A hard fought win at Petersfield Town on Tuesday evening by two goals to nil gave Ashford another three points, pushing the club up to 3rd place in the table.

Based on league positions, this result may have been anticipated but Petersfield belied their position and fought for everything right up to the final whistle and will surely climb the table once everything has settled down under their new manager.

On quite a heavy surface, Ashford made an excellent start and Mark Bitmead screwed an early effort inches wide of the far post from an acute angle but it was the home side who then dominated possession for a while, forcing four straight corners, none of which came to anything.

The match settled down into something of a slog and whilst Ashford probably shaded the first half possession, there wasn’t too much in it and neither keeper was over troubled.  Kam English generally playing wide on the left flank, had probably been Ashford’s main threat in that first 45, but it was Tommy Brunton’s vision that led to the opening goal for the Tangerines just short of the hour mark when he was able to sweep the ball out to the unmarked Mark Bitmead, wide right.  He advanced and sent in a very deliberate chipped cross that found Dan Fleming who duly headed home.  It was a fitting reward for Fleming who had worked hard all night for little reward up to that point.

Despite having made the breakthrough, Ashford found themselves unable to relax as Petersfield gave it a right go.  Despite their endeavours they found Ashford’s defence excelling, especially Joe Green at right back, and the closest they came to scoring was when Scott Weight headed off the line with Kav Keadell stranded on one occasion.

Referee Lee, who had an excellent match it must be said, denied the visitors two penalties.  The first came when Alex Fisher fell over a leg but it was deemed to be simulation and the recalcitrant Fisher, probably quite rightly, found himself in the notebook.  The second claim had more substance to it as Fleming advancing into the area went down under the keeper’s challenge and it was a question of whether or not there had been a foul or Fleming had simply fallen over the prostrate keeper.  It was a fair bet that had it been Saturday’s referee, who awarded three soft penalties on that occasion, in charge, it may well have been given but Mr. Lee ruled in the keeper’s favour.

The second and ultimately clinching goal arrived with 15 minutes left on the clock and it was a goal that deserved to win a match.  Green sent in a long high free kick from around the half-way line, which was headed out to Bitmead on the edge of the area (couldn’t see who get the header in) but the Ashford striker hit it on the volley with great velocity and it flew into the net.

Ashford manager Ben Murray manipulated his substitutes skilfully and despite coming under further pressure the Tangerines saw out the last 15 minutes without too many scares despite the home club’s best endeavours.

This was Ashford’s first ever match at any level against Petersfield who were excellent hosts and we wish them all the best as they try to escape from their present perilous position.  A big thank you also goes to the Ashford supporters who made the trip down the A3 last night.  The vote amongst them for the “Ashford man of the match” award was a close run matter but in the end, on the captain’s casting vote, it went to Samad Kazi rather than himself!  Well done Russ.

We now have a break from league fixtures as we travel to meet Tonbridge Angels on Saturday in the FA Trophy.  There will be a lot more on that one later in the week but good luck this evening to the Under-18’s who make the trip to Godalming Town FC, to play against Aldershot U-18 in the Ryman Youth League, under new manager Will Boye.


Forthcoming Events

26 Mar 2018
07:45PM -
Bostik Youth League v Northwood (H)
31 Mar 2018
03:00PM -
Evo-Stik League South v Uxbridge (H)
02 Apr 2018
03:00PM -
Evo-Stik League South v Moneyfields (a)
04 Apr 2018
07:45PM -
Bostik Youth League v Wealdstone (a)
07 Apr 2018
03:00PM -
Evo-Stik League South v Chalfont St Peter (H)
11 Apr 2018
07:45PM -
Bostik Youth League v Hendon (a)
14 Apr 2018
03:00PM -
Evo-Stik League South v Marlow (a)
15 Apr 2018
10:30AM -
British Airways Vets v Bedfont Sunday Vets
16 Apr 2018
07:45PM -
Bostik Youth League v Staines Town (H)
21 Apr 2018
03:00PM -
Evo-Stik League South v Hartley Wintney (H)
22 Apr 2018
10:30AM - 05:00PM
Middlesex FA Sunday Intermediate Cup Final
28 Apr 2018
03:00PM -
Evo-Stik League South v AFC Rushden & Diamonds (a)
10 May 2018
07:30PM -
Annual General Meeting
02 Jun 2018
11:00AM -
Junior Presentation Day and Evening
09 Jun 2018
09:00AM - 09:00PM
Junior Tournament