Tue 21 August 18: Ashford 0 Hayes & Yeading 1 (Velocity Trophy – 1st Round)
Ashford’s interest in the League Cup, known as the Velocity Trophy in the Bostik League, was ended by Hayes & Yeading for the second season in a row, the visitors scoring the only goal of the game just 9 minutes in.
Manager Ben Murray made use of those members of the squad who have not previously started and there were 8 changes from the starting line-up that had faced Chipstead on the Saturday. The visitors apparently had made similar changes.
It was indeed the visitors who made the early running and they went ahead on 10 minutes. Ashford steadied though and Mark Bitmead almost levelled when he saw a superb effort tipped over soon afterwards. Much of the pressure was coming from Hayes though and debutant Sam Mason had to be acrobatic to prevent the visitors going further ahead. From the resulting corner Steve Loveridge cleared an effort from the line. Hayes then missed another chance that seemingly had to go into the net but didn’t.
The second half saw the Tangerines finally achieve come cohesion, restricting the visitors more than they had in the opening period, with the match becoming more even. Chances though were fairly light on the ground, the best coming when a fierce cross was almost met by substitute James Cottee for what would have been an unstoppable goal, such was the pace on the ball but as they had done for much of the evening, it was a Hayes defender who just got there first.
Referee Gilroy was upsetting the home bench whose perception was that he was awarding the visitors too many soft free kicks and missing one or two the other way but it had no major influence upon proceedings in which a young and new Ashford squad battled hard against a dogged and physical Hayes side who deserved the win and we wish them all the best in the next round.
Next up is the FA Cup when we travel to Cray Valley (PM) on SUNDAY (kick-off 3.00 p.m.) and there will be more on that one later in the week.