In a similar match to that on Saturday, Ashford went behind to Southall in the 2nd Round of the Middlesex Charity Cup on Tuesday evening but two goals in the last quarter of the match turned matters around, with the Tangerines progressing into the last eight of the competition.
Southall have generally been doing well in the CCL and it was clear from the start that a depleted Ashford side, with Scott Weight, Jack Beadle and James Cottee all either injured or unavailable, would not find it easy against a lively and highly committed opposition.
Both sides on an unusually dry pitch for this time of the year found it difficult to get the ball down and there was little quality football with the ball being in the air for much of the time. It was no surprise that there was no score at half-time.
Ashford introduced Tom Dilloway at half-time for Joe Green, presumably suffering from a knock and much of Ashford’s attacking play came down their left flank, with Dilloway prominent. It was Southall though who took the lead almost immediately courtesy of Courtney Austin, a quick break completely catching the Tangerines out.
If Southall had scored again and Tyler Tobin remained the busier keeper, it would have been doubtful that Ashford would have been able to come back but the introduction of Nebay Haile on 65 minutes ensured that Kofi Lockhart-Adams had greater support up front and the game was gradually turning in Ashford’s favour. The equaliser came from Haile on 74 minutes, a crisp shot finally beating Rourke Pickford in goal for Southall.
Five minutes later the game was turned on its head as Mark Bitmead, whose non-stop running had once again been impressive, finished from an acute angle. Southall were incensed as they felt there had been a foul in the build-up and they had a point but as always only one man’s decision counted and the goal stood. It was all too much for Southall’s Keiron Bradwell who had already been fortunate to stay on in the first half after an expletive laden rant at the official. He finally received a yellow card but after leaving the field with an injury he found himself unable to keep his views to himself and received a second yellow for his troubles whilst on the bench.
Ashford were more or less in control now and saw out the final ten minutes plus a marathon seven minutes stoppage time and are now in the quarter final of the competition, the draw for which is due to be released at 3.00 p.m. this afternoon.
Another very tough game is coming up on Saturday when we travel to meet Cheshunt and there will be more on that one later in the week.
Our unstoppable Ladies Side firmly cemented their place at the top of the Premier Division of the Greater London Women’s League on Sunday with a hard fought 3-2 win against Tottenham Hotspur Development Ladies. The Ashford goals came from Rebecca French, Ashley Cheatley and Laura Huse. We are still awaiting the date of the eagerly anticipated home semi-final in the Bostik League Women’s Cup against Charlton Athletic Ladies but this coming Sunday the Ladies will be away to Wealdstone Ladies in the League Cup.