A fairly even match overall saw Ashford and Egham share the points on Boxing Day in a 1-1 draw, a result that most people thought accurately reflected the game.

The match itself marked skipper Russell Canderton’s 600th 1st Team competitive start for Ashford and supporters from both sides gave him generous applause and quite rightly as this is a terrific record that will certainly not be broken for a long time.

Ashford started well and dominated the very early possession but it didn’t last for too long and it was Egham who went ahead following a poor clearance from goalkeeper Tyler Tobin, back in league action for the first time since falling off a ladder at work several months ago.  Egham’s Jordan Berry, a recent recruit from AFC Hayes, made the most of the error to put his side ahead.  The visitors could have gone further ahead but for some excellent work by Tobin that more than made up for his slip, and, it has to be said, Ashford were grateful tot he woodwork.  Ashford’s best chance in the opening 45 came when Mark Bitmead got through but was unable to generate sufficient power in his shot.

The second half saw Ashford in determined mood and it was Dan Fleming who eventually notched the equaliser from the spot after he had been fouled just inside the area.  Ashford thought they had a second when referee Gill waved play on after a foul by an Egham player, allowing Alex Fisher to play on, crossing the ball to Fleming only for the referee then to bring play back and give the free kick instead as Fleming swept the ball into the net.  It didn’t look like great officiating, albeit an isolated incident, but it was Egham’s turn to be aggrieved later when a very strong penalty appeal was turned down.

As the match entered its dying moments both sides were determined not to let the precious point slip and thus it proved.  The Ashford “Man of the Match” by a close head was Max Webb.

In summary 2016 has been a good year for the Tangerines with promotion being sealed in the summer, followed by a very satisfactory consolidation in the first half of this season, from which we will hope to push on in the second half of the campaign.

A big thank you to all our supporters and we hope to see you at Farnborough on Monday 2 January, kick-off 3.00 p.m.  The next home match for the 1st Team is on Saturday 7 January, when Bedford Town will be making their first ever visit.

Vice Chairman Nick Bailey is planning the New Year’s Eve Celebrations at the Club and there will be more details in the next day or so.

Finally we send our deepest condolences to Fleet Town, whose Chairman Steve Cantle died suddenly on Christmas Eve, necessitating the postponement of the scheduled match between Fleet and Farnborough on Boxing Day.