This is beginning to get tedious. The fifth defeat in a row, and our 17th non-win in the last 21.
Four changes to Saturday's team, with Elliott on the bench and Sami moving back to take his role, Tyler injured, and Dan and 'Herbie' away for reasons unknown, though Max is apparently pondering a move to a team a division below but challenging for promotion to our level and in his home town. Real shame if he does go.
We had two new recruits in the starting lineup, Tom Howard from Merstham in midfield (who did okay until replaced by Ginger Bobby Moore) and Camberley Town's big hitting and vocally encouraging keeper Craig Bradshaw, who wore a shirt whose yellow colour was very similar to United's amber away tops - turns out it was the only keeper's shirt we had which fitted his muscular frame and the ref gave concession for him to wear it. That was the only decision referee Bentley gave in our favour until the 67th minute. United weren't physical but they were given every 50:50 and let off every foul until that minute. But I digress.
We encouraged as much as we could from the terraces but the truth was, we made a very ordinary side look good. The early season Ashford would have had these ducks in pancakes with Peking sauce, spring onion and cucumber and scored three or four against tonight's 'oppo' but, despite our territory and a number of players trying their best (Mitch was superb - can we keep him...please?), we never properly tested the away keeper and United scored the solitary goal with their solitary incisive attack (despite copious moments menacing our defence), their forwards cutting thorough our retreating midfield and defence like butter for Horatio Hirst to score in first half stoppage time.
One big problem, like Saturday, was that the visitors challenged and cut down space all the time, whereas we didn't. We also lacked a cutting edge up front, which was really disappointing. I encouraged as much as I could but didn't clap the side off. Losing to a limited team like that didn't deserve the plaudits.
While I'm at it, various gripes, only one of which is from me so I'm the messenger to be shot at. Used to it, mind you. The online programme wasn't available when I checked at 7.10 tonight, match reports are on the tardy side (especially when we lose), visiting fans (and one or two of ours) have complained the club's phone number isn't easy to find on the front page of our website in case they need to call to see if the game's on, and someone asked if our results / the league table could be brought up to date.
Glad to be groundhopping on Saturday. I need a break from this for a few days.