Ashford 1 – 5 Hampton & Richmond
Tuesday 25 August 2020 | Preseason Friendly
A big test of the Tangerines against Step 2 opposition at a wet and windy RPS.
The excitement was there for our first home game of the 2020/2021 preseason. With the fans allowed back it made for a big night out. Lots of COVID preparation, and hard work all around the ground to get things ready so that everyone could be welcomed back. For Hampton & Richmond this was their first preseason friendly so it was even better that supporters could get down and see their teams in action.
It was always going to be a strong test for Ashford, but having a number of key players unavailable or picking up knocks in the game prior, definitely did not help. And with Hampton bringing most of their first team, with some trialists, the difference in levels was evident from the off. They created two very good attacking opportunities within the first three minutes. The Tangerines did compete well though and looked to get close to their opponents. It wasn’t until the 13th minute that Hampton broke the deadlock to take the lead.
Ashford continued to be combative and press until Hampton took a second chance and doubled their lead on 21 minutes. Clinical finishing from the visitors. The Tangerines weathered the storm on the pitch, and the rain and wind, well following the second goal but Hampton always looked dangerous in attack. They bagged a third just before half time when a low drive from well outside the box skidded through the out-stretched Jake Maddock in the wet conditions.
Five minutes after the re-start and it was 4 to the visitors with a header from a well floated corner. Again the visitors taking full advantage of their chances in front of goal. Ashford did settle a bit more again and got forward whenver they could but just found the Hampton defence very strong and well organised. With that extra yard of pace and extremely calm on the ball. Jake Maddock then made a good save down to his right to keep out a likely fifth goal.
The Tangerines had a good effort in the 62nd minute. A nice attacking move ending with a run and shot from just outside the box by Aaron Petch which may well have troubled the Hampton keeper had it not been defelected for a corner. Ashford did grab a goal in the 80th minute though, Dan Brown first to a through ball ahead of the keeper and then tapping in to the empty net to make it 1-4. Hampton stepped it back up a bit from here and netted a fifth with virtually the last kick of the game.
This may have been a hard test against much higher opposition, but it was a great game with lots of things to take away and look at. Ashford certainly were not bad as the scoreline might suggest on first look, the energy and desire was still there as was the game plan and work rate. On this ocassion the difference in levels made all the difference, especially when it came to taking those goalscoring opportunities.
A huge thanks to Hampton & Richmond Borough, and all of their fantastic fans who braved the stormy weather. We wish you all the very best for the rest of the season.
Winchester City (HOME) – Preseason Friendly | Sat 29 August 2020 KO 3:00pm
**FANS ARE BACK!!**
Venue: Robert Parker Stadium, TW19 7BH – VIEW ON MAP
Admission: £5 / U16 Free
N.B. Restricted capacity 200 max. Social Distancing and COVID-19 guidelines in place at all times.