Preview Ashford v Hartley Wintney, Sat 21 Apr 18
We have been advised today that we have to play at Marlow on Thursday evening, following the abortive trip to their ground last Saturday when they were unable to field a side. This comes two days after our Tuesday trip to Moneyfields, and two days before we visit Rushden & Diamonds next Saturday. We have only a small squad so nobody should be surprised if we end up with a hammering at Rushden which may well hand them the league title.
On the face of it, it seems an incredible decision given that the relevant rule (8.38) clearly allows the points to be awarded. If that had been done it would have affected no-one with both clubs in the middle of the table. Instead we are being punished for a problem not of our making. We have the option of a costly appeal to the Football Association but the League has not broken a rule so we would not win.
As a result we will just get on with at but it seems a sad note upon which to leave the League if, as intimated by the FA, we are transferred into the Bostick League next season. First things first though and on Saturday we welcome Hartley Wintney to Short Lane. It is an important occasion for our visitors as they have excelled in their first season at this level to the point where they are in with a shout of automatic promotion.
We don’t have the buzz of possible promotion this season but our opponents will know, given the recent history between us, that we will be very much up for it and hopefully everyone will enjoy the match. There is lots going on tomorrow as well as the game in that we have Gareth Coates Stag weekend party with us, plus some top class soul and jazz music in the club in the evening, and this is free to everyone.
As this is now definitely the last league match here at Short Lane for this season, we thank our supporters, and also our management and players. Had it not been for the losing run that hit us after Christmas, we would have been right up there and some of the football we have played on occasions has been fantastic, the 7-1 win over Kempston and the 10-0 hammering of Fleet, not to mention our fine victories in the FA Cup and Trophy. Wehave now had it in writing from the FA that we will be paid the prize money from the 3rd Qualifying Round defeat by Leatherhead, following the discovery that they had fielded an ineligible player against us. That will be £7500 but if it had come to light earlier we might just have beaten Margate in the next round just as Leatherhead did, and possibly have been on TV in the next round against Billericay, just as Leatherhead were. All speculation of course.
Also next Saturday at Rushden is a “pay what you want” day.