Ashford made it eight league wins in a row on Saturday beating Horley Town on their own excellent ground by four goals to nil.

After a first half that could have seen the Tangerines scoring more than the two they did, it was the home side who got on top for quite a while in the second period but they had no fire power on the day and two more goals in the final ten minutes ensured a comfortable victory for the visitors in the end.

In front of the League Chairman, Ashford produced some excellent football in the first half and whilst Horley looked dangerous once or twice, the level of possession enjoyed by Ashford led to them deservedly going in front on 27 minutes, albeit that the goal came from a fairly soft penalty.  There was no doubt that Mark Bitmead was the recipient of something of a shove and the referee could not be faulted in his application of the law but it wasn’t a huge shove and it is a fair bet that on another occasion a penalty might not have been awarded.   Bitmead took it and duly scored into the bottom right corner.  On the overall run of play, it was no more than the visitors warranted and when Bitmead scored again four minutes later, one wondered if the floodgates may open.  His name isn’t to hand but Horley’s keeper kept the home side in the match on several occasions, denying both Conor Moody and Bitmead’s fierce efforts, to name just two.

Ashford keeper Tyler Tobin was less busy but still had to be sharp on a few occasions but, as we have come to expect, he once again gave a flawless performance.  In the meantime Joe Hughes had come on for Dan Fleming, suffering from a knock.

The second half was different.  It was bound to be the case that the home side would be looking to fight back and they did so with gusto for quite a while.  Ashford were suddenly sloppy in possession and Horley should have pulled one back when a misplaced pass from Tommy Brunton, who otherwise played well, put Horley’s leading scorer Ashley Nadesan in on goal.  Fortunately for the visitors, his attempt to swerve the ball round Tobin went wrong and well wide.   Other efforts though were well saved by Tobin whilst Jack Mullan and Kieran Wright, ably assisted by full backs Elliott Jones and Alex Fisher, looked solid at the back for the visitors.

It was something of a surprise to Ashford's ever growing support when the buccaneering Moody was substituted but Ashford still made chances of their own and another excellent run from Bitmead had seen Brunton knock his effort just over the bar.  Joe Hughes and inevitably Bitmead also went close.  The match was sealed with ten minutes left and once again it was Bitmead, who thus completed his hatrick and was the well deserved recipient of the Chad Beadle “Ashford man of the match award”. Hughes in the meantime had been showing some fantastic skills on the ball, and had been unlucky not to notch himself.  Max Webb was the unwitting recipient of a clump on the head from Horley’s big central attacker in a curious and  isolated incident that inevitably saw the offender dismissed, leaving Ashford to finish matters off with the fourth goal in stoppage time, Jack Beadle scrambling it home to set his own personal Ashford record of scoring in three consecutive matches (four if you count the Hanworth Villa friendly).

With the news that Spelthorne had finally dropped some points, having shared a goalless draw with Camberley and that Molesey had lost against Hartley Wintney, the win was good enough to see Ashford nicely tucked in, in second spot behind Cove, who won again, beating Bedfont Sports by two goals to nil.

In other news, Ashford have added to their squad by signing Joe Green from Knaphill FC.

There is no midweek 1st Team match so the next outing will be on Saturday 27 September when Ashford will entertain Farnham Town, who could do themselves and Ashford a big favour on Tuesday evening when they entertain Cove in a local derby.  The Under-18’s, doubtless keen to improve upon last week’s display, are at home on Wednesday evening when they will welcome Met Police U18 in the FA Youth Cup, kick-off 7.45 p.m.