Ashford have a rest from league competition on Tuesday evening when fellow Middlesex side Southall FC come to Short Lane to contest the 1st Round of the Middlesex Charity Cup, to see who will entertain either Enfield Town or North Greenford United in the 2nd Round.  Kick-off is 7.45 p.m.

Southall are, of course, one of England’s great non-league names but after losing their superb old Western Road ground in 1992, they were in the doldrums for several years but hung on in there and have now made their way back into senior football, playing in Division One East of the Hellenic League, in which they currently sit in mid-table with seven points from seven matches.

In the past more than one famous player has worn the colours of Southall but perhaps the most well known face these days is no longer on the field but their chairman, Tommy Taylor, ex-West Ham stalwart.  This evening’s match will be the first under newly appointed manager Emanuel Asare, appointed to the position over the weekend.

There has to be a result “first time” but for some odd reason there is no extra time in this competition.  If the scores are level after 90 minutes, the match goes straight to a penalty shoot out.

Unlike one or two in the past, manager Ben Murray is taking all the cup competitions very seriously this season and whilst it is not the FA Cup or Vase, Ashford will be fielding a strong team, although given the current excellent form in which every senior player is playing his part, it would be difficult to say exactly what our strongest team is at the moment.

Having mentioned Southall’s old ground, it was one of the highlights of our very first season in senior football, back in November 1990, to have the opportunity of playing there in the Middlesex Senior Cup, when a one-one draw after extra time necessitated a replay.  Due to not having lights at the time, Alan Boon at Staines was kind enough to allow us the use of Wheatsheaf Lane for the replay a week later and an incredible match saw us winning by six goals to four, once again after extra time.  Our scorers that evening were Andy Smith (2), Ian Miles (2), Colin Hammond and Nigel Mathurin.  Our team was Burgess, Oram, Wharf, Vaughan, Andrews, Xibberas, Hammond, Mathurin, Miles, Smith and Cloke, SUBS:  Hill, Steve Wyatt, Mark Wyatt and Fabian.  Ref was Mr. Barnard-Smith to whom we awarded 8 out of 10, so he must have done well!

Since then senior meetings with Slough have been spasmodic and always in one or other of the Middlesex Cup competitions.  The most recent occasion was back in November 1999, when we recorded a 1-0 victory, again after extra time in the Charity Cup.

Ashford have won this competition twice in our history and nobody who was there for the most recent occasion will forget it as we turned round three goals down against Northwood at half-time, only for Kofi Lockhart-Adams to come on and score four goals in a dramatic turn round which saw the game end four apiece.  Ashford then won the penalty shoot out and Kofi scored again.