It was a tough afternoon for the Tangerines at the RPS as, despite great possession and plenty of opportunities, they couldn’t find a way through the Bedfont Sports defence and their inspired goalkeeper.
On any other day Ashford could have had two or three in a dominant first half. They peppered the Bedfont goal in the early part, with a series of fine crosses and corners from Aaron Petch out on the wide left but just couldn’t convert the chances. With a few changes from the team that won away at Uxbridge (some forced upon manager Russell Canderton) the home side burst out at Bedfont from the get go, and it was just looking like a matter of time before they took the lead. The first good chance came in the 9th minute when Scott Weight let fly with a shot from the edge of the box after more good work from Aaron Petch, but the effort went wide of the far post. Two minutes later Kelvin Adjei and Robert Mundow got to a through ball ahead of on rushing Bedfont keeper Dimitri Kyriatzis. The resulting distant shot at the empty goal ending wide left though. On 15 minutes Ashford were almost ahead again when a superb corner from Aaron Petch swung in on the line but somehow evaded the connection needed to head home. And the home team were through yet again in the 20th, but Kyriatzis was out quick to block the chance.
As the first half wore on Bedfont weathered the storm and started to settle. They created their first opportunity in the 34th minute with a good move down the left wing, but the cross to the centre missed everyone as it flashed across goal. A minute later it was the same again as another cross from the left found an unmarked Sports striker at the back but it rebounded out off the foot of the post. After having dominated the first half an hour the Tangerines were now living dangerously. Stepping back up Ashford pushed forward again looking for that breakthrough before half-time, but neither side could make any further chances before the break.
The second half kicked off and picked up right where we left off. Ashford having more of the ball and looking to attack, Bedfont trying to soak up pressure and hit on the break. The deadlock was finally broken in the 51st minute when a ball over the top of the Ashford defence was won by the quick run of Andy Ali who raced through and slotted well past Sam Mason for the opener. Most probably against the run of play, but a well taken chance never the less. Both sides made changes around the hour mark with Ashford changing their system in a bid to take advantage of the play they were creating. Another great corner in the 70th minute was just begging for an Ashford head to nod it home, but again nobody could get that vital touch. And 4 minutes later a great move saw Kelvin Adjei through and in to the box but Kyriatzis was again out quick to block the chance.
The home crowd thought the equaliser was there in the 86th minute as Sam Humpreys turned on the edge of the box and hit a beautiful shot towards the top right corner, but there was Kyriatzis again with a superb diving save. Things got more difficult for the visitors a moment later when defender Imran Uche was giving his marching orders for a second yellow card offence, and with 6 minutes added time indicated Ashford looked to take advantage and push on again. They created another fantastic chance in the 96th minute but with the ball on the line there was that man Kyriatzis yet again to block another certain goal. The Bedfont Sports man of the match was certainly the difference in the end, and had it not been for his string of saves and blocks, the Tangerines would most certainly have taken the 3 points. A very frustrating afternoon for Ashford, who now have a little gap until next Saturday away at Marlow followed by a busy string of fixtures before the end of the month.