1. Ashford away to Hayes & Yeading on Saturday
2. S. Comb Cup win on Tuesday
3. Ladies in Women’s FA Cup on Sunday
4. Under-18’s back in action at Short Lane on Monday
Ashford make the short trip to the The SkyEx Commuinity Stadium, Beaconsfield Road, Hayes, Middlesex UB4 0SL on Saturday to meet Hayes & Yeading FC, who are without doubt one of the favourites for promotion at the end of the season. The Tangerines will need to be on their mettle to achieve a result. The same could have been written last season when both clubs were in the Southern League but we won both games and whilst the home match was reasonably comfortable in our favour (4-0), the away game needed us to do some fairly desperate defending at times to hold on to all three points.
H & Y currently sit in 5th place in the table having won all three home games, with 13 points from their six league games to date. They have scored 22 goals in those matches which illustrates their goal scoring potential. We are now in 9th place and have won our last three matches in all competitions, including, of course, the FA Trophy win last Saturday over Heybridge Swifts, who, incidentally, have now appointed Julian Dicks, the ex-West Ham player as their new manager.
After running up a 4-0 lead, we gave ourselves a little scare when Heybridge scored twice in as many minutes midway through the second half, but over the full 90 minutes it was reasonably comfortable and we now go on to entertain Westfield on the next round, next Saturday. The supporters’ vote gave the “Hitchcock & King Ashford man of the match” award to James Cottee but no less than eight players received votes from our supporters which signified an excellent team performance on the day.
In midweek we faced CCL side Chessington & Hook United in the Southern Combination Challenge Cup when Ben Murray made wholesale changes to the team to allow some of the lads who haven’t played so much lately to come in and press their claim for a regular spot. It is fair to say that Chessington were limited as far as attacking options were concerned but they defended with determination and that, plus failure to take some fairly straightforward chances saw the teams turn round level at half-time. Buoyed by some wise and fairly loud remarks from manager Murray, Ashford came out like trains in the second half and, although they continued to resist, Chessington could not turn a determined tide and it was not too long before Nebay Haile opened the scoring with a clever flick from close range.
Four minutes later a clumsy tackle by Chessington’s Ben Ewing, who used to play for Ashford, saw a penalty awarded and Kofi Lockhart-Adams made no mistake from the spot.
In a rare attack that looked suspiciously offside, Chessington pulled one back soon afterwards but that was the only scare and the game meandered to the finish, with Ashford seemingly content with their evening’s work.
The reward for the win will see the Tangerines travelling to Camberley Town in the 2nd Round on a date to be advised.
On Sunday the Ladies have their biggest match of the season when they entertain Kent Football United in the 3rd Qualifying Round of the Women’s FA Cup. Kick-off at Short Lane is 2.00 p.m. and entry is £5. The winners will progress to the 1st Round of the Competition and if it is the Tangerines, it will replicate last season’s performance. Please be aware that the cost of entry has been fixed at £5 (concessions apply).
We are pleased to report that Joe Monks has taken on the challenge of managing the Under-18 side who will face Potters Bar Town here at Short lane on Monday evening (7.45 p.m.). We anticipate a virtually new squad of players who will hopefully enable us to compete at this level.