Chalfont St Peter“Spitting feathers” would be an apt way to describe manager Paul Burgess’s feelings as Ashford conceded a goal in stoppage time, after looking as if they would take all three points away from their visit to Chalfont St. Peter on Saturday.  This followed a stirring second half display, which had seen them overcome a goal deficit at half-time to go in front by two goals to one.

The first period saw both teams going hammer and tongs at each other and there were chances at both ends, although Ashford’s best opportunities came from home defenders, as they twice they hit their own woodwork.  The only goal of the half came from Chalfont shortly before half-time as Ashford waited for an offside flag that never materialised.

Not because of the goal but once again Ashford were unhappy with the refereeing as a dangerous two footed lunge at Ed Thomas earned the perpetrator only a yellow card.  The decision was soft but Thomas carried on his protestations too long and ended up with the same punishment as his aggressor.  One can argue the referee had no choice but to caution the Ashford player, the first of the season incidentally by any Ashford player for dissent, but it seemed wrong that two very different offences merited the same outcome.

Ashford had a determined look about them in the second half and it only took until the third minute for the equaliser to come.  It was hard at first to see who got the final touch but it turned out to be Mark Bitmead who was a thorn in the side of the Chalfont defence for much of the afternoon.

Although play was not entirely one-sided, Ashford did seem to be enjoying much of the possession and it was no real surprise when they went ahead, this time through the speedy Samad Kazi who got the most delicate of touches on the end of a low cross from Bitmead, to steer the ball into the net.

With thirteen minutes on the clock, Ashford attempted to close the game out bringing on Jack Mullan at the back at the expense of striker Kofi Lockhart-Adams.  It seemed perfectly logical but it reduced Ashford’s threat up front and left the visitors facing a rearguard action from the home side in the closing minutes.  Despite the pressure though, Ashford seemed to be coping confidently and a great chance to increase the lead went begging.

As the match went into stoppage time though, the ball was given away in midfield resulting in a corner kick.  Ashford failed to defend it properly and Chalfont notched an equaliser, leaving Ashford in despair after feeling they had done enough in the second period to merit all three points and against a decent team at that.

Upon reflection though, all away points are good and it is another unbeaten match in the current sequence of results. Chalfont will take plenty of points from other teams this season, especially at home and with the top two, Godalming and Guildford slipping to an extent in recent matches, although Guildford won again yesterday, no one is going to race away with this division’s championship.  If Ashford can reproduce their second half form in this match on a regular basis, they will have as much chance as anyone else.

Next up is an away trip to Ash United on Tuesday in the Surrey Senior Cup but more of that tomorrow.