Sat 27 Oct 18: Ashford 1 Lewes 2 FA Trophy – 1st Qualifying Round
Ashford departed this season’s FA Trophy on Saturday losing 1-2 at home to Premier Division Lewes but on this occasion it was an unlucky defeat as the team played well for much of the match, failing only in that most vital area of the game, putting the ball in the net.
It was clear from the start that Lewes were very much a footballing side always trying to pass the ball and rarely using the long ball as so many clubs do. In some ways it played into Ashford’s hands as they were quick to close them down. Ashford looked more threatening though and certainly deserved to take the lead which they did on 27 minutes, when Adam Baigent headed home his first goal for the club following an excellent free kick to the far post from Steve Loveridge.
Lewes strove hard to equalise and hit the woodwork soon afterwards. Another effort went wide when the striker had plenty of time to get his effort on target. Overall though, Ashford continued to have more of it and how the ball didn’t go in after one almighty scramble who knows. Other chances were also squandered but the Tangerines continued to look reasonably comfortable and the equaliser, when it arrived soon after the hour mark certainly looked flukish as a spinning ball looped over Brannon Daly’s head into the goal. The scorer was Omar Lawson.
Ashford were unbowed but Lewes now sensed a victory that had looked unlikely for much of the game and the winning goal arrived with just six minutes left on the clock. Again it came from a free kick awarded for a high boot and, to be fair, it was a superb strike from Declan Appau which gave Daly little chance.
In the remaining minutes Ashford continued to huff and puff but Lewes had finally taken a degree of control and safely weathered the last few minutes. We wish them well in the next round.
It is another busy week: this evening Monday, the Under-18’s make the short trip to meet Bedfont Sports. Our third squad of the season is gradually taking shape under Joe Monks and although far from the finished article we are at least competing after the disastrous opening two defeats.
On Tuesday we welcome Horley Town to Short Lane in the Preliminary Round of the Surrey Senior Cup. This will be their first visit for three years and it will be particularly good to see their manager Glynn Stephens back at Ashford as he managed our Reserve team for a number of seasons in the past and we were very sorry to see him depart. Welcome back Glynn.
Horley are currently in 13th place in the CCL and will doubtless prove tough opposition. Kick-off is 7.45 p.m. and don’t forget, if you attended Saturday’s Trophy match and have kept your ticket you can come in at a reduced entry price of just £2. The prize for the winners is a home tie against Chipstead.