Ashford are going through what has now become a prolonged inability to win a game of football, or even score a goal.  In most of the seven match stretch since a win, the team has not played poorly very often and have often been highly unlucky, but on Tuesday evening, it can’t really be denied that it was an indifferent display all round that led to visitors Hanworth Villa winning by two goals to nil, to advance into the semi-final of the Middlesex Charity Cup, a competition that we won last season with a fine win over a full strength Wealdstone side.

Seven of the side that won the Final played on Tuesday evening and they have not become poor players overnight so why this slump has occurred is not clear, especially after the first part of the season when we were scoring goals for fun almost.

Internal tempers were frayed after the match on Tuesday with moans and groans coming from all quarters but only hard work will put the matter right.  Everyone gets disappointed when we lose and minor matters get magnified, but it is at times like this that the players need supporters to encourage, no matter how hard it is at the time.

As to the match, there is no denying that Villa were deserved winners.  The first goal on 10 minutes, after a bright Ashford start, during which visiting keeper Alex Partridge pulled off a fine save from Jack Beadle’s effort, was something of a wonder strike, hit with swerve and pace that Tyler Tobin almost reached to tip over the bar but couldn’t quite make it.

The second on 28 minutes came from an under-hit back pass that was seized on by ex-Ashford player Cyril Ocansey who made no mistake.

That was it for the first half and Ashford certainly improved in the second half.  It was only to a limited extent though and Hanworth, content to largely sit back, absorbed what pressure there was without difficulty.  The only real chance came right at the death when young sub Leo Decabo suddenly weaved a little magic as he went past two defenders with only the keeper to beat.  Unfortunately Partridge guessed right and kept the ball out for what would have only been a consolation. Ashford had debutant Daniel Emoven playing at left back, with Alex Fisher pushed up, and he did OK.  There will be missing players back on Saturday.  There is also possible expectation that a proven goal scorer will have been signed in time.for Saturday, when we entertain Northwood, kick-off 3.00 p.m.

They are the latest draw specialists with three of their January games ending all square, the other resulting in a 3-1 home win over Arlesey, who remain rock bottom.