Ashford made it six wins in a row in the League on Saturday defeating Frimley Green by three goals to one.  Despite the previous assumption of being able to field a full strength side, Ashford found themselves without both Russell Canderton and Max Webb, unavailable, whilst Rob Curtis was only on the bench after a minor knock in the Daventry game.  Manager Ben Murray also shuffled his pack a little as Alex Fisher returned at left back and Conor Moody, Tommy Brunton , Joe Hughes and  Kieran Wright all started.  Tom Hill was a little unlucky to only find himself on the bench, whilst  Dan Fleming and Mark Bitmead continued to look threatening up top.

On a good albeit sloping surface, Ashford tried hard to re-create the smooth passing game that has been a feature so far this season.  Against physical opponents, who saw three men cautioned in the opening half, it did not always come off but Ashford were still able to turn round two goals up, both coming from Mark Bitmead, who also hit the woodwork with another fierce effort.  The two goals were both as a result of impressive combination play between Moody and Bitmead, both of whom were the main contenders for the Chad Beadle unofficial “Ashford Man of the Match award” won in the end by a single vote by Moody.

Things looked comfortable as the second half started but Frimley came out fired up and suddenly Ashford did not look as much in charge as they had for the opening 45.  It was crucial for the home side that they scored a goal to get back in the game, and they did so on 54 minutes, from the spot, when Alex Fisher’s tackle was eventually deemed to be inside the penalty area, after consultation between referee and assistant.  It was confusing as the referee initially awarded a free kick outside the area, and the assistant made no move to take up the penalty position, as they are apparently required to do this season, rather than putting the flag across the chest.  It was confirmed and admitted afterwards though that the referee eventually got it right.

For a while Frimley were in the ascendancy.  Their main tactic was to hit it long towards the big Darryl Bloxham, normally a defender but playing up front.  It worked to a large extent as the hard working Bloxham seemed to win the ball almost every time for a while but it failed in another sense as no-one was able to get on the end of any of his touches, which were a little hit and miss on occasions.

Nevertheless, Frimley remained in the match for an uncomfortably long period as Ashford spurned two or three opportunities to put the match beyond the home side.  Relief finally came though with around five minutes left, when a defensive error put Moody in possession and for the third time in the match he laid in Bitmead, whose finishing was deadly yesterday and he completed a well merited hatrick to put the game beyond Frimley.

It was another three points for Ashford but further proof that there will be no easy games in the way that there used to be when Ashford were in the League last time round.  Coming after the rigours of the two tough matches against Daventry in the FA Cup, the win though was good enough, with both Cove and Spelthorne in FA Vase action, to take the Ash Trees into second spot behind Molesey, who maintained their 100% record with a 3-0 win over Westfield.

In midweek Ashford are without a competitive fixture but will entertain Wokingham & Emmbrook on Tuesday evening, in a friendly, kicking off at 7.45 p.m.  As an added incentive, the current guest ale is Rev James 4.5% Bitter on tap from the Brains Brewery.  Brains is a Welsh brewery, based in Cardiff,  and this particular beer is brewed to a recipe first used in 1885.