Sat 16 Mar 19: Marlow 1 Ashford 0
A somewhat patched up Ashford side gave their all at Marlow on Saturday against very strong opposition who had beaten Hayes & Yeading the previous week. In the end a solitary goal decided the matter in Marlow’s favour when, shortly after half-time, goalkeeper Tyler Tobin was unable to hold on to a high swirling corner under pressure that ended with the hosts scoring the only goal of the game.
It was obvious before the match that the fierce wind would play a huge part in the game but it was so strong at times that it didn’t really help either side. Marlow enjoyed much of the early possession, despite kicking into the face of the elements but even with the absence of the unavailable Adam Baigent, Ashford defended stoutly and, at times, with fierce determination. Behind the defence, Tobin was at his absolute best making a string of saves whilst Elliott Poley was a tower of strength.
Ashford came more into the match but all too often were caught offside as they tried to make progress. Nevertheless the scoreline remained blank at the break. When Marlow then took the lead after the resumption, one wondered if that might open the floodgates but far from it as Ashford continued to defend with determination, although Samad Kazi was lucky to escape with a yellow card for a very late tackle at one point. As the game progressed Ashford did make some several forward forays but were unable to make any of them count and the game ended with another narrow defeat.
Despite that, manager Ben Murray was pleased with his side’s effort and application which would certainly have seen them achieve more against a less efficient side than Marlow are this season.
Ashford now turn their attention to the match on Tuesday evening away to CCL side Abbey Rangers in the quarter final of the Southern Combination Challenge Cup. Ashford usually use this competition to give game time to players who need it but with a mid table finish now looking certain as far as the league is concerned, Murray may well field a stronger side. The winners will be at home to Walton Casuals in the semi-final. Kick off at Abbey is 7.45 p.m. and the address for anyone who doesn’t know is: Addlestone Moor, Addlestone, KT15 2QH. There is no extra time so we would go straight to penalties if the scores are level after 90 minutes.
Next Saturday we are at home to Uxbridge in the League.