North Greenford UnitedIn the previous two matches against North Greenford this season, Ashford found the going quite tough, despite winning, but on Tuesday evening, they managed to secure a fairly comfortable 3-1 victory to complete a league double for the season.

At one point the match seemed in doubt as some of the floodlight bulbs went out, along with other lights inside the club including those in the dressing rooms.  The referee decided though that there was enough brightness to play and all credit to the home club who called in the Electricity Board very quickly with the result that by half-time power had been completely restored.  An acknowledgment should also be made about the excellent condition of the pitch which had clearly received some considerable TLC following the Middlesex Premier Cup Final last week, which had reduced it to a quagmire by the end.

Ashford were without the suspended Paul McCarthy, Jacob Mingle and Kofi Lockhart-Adams but they were barely missed, especially in goal where Tyler Tobin, making his full debut, never put a foot (or a hand!) wrong.  In truth he was rarely under any pressure as Ashford dominated possession and yet it took a freak goal for them to go ahead on 25 minutes.  It doubtless happens to all keepers at times but on this occasion it was ex-Ashford keeper Lee Pearce who was left red-faced as he allowed the ball to run under his foot and nestle softly in the back of the net.  The strike was credited to Pietro Palladino but it was without doubt a very soft goal.

That said, Pearce later more than made up for his error with a number of superb saves, that kept his side in the match and there was almost an equaliser just before half-time when firstly Tyler saved acrobatically and was then relieved to see the rebound blasted over the bar when it looked easier to score.

Ashford needed another goal and fortunately it came just eight minutes into the second half when Palladino, generally acclaimed as Ashford’s “man of the match” by the meagre support, brought down a high ball with apparent consummate ease before moving forward to blast it past Pearce with aplomb.

Nroth Greenford had their moments after that as Ashford became rather sloppy at times but the result was sealed with five minutes left when Javonne Molloy, making his debut after signing from Feltham, hit home a crisp shot to make it three.

North Greenford did have the final word when an inexplicable handball by Bairoh Conteh, under no pressure, gifted them a penalty in the final moments, blasted home by Liam Hind.

One hopes that the weather will have become a little kinder before Ashford make the short trip to Uxbridge on Thursday for their second league match of the week.