Sat 16 Feb 19: Ashford 0 Chipstead 0
In the previous two matches between the clubs this season, one cup, one league, there had been a total of ten goals so it was typical of football that this one should end goalless.
There was general agreement that this was not a classic match, which is something of an understatement. It was though full of endeavour from both sets of players doing their best and as always one has to take the positives. From Ashford’s point of view a draw is distinctly better than a defeat (nothing like stating the obvious!) and maintained the Tangerines’ position in the top half of the League. Also it was a second clean sheet in a row.
Without the recently departed Mark Bitmead, and the absence of the unavailable James Cottee and Max Webb, Ashford’s line-up showed a number of changes from the previous week’s win at Hertford. Scott Weight was finally able to start a match after his long injury, whilst the return of both Tom Howard and Tyler Tobin was another welcome sight. Indeed Tom went closest with the best opportunity of the match only to be thwarted by an acrobatic save from the visiting keeper, on loan from Fulham.
There isn’t really too much else to report except that the ball spent a lot of time in the air. Ashford looked more than capable at the back, with Tobin not being too busy behind the resolute defending of Adam Baigent and Elliott Poley, the latter being named the Hitchcock & King “Ashford Man of the Match” Jack Beadle ran himself into the ground as usual whilst Kofi Lockhart-Adams did his best to bring a little skill into the proceedings.
It is only natural that an eye would be kept upon how recently departed players are getting on. The obvious one was Mark Bitmead, who was left on the bench by Harrow, coming on late on in a 1-4 defeat at Farnborough, whilst Alex Fisher found himself in the same position for Met Police. Bradley Wilson, who moved on to Chipstead is now back at Fleet Town, who will almost certainly be in Step 5 next season, after being dealt a rough hand by the FA in the summer.
Next Saturday, it’s another home match when we welcome familiar opponents in the shape of Northwood to Short Lane.
In the meantime though, Southall are at home again on Tuesday evening when they will be entertaining Horley Town, kick-off 7.45 p.m.