Whether it was the fact that the match ball was kindly sponsored by Club Patron, Russell Grant or that we finally remembered where the net is, Ashford recorded a 3-0 victory over Hanworth Villa in last night’s Quarter Final of the Middlesex Charity Cup, the final chance of any silverware this season.
The match could reasonably be divided into three parts. In the opening period and for much of the first half the Tangerines looked well on top against a youthful looking Villa side and really only had themselves to blame for not running up a substantial lead. There was just the one successful strike though, in the 18th minute when a cross put Jack Beadle in right under the post but he only managed to hit the cross bar. Fortunately, it rebounded straight to Kofi Lockhart-Adams and he steered the ball firmly home.
There were plenty of other opportunities but Villa always looked dangerous when they broke away, especially when their wide front player Gursewak Jagdev was in possession.
The first period of the second half saw Ashford being pegged back more than they had been and Ashford were indebted to Tyler Tobin on a couple of occasions for smart saves. Referee Simpson was causing a degree of consternation from both benches, mostly for free kick decisions that never came but he was always in control and the match was largely played in a sporting manner.
Jack Beadle had been nursing a groin injury and had gone off at half-time to be replaced by Steve Loveridge, which meant that our three ex-Villa players were all on the field together for quite some time.
The pendulum was turning again and Ashford effectively made the match safe following a coolly taken goal from Teddy Williams, who had been put through by Lockhart-Adams. He had only been on the field for two minutes. That was it and just six minutes later Mark Bitmead ensured Ashford’s passage as he scored a similar goal to send Ashford through by three goals to nil.
Ashford will now entertain Northwood in the semi-final, possibly next week, to decide who will face Uxbridge in the Final. Uxbridge beat Hampton & Richmond last night in the other semi-final on penalties.
In the meantime Ashford have their final Saturday home game coming up this week (13th) when Tooting & Mitcham United are the visitors. We are making a day of it with reduced entry (just £5 adults) and there will be a barbecue and other events going on throughout the afternoon. It would be good to see the club’s efforts rewarded with a healthy attendance.
Finally thanks to Villa last night who left their dressing room spotless which was greatly appreciated.