- Created on Wednesday, 04 December 2013 17:17
- Written by Drinkwater
Ben Murray would like to invite all supporters, directors, club members and anyone involved with the Club to come along tomorrow evening (Thursday) from 8.30 p.m. onwards to meet with the current crop of players for a drink and a chat.
Also, having seen the video of the match taken by Enfield Town, we have to officially award the third goal to Scott Weight as, although he was kindly prepared to claim it, Adam Turner, by his own admission was actually nowhere near the goal when the ball went in!
- Created on Tuesday, 03 December 2013 17:30
- Written by Beaker
A fantastic second half performance saw us overturn a 0-1 half time deficit to runaway 3-1 winners against Enfield Town in the Middlesex Senior Cup on Monday evening.
This was an interesting game on paper, as both sides have had a confidence sapping run of results in the past few months and with Enfield deciding to mix their first team players with a few of their undefeated under 21 side after the weekend’s game, it was to be a game where both teams would need to attack.
After Saturday’s game and a gruelling trek around the M25 on a Monday night, Ashford themselves arrived with a few changes to their squad after the defeat to Chalfont. Conor Moody started in central midfield with Scott Weight and Jack Beadle was given a start on the wing, Adam Turner was partnered up top with Cyril Ocansey, while Harry Driver was restored to right back and Jack Mullan moved into centre back with Russell Canderton. Jacob Fuller was also handed his first senior cap in goal.
After a lacklustre first half hour of the game, it was Enfield who were on top, neatly playing some nice passing football on the lovely playing surface. Ashford though were also creating chances of their own and as they picked up the tempo of the game, it was Enfield who found the gap and slotted the ball through to their forward who finished extremely well, leaving Fuller with no chance in the Ashford goal.
As mentioned, Ashford though were creating chances and had a number of opportunities in the first half, but with the ball often breaking down in the final third without really troubling the home keeper.
The second half saw a completely different game, with Ashford pressuring Enfield in their own half and it paid dividends. Ashford were then the dominant team in possession and it led to the Enfield defenders getting deeper and deeper, which enabled Ashford to win themselves a penalty when Harry Driver was brought down in the box. Adam Turner slotted the ball away coolly to put the teams level.
Ashford were now in the ascendency and were often going forward and pushing on as the stronger side. Cyril Ocansey was put through on goal, and with a defender hassling him, he superbly lifted the ball around and over the goalkeeper to give Ashford the lead.
The final goal of the evening was scored from a set piece corner and with a number of Ashford players able to put pressure on the Enfield keeper he spilled the initial corner and the ball was rocketed into the net by Adam Turner.
It capped off a well-earned, long awaited and deserved victory and it was plain to see with the reaction of the Ashford players after the final whistle, how much the result meant.
Ashford will now entertain either Harefield United or Hayes & Yeading in the quarter finals on Tuesday 11 February.
- Created on Wednesday, 27 November 2013 12:29
- Written by Drinkwater
With reference to the vacant manager’s position, Chief Coach Ben Murray, assisted by Russell Canderton, has been offered the opportunity to see if he can turn around the Club’s dismal fortunes this season. No time limit has been put on the matter but the situation will obviously be reviewed again in due course. Everyone at the Club will wish Ben good fortune in taking on what is currently a very tough task.
Although we specifically said that the job was not being advertised, at least ten people, some of whom would certainly be welcome at the Club, made contact in one way or another and we would like to thank them for their interest.
Ashford put out a patchwork team at Merstham in the Surrey Senior Cup on Tuesday evening, with injuries and unavailabilities taking their toll. There were 1st Team debuts for Wesley Lennon up front and George Armstrong in goal. Both gave their all and George did really well apart from conceding a soft goal right at the death to give Merstham a 3-1 victory. He should not be too disheartened though, proving himself an able deputy for Tyler Tobin, who was suffering a minor knock last night but who will be fit for Saturday.
Sadly though, after pushing the case for Murray, the club’s senior players are not exactly promoting his cause as indiscipline raised its head yet again. This time it was Scott Weight who went crashing into a senseless challenge on the halfway line, with no imminent threat of danger and for no obvious reason, giving the referee no option but to send him off and with it went Ashford’s chances of winning the game. They were one down at the time but had played some of their best football of the season up to that point and were very much still in the match against capable opponents. Scott has been a rock for this Club over many seasons and his loyalty cannot be questioned, so having stated the facts, he will not receive any further criticism from the web site but we need him on the field, not off it and he will now incur a four match ban.
Having gone ahead before the incident, Merstham, who have some speedy forwards, soon doubled their lead but all praise to the ten men who gave it their all and reduced the arrears in the 83rd minute when Cyril Ocansey, arguably Ashford’s best player on the night, crashed home from the spot. It really did look for a few minutes as if the ten men might just force extra time but Armstrong conceded at the death, and Merstham, deserved winners, went through to the next round, in which we wish them well.
It’s back to the League on Saturday when Ashford will be at home to Chalfont St. Peter and there is little doubt that whatever team is put out, it will be committed. Concerted efforts are being made to strengthen the squad and there could be a new face or two over the next few days.
In case the football alone is not enough to tempt you along, this week’s Guest Ale at the clubhouse is Caledonian’s Autumn Red (4.4%). It is an absolute snip at just £2.90 per pint.
- Created on Sunday, 01 December 2013 12:32
- Written by Drinkwater
A positive performance but again, one that brought no points, was Ashford’s fate on Saturday against Chalfont St. Peter, who fielded two ex-Ashford players in Terrell Lewis and Davis Haule.
Ben Murray again tinkered with his personnel, bringing Conor Moody into the squad, and restoring quietly effective left back Joel Jacobs, ineligible for the County Cup match against Merstham, to the side, along with Mitchell Fountain. Harry Driver was missing, serving a one match suspension. There were no new players but there is every possibility of the squad being strengthened before next Saturday.
The first half was relatively even but Ashford conceded midway through, the manner of the goal leaving Murray apoplectic with rage, as a routine cross found a Chalfont forward completely unmarked at the far post with the simple task of nodding the ball home. This came soon after Adam Turner, toiling away manfully up front on his own after Perry Luckins had gone off injured, had missed the opportunity of putting Ashford ahead when, having decisively gone round the keeper, he rolled the ball, admittedly from a tightish angle on to the post and away, instead of finding the empty net.
Undaunted Ashford went about their business in the second half and were generally well on top but the equaliser just would not come, despite any number of good chances, the clearest one coming right at the end when Scott Weight blazed over from close range. A loud penalty appeal for handball was correctly turned down by referee Gillett, although two minutes later he did give Ashford a free kick for an identical handball but this time deep in their own half. Overall though, the referee was excellent. Chalfont were always in the game but in terms of possession, the least Ashford deserved was a point, possibly all three, and it was good to see those loyal supporters in attendance clapping the team off at the end. There is no doubt that such loyalty is appreciated by the players who may not have the quality of some of our teams in the past but are showing 100% endeavour.
Ashford now face the unusual situation of having to field three teams on Monday evening, with the 1st Team obliged to travel half way round the M25 to play Enfield Town in the Middlesex Senior Cup. It is an oft repeated complaint that invariably falls on deaf ears but perhaps one day Middlesex County will see the logic of making the early rounds of this cup regional. We do enough travelling in the League without needing difficult journeys like this on a Monday evening but so be it.
On the same evening, the Suburban side will entertain Cobham Reserves in a league match, kick-off 7.45 p.m., whilst the Under-18’s travel to play Aldershot Town at Godalming Town’s ground. The Under-18’s finally broke their duck last week with a 2-2 draw away to Northwood, so well done to them, as they continue a learning process which will hopefully be valuable experience for them.
- Created on Sunday, 24 November 2013 20:37
- Written by Drinkwater
If you are Wayne Rooney, you only get a yellow card for blatantly kicking an opponent. Sadly Jim Mann is not Rooney and all hope of Ashford ending their long miserable run disappeared against Potters Bar in the second minute of the game when Jim kicked out at an opponent and Ashford were down to ten men for the seventh time this season.
Tyler Tobin made a superb save from the resulting penalty kick but Ashford were always up against it after that and a goal in each half from Potters Bar sealed their fate. That said, the ten men, under the control of stand-in manager Ben Murray battled hard and had plenty of the game but without really threatening the visitors’ goal. Their closest efforts were a first half header from a corner by Adam Turner which just cleared the bar and a late flurry which saw Cyril Ocansey go close with a snap shot. Turner in particular ran his socks off throughout the match but Tobin was probably Ashford’s “man of the match” making one or two incredible saves at times. Murray did not make too many changes but re-introduced Mitchell Fountain to the starting line-up and he did well enough.
There is some relief from the League on Tuesday evening when Ashford travel into Surrey to meet Merstham in the 2nd Round of the Surrey Senior Cup, with the winners due to entertain either AFC Wimbledon or Carshalton Athletic in the 3rd Round.
Merstham are old CCL adversaries but we have only met once in the 21st century and that was also in the Surrey Senior Cup in January 2009 when we lost at Merstham by four goals to three, our scorers being Scott Harris, John Palmer and Byron Harrison.
Kick-off on Tuesday is at 7.45 p.m. and the address of the ground is the Moatside Stadium, Weldon Way, Merstham, RH1 3QB