MATCH PREVIEW: Ashford vs Whitstable Town | FA Trophy 2nd Round Qualifying
by Alan Constable

After playing some highly familiar opponents recently, Ashford find themselves playing a new club on Saturday, in the shape of Whitstable Town, from Kent, in the 2nd Qualifying Round of the FA Trophy, a competition that has given us a number of memorable matches over the years.  We very much welcome our visitors to Short Lane.

Both of us are members of the Isthmian League, albeit in different divisions, our opponents being in the South Eastern section.  At this moment they are in 5th place having won three and lost three of their opening league matches.  A number of other clubs have matches in hand on them and league positions make little difference at this early stage but their results have been a little up and down by the look of it, the latest result being a 0-6 home defeat against Hythe Town on Tuesday evening, a result that has dented their goal difference considerably with nine goals scored and fifteen conceded in the six league games played to date.

Maybe that was something of a freak result on the night as before that, they had won three league matches in a row, all against Sussex clubs, although they did also suffer a fairly heavy defeat, 1-5, to Premier Division Carshalton in the FA Cup.  This is their first match in this season’s FA Trophy, having received a bye in the opening round when we were playing Hullbridge.

Their best season in the competition was in 2013-2014 when they battled through five rounds before going out narrowly in the 2nd Round Proper at home to Ebbsfleet United.

I’m sure everyone’s sick of hearing it now but please remember that it’s table service only at the bar and we must have everyone sitting down please and properly spaced out around the pitch.

The Tangerines will come into the match in good spirits after efficient performances both last Saturday against South Park and at Northwood on Tuesday.  Saturday’s match will be tough as all of them are but it is always good when confidence is high.  From the supporters present on Tuesday the general view was that Sam Humphries, scorer of our second goal, should take the Hitchcock & King “man of the match” credits but in truth it could have been just about anyone, including Paul McCarthy, with yet another penalty save after a dodgy handball decision against Daryl Harrison.

Following Saturday’s match, we are not back in action until the following Saturday when we travel to Harlow for a league match, kick-off 3.00 p.m.