AylesburyA whole heap of criticism on the web site will probably not help the situation but it has to be said that Saturday’s disjointed performance at Aylesbury, where Ashford lost 0-5, can fairly be reckoned as one of the Club’s lowest points in recent seasons.  Following the battling display at Slough in midweek, it was as disappointing as it was unexpected.

Manager Paul Burgess left Jim Mann on the bench to allow new signing Qaseem Sotonwa from Staines to come in at the back and Chris Robinson was moved from right to left back.  Joe Hughes made his second start up front and Joe Lynch was in from the start., with Terrell Lewis missing, re-called, hopefully temporarily, by Harrow Borough.

Ashford were though on the back foot from the moment the match started with the new look back four looking distinctly uncomfortable and nobody, with the honourable exception of young Joe Lynch who ran his socks off throughout, looked their normal selves.  It was typified by the fact that Paul McCarthy’s first three clearances all went into touch and that type of malaise seemed to affect everyone.  Any pre-match planning was quickly out of the window as Aylesbury stormed into a three goal lead, including a penalty for a rash tackle by Robinson, who certainly did not look happy on the left.

Any hope that Ashford might resurrect something from the remaining two thirds of the match was quickly dispelled as a tackle from Scott Weight, no doubt borne out of frustration, was both high and late and he was correctly sent off the field.

The match plodded on and whilst things were a little better in the second period as Ashford made a number of tactical changes, it was always a case of limitation as opposed to any hopes of getting anything from the game.  That didn’t really work well either as Aylesbury added another two to their tally, one coming from a poor back pass by skipper Russ Canderton, and they should probably have had at least one more, with two strong penalty shouts being turned down.

Ashford did carve out one excellent chance to at least achieve a consolation goal but Robinson, having got into a great position, blazed over with just the keeper to beat.  Manager Paul Burgess barely emerged from the dug out during the second half and was doubtless thinking of what he can do to rescue Ashford’s season, which is rapidly disintegrating at the moment.  We have seen already this season though, that this new group of players are more than capable of giving the best a run for their money and suddenly the Middlesex Charity game at home to Cockfosters on Tuesday evening becomes more important.  It is always so easy to criticise from the touchlines of course, and it was hard not to do that on Saturday, but as this largely new squad looks to gell, they need to develop some confidence and that will only come from putting a result or two together and going back to basics, the first one possibly being to defend far better than we have so far this season and to improve on discipline which frankly is poor at present with three dismissals already and far too many cautions.  The sending off on Saturday probably did not have a bearing upon the destiny of the three points but it certainly ruined any possibility of a come back.

The Suburban side were only able to draw two apiece at Farnham Town.

This week, as mentioned the 1st Team are at home on Tuesday to Cockfosters from the Spartan South Midlands League whilst this evening (Monday), the Under-18's go to Camberley Town in the Ryman Youth League, both matches kicking off at 7.45 p.m.