Ashford took another step closer towards the Holy Grail of relegation avoidance on Tuesday evening when they beat 3rd placed Daventry Town by two goals to one.  With both Chertsey and North Greenford losing there is now a real fighting chance of keeping their Step 4 status if they can maintain their present momentum.

Both Scott Weight (unavailable) and Rhys Price (knock) were missing from Saturday, whilst Ben Murray made the difficult decision to restore keeper Tyler Tobin, unavailable on Saturday, to the starting line-up in place of Jacob Fuller who had given an immaculate performance against Potters Bar.  Jim Mann and James Awosifan stepped in for Weight and Price.

It is fair to say that Ashford were probably playing Daventry at the right time with the visitors facing their fourth match in eight days as they strive to make up their fixtures and it was Ashford who were quicker off the blocks with Daventry clearly struggling to find their normal accustomed form.  Eventually the Ash Tress took the lead six minutes before half-time when there was a trip in the area and Awosifan stepped in to open the scoring from the spot, his first ever penalty for the club.

The anticipated onslaught from the visitors in the second period didn’t really materialise and just six minutes into the half, Tom Brunton hit a low effort from just outside the area which found the corner of the net, to double the lead. 

After that there were a few close shaves but Ashford had not generally looked like conceding their lead until just three minutes from the end when keeper Tobin was adjudged to have fouled his man and received a caution for his troubles.   It seemed a harsh decision by referee Hayden, who otherwise refereed the match well, but Daventry’s Berwick duly reduced the arrears and Daventry went on the offensive to try to rescue something from the match.  There was too little time though with just three minutes being added on and Ashford were able to celebrate another unexpected but superb win.  Ashford “Man of the match”? – plenty of candidates but for the writer James Awosifan shaded it, giving his best display yet in an Ashford shirt and already a supporters’ favourite.  Honourable mentions for everyone else though, including Ben Ewing who bounced back from a fairly ordinary performance on Saturday and Jim Mann, who gave a controlled display in front of the back four.

Before the game, if Ben Murray had been offered a point against Daventry and then another one against Dunstable on Saturday, he would surely have accepted it, but we now have three points in the bag and who knows what Saturday will bring as yet another of the top teams visit Short Lane in the shape of Dunstable Town.  More on that one later in the week but the important thing now may just be, unbelievably possibly, that the team need to guard against any misplaced confidence.  Yes they have battled for everything in this six match unbeaten run and thoroughly deserve the plaudits from the supporters but we are still bottom and there is still a lot to do and the battling and scrapping for everything needs to be maintained right to the end of the season.

Don’t forget that the Under-18’s who rather rejuvenated their own season last week with their excellent 4-1 win at Staines Town, make the short trip to Bedfont Sports this evening in the Ryman Youth League, kick-off 7.45 pm