Ashford’s destiny at the end of this current season is now out of their hands but in the last few weeks players could have done little more than they did, winning their last four matches without conceding a goal.  Saturday’s match at Epsom & Ewell looked a tough one on paper and so it was, but there was a steely determination about Ben Murray’s men to take it to the end and whilst there was only one goal in it, there was little doubt that the Tangerines deserved to take all three points on the day.

With Samad Kazi suspended, Will Boye came back into the starting line up, whilst up front Dan Fleming got the nod over Bradley Wainwright.  These two sides are basically evenly matched and there were few chances of note, although Ashford certainly enjoyed the greater possession. It looked a hammer blow though for the Tangerines when Scott Weight received a straight red.  He certainly barged into his opponent and was deemed to have used an elbow.  In the context of the game, especially at that point, it was possibly a little harsh but that was the decision and Ashford now had to contend with their opponents with just ten men in a match they had to win.

Murray opted to keep two players up front and on the day, the reduction in personnel did not seem to make very much difference.  The killer blow for Ashford came just after the hour mark when Perry Luckins, who enjoyed an excellent second half, sent a ball through to Mark Bitmead on the left.  With the keeper coming out and the Epsom defenders gone AWOL, Bitmead did what he has done for the club on so many occasions and calmly lobbed the ball into an empty net, for his 42nd goal of the season in all competitions, and his 6th in the last three matches.

There remained tension in the air amongst the Ashford supporters, of whom there were plenty, but also a growing sense that the job had been done, with Russell Canderton and Boye superb at the heart of the defence and keeper Tobin on top of his game.  So it proved and the three points left Ashford two places in front of Camberley who play their final match today, at Hartley Wintney, kicking off at 1.00 p.m.  Goals don’t matter now and the equation is simple:  if Camberley win they will be promoted, anything else and it will be Ashford.

Whether we go up or not, it has been a superb season with some amazing football being played by the Tangerines at times in a league of ever growing competitiveness when not a single match can be taken for granted.  A big thank you goes to our manager and his staff and all the players who have contributed.  A thank you also goes to all our supporters.  Attendances have been much improved overall, and we have been taking plenty of people to away matches as well.  If we are still in the CCL next season then so be it, and we will endeavour to be even stronger next season and do a little better in the FA Vase!  If we go up, we believe that the current squad is more than capable of doing well at the next level.

Forthcoming Events

25 Nov 2017
03:00PM -
Evo-Stik League South v AFC Rushden & Diamonds (H)
28 Nov 2017
07:45PM -
Evo-Stik League South v Hartley Wintney (a)