Ashford completed their first double of the season on Saturday with a 2-0 win away to FC Romania, courtesy of two goals in three minutes in the first half, both coming from the boot of James Cottee who would surely have received the Hitchcock & King “Ashford Man of the Match” had enough Ashford supporters travelled but sadly there were very few on a cold afternoon.
The first on 32 minutes saw Cottee receiving the ball just outside the penalty area and, allowed time and space, he turned and hit a blistering effort high into the net. Three minutes later he did it again. This time it came from an error by the Romanian left back who miscued a pass that went straight to Cottee who, despite being challenged by both the keeper and two defenders managed to reach the ball first and slide it into what had become an empty net.
To their credit, the home side did not lay down and whilst Ashford remained relatively comfortable at the back, they had far more of the ball in the second half whilst Ashford seemed content to manage the game which they did well. Ashford had Gurkan Gokman playing in an unfamiliar left back spot and he looked impressive in that position. Adam Baigent was also in good form at the back snuffing out a number of Romania attacks, whilst up front, the trio of Mark Bitmead, Jack Beadle and Cottee, in particular, gave the home defence plenty to think about.
The win takes Ashford back to 7th in the table and they will go into next week’s home encounter with Hayes & Yeading in good spirits.
To complete an excellent weekend the Ladies were expecting a far harder match but saw off Brentford Ladies in the quarter final of the Capital Cup by nine goals to nil and will now meet Abbey Rangers Ladies in the semi-final of the competition. Scorers on Sunday were Asley Cheatley with three goals, three from Lavana Neufville and two from Holly Isaacs and one from Hannah Pearson. There is a full report on the Ladies’ web site.
The Ladies have a big match on Thursday evening, when they will entertain Charlton Athletic Ladies in the semi-final of the Isthmian Women’s Cup, kick-off 7.45 p.m. Charlton are in the 2nd tier of the Women’s Premier League so it will be no easy game. Please come and support them if you can.
Also, on a more sombre note it is Barry Smith’s funeral tomorrow (Tuesday) at Hanworth Crematorium at 2.00 p.m. Barry was a well know local football personality for may years going back to the 60’s and will be remembered by many. He spent much of his time with Staines but in the last few seasons has also supported Ashford. After the funeral, there will be a wake back at Ashford when anyone who knew Barry is welcome to attend.
To end on a happier note, Friday evening this week sees the first “Ashford Curry Evening” when for £8, you get a curry and your first drink. Come along and enjoy the fun but please book your place if you can 07938 113512 or 07876 686807 as we want to ensure we order the correct amount of food.