Sat 22 Sep 18: Ashford 0 Bracknell Town 5
Writing match summaries is a less enjoyable task when you’ve been beaten quite heavily, hence the delay in this summary as Ashford lost 0-5 at home to pacesetters Bracknell Town on Saturday.
Not even the most dedicated Bracknell supporter would have forecast such a scoreline at half-time though as a tight match saw the visitors holding a slender one goal lead. Indeed, Ashford, with Tom Howard, recently back from Merstham, and straight back into the starting eleven, had looked good, except that is, in the finishing department, with three golden opportunities spurned to take the lead. Indeed, from one of those chances, the visitors went straight down the field and showed how it should be done.
It was frustrating and the frustration grew within seconds of the second half starting as the Tangerines missed another decent opportunity only to see Bracknell tear down the field and double their lead. The visitors are not top of the league with maximum points for nothing and everyone knew it was going to be a much tougher task from that moment. So it proved and although Ashford continued to strive, it was the visitors who notched a third goal courtesy of a dreadful mix-up at the back which opened the floodgates with two more coming very quickly.
The match was clearly over for the Tangerines although they did steady themselves not to concede any more goals and all that could be done was to congratulate the visitors who had continued to pour forward whenever they could, even after they had established a comfortable lead.
The defeat and the manner of it in the end was obviously disappointing and belies the fine performance at Tooting the previous week. There is though an early opportunity to redress the situation as Ashford are in action again on Tuesday evening when they make the short trip to Molesey. In a stark contrast to Saturday, Molesey find themselves at the foot of the table but that does not mean the match will be any easier and Ashford will need to apply themselves fully if they are to get back to winning ways.
The address of the ground is Molesey FC, Walton Road, West Molesey, Surrey, KT8 2JG. There is a fairly large car park but it fills up quite quickly. Kick-off is 7.45 p.m. The last time the clubs met was in the 2014-2015 season when Molesey completed a double over us, winning both games 1-0 in what was the season they dominated the Combined Counties League and went up as champions. Indeed our record against Molesey is far from great, with the clubs having met both at CCL and Ryman level on eight previous occasions with only three going in favour of the Tangerines. For what it’s worth we can point to a 4-3 friendly win on the most recent occasion that we clashed, ours coming from Mark Bitmead 2, Max Webb and Joe Green.
It was a much happier story on Sunday as the Ladies continued on their merry way with an 11-2 FA Cup win over Ascot United Ladies by eleven goals to two, to secure a place in the 3rd Qualifying Round, in which they will be at home to either Burgess Hill Ladies or Kent United Ladies on Sunday 7 October, kick-off 2.00 p.m. Ashley Cheatley led the way with six of the goals, followed by four from Lavinia Neufville and one from Dana Johnson, her first since joining the club in this new season.
We have now lost our second U18 manager with Ahmed Ahmed resigning in the week. It looked as if we would need to finally make the decision to fold but one of last season’s incumbents, Joe Monk, has come forward to take up the reigns and we need to give him every support as the only alternative remaining is to resign and face a very heavy fine from the League. There was insufficient time to sort things out before Monday’s scheduled League Cup match away to Tooting & Mitcham, which we had to postpone. In doing so we would like to publicly acknowledge how helpful and understanding Tooting were in the matter, even offering to play the match on a different day if the League, also very understanding, permits it. There is now no match until Thursday 11 October when the side are due to play away to Potters Bar Town, so there is now a little time to re-organise.
Our partners Southall are also in action on Tuesday evening when they will be at Short Lane, entertaining Rayners Lane, in the 1st Round of the Middlesex Charity Cup, kicking off at 7.45 p.m.