Northwood

Ashford’s recent slump showed no signs of ending on Saturday as they succumbed to a 0-3 defeat at home to Northwood.  It is an often stated theory that nothing goes right when you’re at the bottom or close to it and this time it was a dismissal for keeper Paul McCarthy on the stroke of half-time that effectively decided the match.

He came out to deal with a long ball and this writer was too far away to judge how much of a foul it was, if at all.  The referee though was within a few yards of the incident and seemed happy to allow play to continue until he saw an assistant waving his flag some 60 yards further from the incident than himself.  The outcome was that McCarthy was sent off for preventing a goal scoring opportunity.  The referee said afterwards that he had already made the decision to send the keeper off and that he merely wished to consult with his assistant.  It certainly didn’t look like that.  What is probably fair to say is that it seemed a harsh dismissal with other defenders certainly not too far from the incident and on another day with different officials, Paul would probably have not have been making the long walk.

At the time the match had been fairly even and although Northwood had gone one up, Ashford were very much in the game.  However, with Mark Gallagher, making his first full appearance, having been sacrificed to allow replacement keeper Tyler Tobin to come on, the ten men immediately found themselves two down as the free kick for McCarthy’s alleged indiscretion was well placed, giving Tobin no chance.

So at 0-2 down and a man down, Ashford had 45 minutes to rescue something from the match but rarely looked like doing it.  That said, the ten men battled away and showed great spirit, duly acknowledged by some of the Ashford supporters at the end.  Northwood though had the last word as Ashford conceded a further goal right at the death.  Mark Tobin's report is on line.

There is an excellent article on the forum concerning the present situation at the club and all we can do is support the manager as we have another crack at Northwood on Tuesday evening, this time in the Red Insure (League) Cup, again at Short Lane, kick-off 7.45 p.m.

Before that though, the Suburban team are at home this evening (Monday) to Hampton & Richmond Borough Reserves in the 2nd Round of the Middlesex Premier Cup, with the winners drawn at home to Bedfont & Feltham in the next round.