Ashford Town (Middlesex) 0
Harrow Borough 0

Ryman League Premier Division
Short Lane Stadium
28th March 2008

With neither side managing to get to grips with the windy conditions and both defences dominating, this made for an uninspiring, dour contest which is probably best forgotten.

A late change to the team saw Gavin Smith join the Ashford line-up in place of Adam Logie, who broke down before the game with a reoccurrence of a knock received during the week.

An early free kick for a foul on Harrow’s Dean Fenton was knocked up to James Fraser but Smith read the danger and was able to clear then, the visitor’s left back, Ryan Watts, was allowed time and space to try his luck but shot well wide.

Ashford’s Ricky Wellard was unfairly bought down in the 8th minute giving Warren Harris the opportunity to deliver a curling free kick which reached Byron Harrison, but his shot was blocked then, a good turn and shot by Harrow’s Dwayne Clarke prompted action from Paul Burgess who saved low down.

Referee Webb was guilty of making a very poor decision when he penalised Ashford’s Luke Pigden for bringing down Gary Noel, just outside the penalty box, when it was clear to everyone in the ground that the midfielder had played the ball. Fortunately Lee Hall blasted the ball high over Burgess’ bar.

The home side had the ball in the back of the Harrow net on 25 minutes through Smith, but the ‘goal’ was ruled out for off-side. Three minutes later, Billy Jeffreys went close to opening the scoring for Ashford when he headed Wellard’s free kick, given for a foul on Smith, into Richard Wilmot’s grateful arms, then a run down the right by Anthony Joseph looked to have opened up the visitor’s defence but Tobi Jinadu managed to get a toe to the Ashford winger’s cross to cut out the danger.

Early in the second half, Smith found Harris wide on the left with a thoughtful ball, giving the Ashford youngster the opportunity to advance goal-wards but he placed his cross on the run too close to Wilmot.

The lively Fenton had a low shot easily taken by Burgess before Michael Peacock replied for the hosts with a shot on the turn that was safely gathered by Wilmot then, a short while later, Fraser was the recipient when the ball broke to him following an aerial duel between Clarke and Jeffreys but the Harrow winger shot well wide.

A good move involving Ricardo Joseph, Harris and Smith came to nothing when Harrison’s shot was charged down then, late in the game, a run across the area by Wellard was unfairly bought to a halt by Watts, who was cautioned, but Pigden’s resulting free kick was hit into the defensive wall.

Two minutes into injury time, Noel had the opportunity to take all three points back to North Middlesex, but he hit his snapshot high over Burgess’ bar from close range.