AylesburyOn a quagmire of a pitch Aylesbury and Ashford nonetheless conspired to produce an entertaining match, the final outcome being a two-two draw, which was probably the fairest result overall with play continuously from end to end throughout.  That said, Joe Bennett, Samad Kazi and Tommy Mooney all missed absolutely guilt edged chances in the final quarter of the game, none of them able to beat Simeon Charles in the Aylesbury goal.

Ashford had skipper Russell Canderton missing with a slight groin strain, leaving Jim Mann to come back in as skipper to partner Bairoh Conteh at the back.  Joe Bennett and Jack Mullan were also restored to the starting line-up and it was good to see Harry Knock back on the bench and raring to go after his recent injury.

Ashford started well and were rewarded on just nine minutes, a snap shot from Kofi Lockhart-Adams giving Charles no chance.  Sadly from Ashford’s point of view, it took Aylesbury just four minutes to equalise as Sonny French, arguably the best player on the pitch, evaded several tackles to score.

Ashford continued to play with enthusiasm on the difficult surface though and went ahead for the second time on 25 minutes, when Matt Baxter made no mistake from close range, the ball actually passing through the goalkeeper’s legs.  It took Aylesbury longer to level things up this time, but still only eleven minutes as Liam Fowler took advantage of Max Farrelly’s cross tobeat Paul McCarthy.

Give the end to end pattern of the match, it would have been reasonable to expect more goals in the second half but despite the efforts of both teams there was no further scoring.  Ashford had three superb opportunities as mentioned above but Aylesbury themselves had one ruled out for offside, whilst ex-Ashford player Brian Haule saw another chance stick in the mud before being cleared.

Referee Dolton had a good game, generally refereeing with common sense and talking to players, the only blot on his performance being what seemed a very harsh booking for Matt Baxter as he challenged for the ball in the goalmouth. 

Ashford now make the short journey to Burnham on Tuesday evening, with their hosts currently at the top of the table.  It will be another tough match against a very physical side but Ashford have already won there this season in the League Cup and will be well prepared for the game, knowing exactly what to expect.  More on the midweek fixtures tomorrow, with the Suburban team first up on Monday evening when they entertain Hartley Wintney.