Ryman Youth League West Division
The short journey down the M3 saw Ashford pitched against the league leaders Camberley Town. This was always going to be a hard fixture but after the previous performance vs. Potters Bar it was even more essential that the young tangerines could bounce back from the defeat. What followed was a display that would now be the benchmark that all future performances would be judged by.
Conditions seemed perfect for the young Tangerines to express themselves. Decent pitch, great weather conditions and the motivation after the last performance to show to the lead leaders exactly what they could do. A new system which played to the main strengths of the squad saw a more defensively set up starting line up but with the ability to hit on the counter and from the start Ashford imposed themselves. Dominating from the start Ashford ripped into the lead leaders creating havoc and creating three chances that wasn’t finished. New signing Tom Bovington was giving the Camberley right back a night to remember by constantly beating him and squaring balls back almost at will. Ryan Marklew, Conor Molyneaux and top scorer Eva Batousal all had opportunities to put Ashford in front but couldn’t find the net after some great interplay. In the 37th minute though that was to change when Batousal found himself free in the box after great work by the influential Bovington and his swivel and left foot finish found the bottom right hand corner of the goal. 0-1 to Ashford and totally deserved. Half time came with Ashford dominating and Camberley finding it tough to get out from their half.
It was obvious from the shouting from the Camberley changing room that the second half was going to be tough with Camberley fired up after their half time grilling. Discussions in the Ashford dressing room were based around staying calm and not getting pulled into the fight that was about to commence. However three minutes into the half Ashford conceded a freekick 40 yards out and the resultant freekick causes a back post scramble which ended up with a Camberley equaliser. The worst possible start but how would the boys react after conceding so early? That was the important factor to consider. The result was incredible- the young tangerines tried as much as they could to try and break down the Camberley defence but to no avail. The game ended 1-1 and Ashford knocked Camberley off the top of the league in the process.
After a game like Potters Bar it needed a response and boy did we get one! An incredible performance that showed how far as a team we had come. Every single player did the club proud and at the end of the match they had nothing left. I said that they had set a benchmark after the game and that they will be judged in comparison to what they did against Camberley. I think that the Camberley report said it all…
‘The first half performance was a little below par and the visitors took the lead eight minutes before the break. Camberley’s half time team talk seemed to do the trick as Jacob Smith levelled the scores with the second half just 3 minutes old. Ashford Town pressured Camberley near the end of the game for a winner but Camberley held out for a well deserved point.’
Held out they did but Ashford did everything that they could to break them down. On another night that score could have been 1-5 but the key thing was that the team was starting to produce what we knew they could do. Next up a derby match vs. Staines Town and hopefully the momentum going into this match will fire the team to victory.
Squad: Tyler, Lynch, Newbury, Neville, Molyneaux (Sam), Bovington, Lavander, Molyneaux (Connor) (Capt), Large, Marklew, Batousal, Umoh, Read, Dyett
Man of Match: George Lavander