Sat 10 March 2018
Evostick League South – East Division
Fleet Town 1 Ashford Town (Middlesex) 2
A workmanlike performance gave Ashford their third consecutive victory on Saturday, as they won by 2 goals to 1 at Fleet Town.
Jack Beadle was away, sunning himself in Mexico, but otherwise Ashford were at full strength and full of confidence after their win at Hayes & Yeading in their last match. Both sides though made a lively start and both could and probably should have scored within the opening five minutes. Tyler Tobin had to be down at his near post to keep out an early Fleet effort whilst home keeper Liam Beach had to be equally adept to prevent James Cottee from giving Ashford the lead.
All this early activity suggested there would be goals and it was Fleet who went ahead on 15 minutes. Ashford were looking for an offside flag that never came and it was Toyosi Olusanya who put his team ahead.
The lead idi not last very long as Ashford quickly fashioned an equaliser. Tom Howard, looking better every match, laid the ball off to Tommy Brunton on the left flank and his inch perfect cross was met by Cottee whose header gave Beech no chance.
Despite playing up the slope Ashford were starting to look good and it was not a major surprise when they took the lead on 37 minutes. Once again, Brunton was the provider as he swept a long ball out to Samad Kazi on the right flank and he swivelled to crash the ball home for an excellent strike. Although Fleet were far from finished, Ashford were looking reasonably comfortable at this point, the main area of concern being a perceived inconsistency from referee Desborough, he who had sent Will Boye off at Farnborough when he was actually nowhere near the ball. On this occasion Scott Weight was rightly yellow carded for a deliberate trip on an opponent but this was minutes after a Fleet defender had carried out a tackle near the corner flag at least as bad and arguably more dangerous, without even a word from the official.
The second half saw both sides going at it hammer and tongs and Fleet could never be discounted. Ashford, although generally still looking comfortable for much of the time, really needed a third goal to settle the nerves but a degree of profligacy in front of goal was spoiling any number of attacking moves, and it never materialised. Fleet persisted but mainly with long punts up field from the keeper just about every one of which was dealt with in commanding fashion by Mitchal Gough and rather played into the visitors’ hands.
The scorers were not troubled again leaving Ashford very happy with three points at a ground where they have often found it difficult to win in the past. After the match, the Ashford “Hitchcock & King Man of the Match” was Tommy Brunton, as voted by Ashford supporters. Thank you to Fleet for a very warm welcome.
The Tangerines are away again on Saturday this time to Beaconsfield Town where another tough match awaits with the home side very much in the running for promotion. More on that later in the week.
In the meantime, as mentioned above, we have a friendly at Short Lane on Tuesday evening against British Airways who are closing in on promotion to the CCL next season. Kick-off is 7.45 p.m. and it is £3 entry (children under 16 free). The Under-18’s are without a game this week, whilst the Ladies beat Kingstonian Ladies on Sunday 3-0, with two goals from Ashley Cheatley and one from Lucy Thornton, her first in Ashford colours.
All the Champions League matches on BT Sport will be on at the club this week.