Ashford need their luck to change.  For the third game in a row and despite playing generally very well on a difficult heavy surface against a good  Hartley Wintney side, another match was lost on Tuesday evening, yet again as the result of a very late goal, two minutes into stoppage time.  This defeat was particularly frustrating as Ashford generally played better than their hosts and deserved a draw at the very least.  What matters though is who puts the ball in the net and the very late goal from Hartley’s Rowan Vines , his second of the game, ensured the points stayed at home.

As is procedure, there was no award for the” Hitchcock & King” Ashford Man of the Match last night, as the game was lost but had there been, it would surely have gone to Jack Beadle, playing down either flank, but mostly on the left side.  He gave his full back a torrid evening at times and was instrumental in Ashford’s opening goal, weaving his way past two defenders and crossing for James Cottee to help it on to the unmarked Max Herbert who made no mistake.

Despite the treacherous surface, both sides showed great endeavour and although the home side had enjoyed less of the ball, they always looked dangerous when coming forward and they equalised on the stroke of half-time.  Mitchal Gough, usually imperious as he brings the ball out of defence, hit a poor pass for once, leaving the dangerous Vine to score from close range with Ashford defenders caught out of position.

There was no let up in effort with both sides giving it their all and Ashford had ample opportunities to re-take the lead, all spurned sadly, although  Paul Strudley in the home goal pulled off several smart saves, one of which drew gasps of admiration from all.  Tyler Tobin was also busy and was perhaps fortunate not to concede a penalty at one point, the referee deeming that he had got something on the ball before his opponent tumbled.

As the conditions took their toll, play eventually slowed a little and a point apiece seemed reasonably fair as the game went past the 90th minute.  Hartley though broke Ashford hearts at the death when a deflected cross found Vines whose controlled header gave Tobin no chance in the 92nd minute.  Even after that Cottee had the opportunity to level matters up but it wasn’t to be.

It’s gone now and no point worrying as the Tangerines now have two home matches in quick succession starting with Hanwell Town on Saturday, followed on Tuesday evening by the visit of Aylesbury United.