunseye, a thorn in the side of Ashford’s defenders all afternoon.  That said, it was not complete domination by any means and when they got free both Mark Bitmead and Perry Luckins, standing in up front for the unavailable Dan Fleming, caused some problems but it was not the sparkling display from Ashford that supporters had got used to in recent weeks.

The second half though saw Ashford re-asserting themselves to some extent and it took just five minutes for Luckins to drill home following a good move.  The hope was that the Tangerines would now go on to score a few more and for a while it looked as if they might do just that.  Chances weren’t going in though as they have been in recent weeks and Colliers Wood, always a threat up front, were no spent force and Ashford also had to do some serious defending of their own at times.  In the end though there were no further goals and a point apiece was probably the fairest result.

Talking points were the continuing excellence of Ashford’s pitch, when all around are suffering yet more postponements which are threatening to turn the League into something of a farce if things don’t turn round soon.

Referee  Jacquart, after a good first half, seemed to get very fussy in the second period which caused some frustration at times.  Kazi’s first half foul which led to the penalty which some queried certainly didn’t seem to merit the yellow card he picked up and maybe the referee was conscious of that a bit later when the same player was again a bit clumsy and could easily have picked up a second one, which he avoided, so some credit goes to the official for common sense on that occasion, as it wasn’t the sort of match where anyone needed to be dismissed.  The usual supporters’ “Ashford Man of the Match” went to Scott Weight, who received most of the votes.

No club wins every match they play but Ashford’s long unbeaten run in league matches now stretches to eleven games, nine of which have been won, so one slightly below par performance will not dent the ever growing “good” feeling around the club.

Neither will the unwelcome draw we received from Middlesex FA for the semi-final of the Senior Cup, in which we have to travel to Enfield Town, the highest placed club left in the competition, instead of the game we wanted, at home to neighbours Staines Town.  We understand that the match will be on Tuesday 23 February and if that is the case our 1st Team match away to Sutton Common Rovers on Monday 22 February will have to be further re-arranged, but more of that once we know for certain.

There are no midweek matches this week for either the 1st Team or the Under-18’s so the next Ashford outing is not until Saturday when we travel to meet Badshot Lea FC at Ash United, where they ground share.  More on that one later in the week.

Finally, huge congratulations to our Ladies’ side who last week clinched their Divisional title in the Greater London Women’s League last week with a 7-1 win over London Phoenix Ladies.  Earlier today they shared a 3-3 draw with second placed Hammersmith Starz.  The writer is not sure what happens now as they have completed their league fixtures:  hopefully there is some form of supplementary competition.  They also still have the Middlesex Junior Women’s Cup left in which they have reached the quarter finals but don’t know yet who they will be playing.

Good also to see a number of our ladies at the Race Night on Friday and huge thanks to Korea Foods for such great sponsorship of the evening including their delicious food.  Thanks also to Ben Murray and Nick Bailey for organising the event and to everyone who attended and helped us make a few pennies.