Sadly there will be no Cup Final for Ashford at Aldershot this season following last night’s defeat at the hands of Cove by 5 goals to 3 in the 2nd Round of the Aldershot Senior Cup.

Although it had been hoped that a modicum of 1st Team players might play in the fixture, in the end, it was only two of those who had been involved in the previous evening’s match at Wealdstone who took the field, namely Mark Bitmead and Perry Luckins, the latter pressed into service as an emergency central defender.  Against an efficient Cove side, in 4th place in the CCL, that proved insufficient and we wish Cove all the best in the remainder of the competition.

On another freezing evening, the match started poorly for Ashford with Cove taking the lead as early as the third minute.  Cue pantomime season from Mr. Referee soon afterwards as he awarded a penalty to Cove from distance only to be finally persuaded by his assistant that, if there had been a foul tackle, it was some distance outside the area.  Not to be outdone, Mr. Referee then decided that Paul McCarthy in goal had held the ball for longer than the statutory six seconds, an offence that doubtless every keeper in the land is frequently guilty of.  On this rare occasion (the first time I’ve ever witnessed it) a free kick was given some ten yards out and it was akin to giving the eager visitors another goal, an opportunity they took with gusto.

Ashford fought back and half retrieved the situation when Mark Bitmead thundered in a trade mark free kick.  Within minutes Cove scored again but two minutes after that Harry Roberts got it back to 2-3.

For a while in the second half Ashford looked as if they might get something from the game but two quick goals from Cove in the final fifteen minutes put paid to that idea.  Ashford’s young team kept going though and scored a delightful third goal with two minutes left when Tommy Mooney weaved his way through from distance and scored with some aplomb.  It was too late thought to mount any further comebacks and Cove will now travel to Badshot Lea in the 3rd Round of the competition.