Ashford fall late on at Uxbridge despite having the better of the game, and a great performance.
The Tangerines could possibly feel harshly done by at the end of the game, however after creating some great chances throughout it was an old adage that summed things up – if you don’t score goals, you don’t win games. That may sound bad as Ashford did score twice, but they could have had a few more, and it was definitely a case of ruing those missed chances in the end.
From the kick-off Ashford looked to get at Uxbridge, attack, and close down when not in possession. With a few changes to the squad again due to availability and injuries, the Tangerines set up well to take the game to Uxbridge. The opening minutes saw Ashford come close with a cross in from the right by Aaron Petch saved by Paul McCarthy after a missed flick from Kelvin Adjei. Uxbridge then got forward and had a good shot on 12 minutes which was comfortably saved by Josh Wilson, starting his 3rd straight game for the first team with Sam Mason still out due to his rib injury. Ashford’s endeavours were then rewarded in the 19th minute when some great play saw the ball fall to Tommy Brunton just outside the six-yard box and he fired home to give the visitors the lead. Eight minutes later it could have been two when Joe Noakes got on the end of a great corner but his header went just wide of the right hand post. From the half hour mark Uxbridge pressed back getting more in to game, and created a couple of good chances. They should have been level on 39 minutes when a low cross was fizzed in from the right but the glancing touch on the goal-line took it wide rather than straight in to the net. Two minutes later they had another good move but the final shot was blocked well by Josh Wilson with his legs and out for a corner. The resulting corner was taken quickly and found it’s way to ex-Ashford striker Jack Beadle just inside the box where he lashed home a strike just under the bar for the equaliser. Just before the break Ashford should have scored again when another great move down the left saw Dan Brown miss from close range pulling his right foot shot back wide of the left hand post.
Uxbridge got the second half underway and immediately looked more dangerous getting in to the attack more than they had before the break. In the 48th minute they broke and another ex-Ashford attacker, Mark Bitmead, managed to get clear on the right and break in to the box to finish under the advancing Josh Wilson. Again the Tangerines were punished for not starting sharply enough after half-time. Looking to get back to their positive play Ashford were then forced in to a change on 56 minutes with the struggling Rylan Myers forced off through injury. His replacement Hafid Bounyafe made an immediate impact down the right hand side, and followed in another good attacking play to hit home a great goal in the 59th minute to pull Ashford level. From here the Tangerines looked to press on and the pace of Kelvin Adjei was causing all sorts of problems for the Uxbridge defence, but the final ball just wouldn’t fall kindly as is the way at the moment.
The break then fell to the home side in the 81st minute. What appeared to be a foul in midfield that upended Dan Brown saw Uxbridge break and drive at the Ashford defence resulting in another shot blocked by Josh Wilson, but Mahlondo Martin was on hand to slot home the rebound. The Tangerines hit back looking to grab another equaliser, and with 8 minutes added time due to an earlier injury they created a couple more really good chances. The first came in the 91st minute as Kelvin Adjei broke and outpaced the Uxbridge defence again, but his squared pass looking for Dan Brown just beat the outstretching forward. Just three minutes later it could have been another for the visitors when a lopped up cross to far left evaded everyone in and around the goal-mouth but bounced down just brushing off the post.
It was another performance where any spectator would have been hard pressed to see which team was rooted to the bottom of the league, such was the effort and play from the Tangerines. On another day they could have had at least four goals, but when you are at the bottom things just don’t go your way. With continued effort and performances like this, and a touch more confidence, the future looks bright…….the future is Tangerine!