As the heat beat down on the RPS Ashford quickly returned to League action after the disappointing FA Cup exit on Saturday.
With just a 48hr turnaround Ashford faced a daunting prospect in high flying Westfield who were yet to concede in the league. There were several changes from Saturday, with two new faces in the starting eleven, and Ashford started the game with much more determination and effort having the better of the early part of the game. Scott Weight went close with a header from a corner just clearing the bar, and then Max Webb forced the keeper in to a low save from another. Kelvin Adjei worked tirelessly up front, causing problems for the Westfield defence, but Ashford were unable to make the breakthrough. Westfield slowly grew into the game, and pushed on more after the water break midway through the half. Honours were even going in to the break, with both sides having worked hard in the heat but creating no more real clear-cut chances.
The second half picked up where the first left off, with Westfield slightly on the front foot looking to take control of the game. A great move engineered in the 50th minute led to the Westfield opener, Anthony Oaks finishing with a well placed shot in to the bottom corner. In response Ashford looked to get forward in search of an equaliser, but were undone in the 59th minute when the referee harshly awarded a penalty after Nathan Pooley’s tackle was adjudged to be a foul, even though contact with the ball had been made first. Aaron Watson stepped up to convert from the spot and make it 0-2. Again Ashford responded positively looking to get forward and created a couple of good chances to get back in the game. Pierre Morin had a shot blocked just inside the box, and Tommy Brunton’s follow up was similarly blocked. Max Webb then did well making a strong run in to the Westield area where he was clearly pushed in the back, but with no penalty given Westfield cleared the ball up field putting Max Blackmore clear where, despite being yards offside, he raced through to slot home the third. In celebrating even some of the Westfield players laughed and said they couldn’t believe the decision.
From then on Ashford couldn’t raise their game, and got caught out again a few minutes later as Blackmore grabbed his second, and Westfield’s fourth, in the 90th minute. If some of the earlier chances had been taken, and with a bit more rub of the green, things could have been a lot different, and the score line is possibly not a good reflection of the overall game. Despite this considerable improvement things don’t get any easier for the Tangerines as they now travel to Bracknell Town on Saturday.