Ashford’s recent fine form came to an end with a bang on Saturday following a 0-5 defeat away to Beaconsfield Town. It was the heaviest defeat of the season and the first time we had conceded five goals in a league match since we lost 3-5 at Royston Town in December 2016 and the first time we lost a league match by a five goal margin since 12 April 2014, when we were defeated at home 0-5 by Slough Town.
Snow fell throughout the match, accompanied by a freezing wind and it cannot be denied that the home side looked more eager and determined than the visitors for much of the game, which came as a surprise to the smaller than usual number of Ashford followers, following the incredible will to win displayed by the team in recent weeks especially against Hayes & Yeading.
The damage was done in 18 devastating minutes in the first half. After a fairly even open period, Ashford, without key players Tommy Brunton and Jack Beadle, conceded the opening goal when Alex Fisher miscued a back pass which presented Beaconsfield’s Lee Barney with an opportunity to score and he took full advantage. From that moment almost to half-time, Ashford fell apart, leaving Beaconsfield to score three more to give themselves an almost unassailable four goal lead at the break.
One suspects that there were some strong words at half-time and play for the whole of the second period was relatively even but even when they did make chances, the visitors were unable to convert them. Tom Howard played as well as anyone else in a tangerine shirt and he was unlucky on one occasion, whilst Lee Decabo, deputising for the injured Brunton was put through by Howard but was blocked before he could get a shot away and so it went on. Beaconsfield were content to play within themselves knowing the match was won a fact that was emphasised in the closing minutes when they made it five.
There was a moment of controversy near the end when Samad Kazi, pushed up front, raced on to a through ball and sustained what looked a bad injury as he collided with the onrushing keeper. It seemed to the writer as if Kazi had just reached the ball first before being clattered but nothing was given. It is fair to say there was no intent on the keeper’s behalf but intent is no longer a factor in determining whether or not a foul has occurred, but it just emphasised it wasn’t Ashford’s day, especially with Scott Weight also sustaining an injury, limping off
We can only put it behind us and move on to the next match, back at Short Lane next Saturday, when Barton Rovers will be the visitors.
As you may have read, British Airways are not renewing their ground share option for next season, so we are looking for new partners. We have been in meaningful contact with two clubs but nothing has been resolved yet, so anyone interested should get in touch (07956 930719)