Ashford are going through an annoying patch at the moment when they can’t even pick up any points when they play well, let alone in a match of this nature where only one side deserved to win.  That said in the match on Saturday against Hanwell Town, there was a rousing fight back in the first half after conceding twice, only to be followed by a second half performance that can only be described as deflating for all concerned.

Hanwell started well and made it count on 9 minutes when Oliver Duffy struck from a free kick.  Samad Kazi then seemed to have done everything right when he broke through, rounded the keeper and rolled the ball towards the empty goal.  It looked all the world as if it was going in and probably would have done in normal conditions but with the pitch in a heavy condition, a defender made it back and just managed to clear it off the line.

To add insult to injury Hanwell doubled their lead very quickly.  Tyler Tobin beat out a hard effort but he couldn’t hold it and it rebounded to Wayne Carter who made no mistake.

Ashford rallied well and were knocking on the door, culminating in arguably the best goal of the game when Jack Beadle cleverly released Alex Fisher down the left flank and his cross was fired home by Max Webb.

Ashford continued to have the better of it for the remainder of the half but were unable to equalise before half-time.  Everyone though had formed the impression that it was only a matter of time, an illusion shattered after just four minutes of the resumption when Tobin miscued a pass back, succeeding only in looping the ball into the air and presenting Hanwell’s Peter Dean with one of the easiest goals he will score.

It was a rare error and there was still 41 minutes to rescue the situation but the goal seemed to draw the life out of the team and it was fairly evident long before the end that the match was lost.  Hanwell only scored one more through Harvey Killeen on 78 minutes to give a final scoreline of 4-1 in favour of the visitors.  Things went from bad to worse when Mitchal Gough was sent off, quickly followed by debutant Lori Festus, who created something of an undesirable record by picking up two yellow cards within six minutes of entering the field.  We won’t comment on the referee  but this game was the first league match all season in which Ashford have suffered a sending-off, let alone two, the only previous one being that incurred by Yah-ya El Kabouche in the FA Trophy match against Hastings and for those who didn’t realise, the referee that day was also Mr. Rudd.  The sending-offs came late though and had little to do with the result, other than emphasising it.

The Tangerines have more pressing concerns.  The squad looked wafer thin on Saturday with Scott Weight, James Cottee and Jabir Laraba all unavailable.  Fortunately the next match, also at home, comes quickly, on Tuesday evening when Aylesbury United will be the visitors and it is a chance to rebound.  Whatever it takes, we need to quickly restore the confidence that saw us flying in the first three months of the season.

There are two matches scheduled at Short Lane this week, as Wednesday is due to see us entertaining Staines Town U18 in the Ryman Youth League when rumour has it that Ashford’s squad will be much boosted.