Ashford were unable to break their lean spell on Tuesday evening, losing to Cockfosters in the Middlesex Charity Cup after a penalty shoot out, but the team that manager Paul Burgess was able to put out gave their all and it was many times better than last Saturday’s performance.

The pack was shuffled once again with Russell Canderton lining up at left back to allow Jim Mann to resume central defence duties, whilst new signing Adam Willis from AFC Hayes was on the bench.  Tyler Tobin was in goal.  Cockfosters were equally full of endeavour and whilst the match could never be described as a classic, both teams had their opportunities.  Neither team could make the breakthrough in the first half but finally, on the hour mark, Kofi Lockhart-Adams broke his scoring drought, knocking home from close range following a good effort from Joe Lynch.  

To their credit, the visitors refused to lay down and went for the equaliser in determined fashion.  Two superb stops by Tyler Tobin kept them out but they did eventually force a deserved equaliser.  Ashford then had the chance to clinch the match five minutes from time when Canderton’s shirt was pulled but a weak penalty from Lockhart-Adams was easily saved and so it was down to a penalty shoot out as there is no extra time in this competition.

Over the years, Ashford have generally done well in this scenario but it was not to be on this occasion.  Lockhart-Adams showed great character in stepping up to take the first penalty but sadly he once again saw his effort saved and Ashford were on the back foot.  Cockfosters took a series of unstoppable penalties and although Jamie Connor and Joe Hughes succeeded for Ashford, it was all over when Mann saw his well struck effort bring a smart save from the visiting keeper to secure his side a win by 4 penalties to 2.

Manager Paul Burgess and the Club have been rocked by a number of player departures in recent weeks, all for different reasons and most of them unexpected but the manager is working extremely hard to bring in new players to augment the present squad and he has the full backing of the Board to do so.  Recent results have obviously been disappointing but we need our supporters to back the team as we progress through this unusually indifferent spell.  It can be confirmed that Steve Scott and Alex Duffy have left the Club.  Paul hopes to appoint a new assistant manager shortly.

We now go to Egham Town in the FA Trophy on Saturday, where ex-Ashford player Lee Passmore has done a superb job in his first managerial role. On the basis of league form they will start as clear favourites but the side showed fight on Tuesday and you can be sure this week that the team will be giving it their all. 

There is no Suburban League match this weekend.