With both clubs marooned at the foot of the League, there were reasonable hopes pre-match that Ashford could finally get some points under their belt on Saturday at home to neighbours Chertsey Town, but it was not to be, as Chertsey went away with a 2-0 victory.

The excellent drainage at Short Lane did its work again and the pitch was passed fit for play.  It was the only game on in the area and drew Ashford’s best attendance of the season of 185.

It was a bright enough game and in terms of overall possession, Ashford did more than enough to get something from the match, if not all three points.  At the start, in particular, Ashford dominated proceedings but could not make the breakthrough and a familiar story started to emerge when Chertsey veteran John Pomroy scored the only goal of the half, deftly steering it past Tyler Tobin.  Ashford were not playing badly by any means though and Joe Bennett and Jack Mullan looked as if they must both score, only for one to be thwarted by a great save and one by the woodwork.

The second half started in similar vein and as the Ashford pressure grew it seemed that a goal had to come and then came the incident that effectively handed the match to the visitors.  Perry Luckins involved himself in a skirmish and his retaliation was such that he was probably fortunate to only be cautioned, although quite why the Chertsey player involved got off scot free was not clear.  Luckins though had lost his head:  it was plain to see and before he could be substituted, there was another incident and he undoubtedly made contact with an opponent.  It was more of a toe poke than a kick and the Chertsey player involved can hardly be proud of his part in the incident, as he feigned injury when he clearly wasn’t hurt in the slightest, but the Ashford player gave the referee no choice.  He left the field snarling and with him went any hopes of rescuing the game.

Ashford still had plenty of the match but the momentum had gone and the visitors sealed the win seven minutes from time with a quality strike from Billy Wilson.  There was still time for Jack Mullan to have another effort cleared from the line, the third time in the match that had happened but Ashford’s fate was sealed.

Where do we go from here? Firstly, Ben Murray will be given every chance to rescue the situation.  It looks fairly hopeless but with still 18 games to go, we are not giving up yet.  Just as Paul Burgess was let down by indiscipline, now so has Ben, and Saturday was a kick in the teeth for him, as he has worked tirelessly to change the club’s fortunes.

There is no midweek 1st Team game but we now face two very tough games, away to Kettering Town on Saturday and then at home to Daventry Town on Tuesday week (28th).  There was a little confusion over the Daventry match as somehow the date had been shown as this Tuesday 21st but that is not the case.

The Under-18’s who have shown improved form of late are due to be playing at home tonight (Monday) when they will entertain Potters Bar Town in a Ryman Youth League match, kick-off 7.45 p.m.   The Suburban League game away to Knaphill was postponed on Saturday so the next action for the Reserves is on Monday week when they entertain Uxbridge Res.