On a bog of a pitch, that made any normal football difficult, to say the least, Aylesbury and Ashford share the points in a 2-2 draw on Saturday, and fair play to both sides who gave spectators a committed display despite the conditions.

Despite once again being without key players through injury and suspension, Ashford started well and Max Webb had an early effort saved by the keeper but on six minutes Aylesbury took the lead with one of the poorest pieces of defending all afternoon.  A routine high ball seemed straightforward enough to be cleared without real pressure but it wasn’t and with Tyler Tobin wrong footed, Aylesbury’s Brian Haule put his side into the lead.

Ashford to their credit fought back with gusto and no little skill at times and the equaliser arrived just after the half hour mark when Jack Beadle, looking back to his best form, slotted home to level things up.  The opportunity came following excellent work by Tommy Brunton to win the ball for Samad Kazi to shoot.  It came out and Jack was on hand to ram it home.

With the pitch becoming ever wetter and the tackles flying in, it was inevitable that referee Gill would be busy, with Scott Weight picking up a booking for a deliberate trip, which on another day could have been deemed serious foul play and a red card.  Matters got worse though on the stroke of half-time, when Aylesbury’s Ty Deacon suddenly threw a punch at Max Webb in a mad moment, when he did not get the foul he thought was merited.  The referee had no choice but to send him off for violent conduct.  To his credit, Webb made no effort to retaliate.  A number of others, inevitably, involved themselves but Mr. Gill blew for half-time to allow everyone to cool down.

Facing ten men in the second period, the advantage had swung in Ashford’s favour but although they held territorial advantage for much of the half, poor and hurried finishing ruined a number of good opportunities and sure enough it was the home side who broke away and it was Haule with a cool finish who put his side ahead for the second time.  Minutes earlier Ashford had been incensed when Aylesbury’s giant defender Derek Feyi had attempted to pull down Beadle as he ran through, only for the referee to play an assumed advantage which came to nothing.  Feyi escaped without even a yellow card.

Ashford persevered though and once again it was Webb at the heart of it, crossing for Samad Kazi to power home an unstoppable goal for the Tangerines.  After that matters rather petered out and whilst it could and should have been all three points, the conditions had taken their toil and with Haule showing all his experience up front for Aylesbury whenever he had the opportunity, a draw seemed satisfactory enough on the day.

If anyone is still wondering why Mark Bitmead is an automatic selection for Ashford when fit, one only had to look at the number of chances created through excellent play that were not taken for one reason or another.  Tommy Brunton, Jack Beadle, Max Webb and Samad Kazi all had excellent matches for the Tangerines but all of them had good chances to score and couldn’t take most of them.  In the end Beadle took the “Hitchcock & King Ashford Man of the Match Award” and it was well merited although others were close, but the whole side deserved their applause at the end.  Effort and determination remain at 100% despite the indifferent run in recent times.  Well done also to the number of supporters who travelled, many thinking it may have turned into a wasted journey.

On Tuesday this week, Ashford have a “Meet the Manager & Players Evening” when individual player sponsors can have their photo taken with their chosen player and there is also an opportunity to quiz the manager and players upon anything you wish to ask.  In addition, there will be hot food for everyone, plus bar deals and plus the big European matches on television.  Everyone is welcome to come along for a good evening.

The next 1st Team match is next Saturday when we host Kempston Rovers.  We played in midweek at their ground earlier in the season and lost 2-3 on an evening when we had almost a whole squad missing for one reason or another.

The Under-18’s, now reinforced with a number of 2nd year players travel to Aldershot Town on Wednesday evening, and will be boosted to an extent by their draw at Northwood last week.  Meanwhile the Ladies fought out a 2-2 draw against Godalming on Sunday, with both sides having their eyes upon winning the division.

Forthcoming Events

02 Jun 2018
11:00AM -
Junior Presentation Day and Evening
09 Jun 2018
09:00AM - 09:00PM
Junior Tournament