Ashford found themselves on the wrong end of a 2-9 defeat in the League Cup on Tuesday evening, losing to a rampant Slough Town side.

As far as the writer can ascertain it is only the second time (after a fairly swift search through) we have ever conceded nine goals in a match, the previous occasion being on 9 January 1965 when a side called Townfield FC walloped us in the 2nd Division of the Hounslow & District League by 13 goals to one.  Since our formation we have only one suffered one worse defeat in terms of goal margins, when Bognor beat us 8-0 in the Ryman League on 16 November 2002 (and then loudly named their whole side as “man of the match” which we found rather disrespectful at the time, don’t know why).  We have incidentally hit ten or more goals ourselves on many occasions and they will be listed for interest only in a further article in due course.

Back to last night and Ben Murray, very much with Saturday’s FA Trophy match at Hornchurch in mind, left a few key players out to ensure they were all OK for that match.  That said, Slough were so good at times last night on their new plastic surface that it may well have not made much difference.  One of the changes was the debut of Luke Daley in goal and he suffered a baptism of fire.  He may well have done better with one or two of the goals and seemed a little prone to rushing from his goal at times but he also saved a penalty and made a number of other saves that, otherwise, could have made the situation even worse from Ashford’s point of view.

Everything started well and Ashford took the lead on 4 minutes when Max Herbert followed up some excellent work by Dan Fleming to crash the ball home.  By the time 8 minutes had expired, Slough had both equalised and gone ahead and when the score line reached 4-1 after 20 minutes and 6-1 by half-time, one feared the worst.

Despite being unable to cope defensively, Ashford though never once stopped playing football and in the second half actually played some excellent football themselves against their talented opponents.  Kam English reduced the deficit just after the hour mark, following a superb ball from Tommy Brunton, and whilst talk of a comeback would have been wildly inaccurate, the game had at least become relatively even at that point.  Sadly it didn’t last and two goals in as many minutes as the match reached the last 15 made it 2-7, and two more in the final ten minutes rubbed it in as Slough just never stopped.

All that said, Ashford walked off the pitch with their heads held high, knowing they had faced a team that, on this performance, is surely destined for promotion at the end of the season, and had played some football of their own which will still see many clubs at their own level well beaten this season.