A determined and committed display brought no reward for Ashford on Tuesday evening as they slipped to a 1-2 defeat at Westfield, the winning goal coming from the hosts in the 94th minute of the match.
Everyone agreed that this was a decent match, played at a fast pace throughout, probably too fast at times, but the Tangerines will be kicking themselves for throwing this one away right at the end, albeit that Westfield came into the match in good form and clearly determined to break the run that had seen them fail to beat Ashford in three previous games this season.
Play was fast and furious from the start but the defending was generally good and it took until the 38th minute for the first goal to arrive. It started with Samad Kazi on Ashford’s right flank who picked up the running Jack Beadle with a fine cross and the latter made no mistake with a glancing header that beat Gary Ross all ends up in the Westfield goal.
So far, so good and arguably Ashford had the better chances as the game progressed past the break with Nebay Haile twice spurning opportunities to shoot until the opportunity disappeared. Having failed to score what would probably have been the deciding goal, Ashford found themselves pushed back to an extent as Westfield started to enjoy more possession than early on but still looked generally secure. Secure that is until the 80th minute when Graeme Purdy did well at the near post to turn the ball home.
Ashford looked shocked but worse was to come when, in the fourth minute of stoppage time, Purdy was once again on hand to score the winning goal. There was still time for Ashford to attack and Westfield conceded a corner. As it came over, Tyler Tobin, having come up from goal, seemed to be clattered, leading to widespread appeals from the visitors for a penalty. Referee xx did not give it though and that was it.
Ashford will play a lot worse than this and win. Indeed, they have done just that in more than one match recently so we congratulate Westfield and look forward to our next match which is our last “long” one of the season, away to Waltham Forest on Saturday. More on that tomorrow.
In the meantime, we now know that Ashford Ladies’ opponents in the Isthmian Reposs Women’s Cup Final will be Leyton Orient Ladies, who beat Enfield Town Ladies 1-0 in their semi-final on Wednesday evening. That game is scheduled for Wednesday 17 April at Aveley FC.