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Swifty

Middlesex Senior Cup Final!!!

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To quote Phil's programme notes..."On form we should see some goals tonight". Don't ask Phil to predict your lottery numbers!

 

We've now played five hours in three rounds and seen one goal in open play from anyone! Tonight, despite both teams' endeavours (we should have been a couple ahead at half time, Woods should have got a couple after the break), we didn't get a shot on target until the 74th and Northwood missed a couple of sitters, though Macca made a couple of great saves. In truth, this had 0-0 written all over it.

 

Come the penalties, we're 3-4 down with one each remaining, then we score our last of the five and Macca makes a fine save. Then we score again, Macca makes another fine save, and...

 

WE'RE IN OUR FIRST EVER MIDDLESEX SENIOR CUP FINAL!

 

Horrible way to lose a cup tie, so commiserations to Northwood, but..

 

Keep the evening of April 1st (Easter Monday) free as we're playing Staines Town in the final at Uxbridge.

 

GET IN!!!

Edited by Swifty

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LOL according to the website the final will be against "friends and neighbours" I thought we were playing Staines ;) :lol:

Edited by kevchenko

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Swifty, I wasn't wrong, I saw nine goals last night ........ eventually :D

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Maybe it's me, but I thought the stand-in ref had a good game. Admittedly, the match was played in good spirits, to the point where Northwood's number 3 was joking with us on the terraces, so the ref didn't have much to do, but he didn't want to be the centre of attention, he let the game flow and brought play back if advantage wasn't forthcoming. Happy to see him back.

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Hmmm ref had it easy because of the way the teams played.

 

Good to be playing Staines in the final.

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It was a good win for us and we will all enjoy the Final I'm sure. Financially though it was not a good night.

 

We are grateful to our supporters when they are able to come along so this is not a dig but the attendance was only 72, and that included officials etc. In contrast the referee alone cost us £70 (£50 fee, £20 expenses) apart from wining and dining his father who came in the boardroom as if he had a right to do so and never once offered to pay to come in. He then described the huge fee as a "bonus" for his son which didn't go down well. Only natural politeness avoided a row there and then.

 

Normally if a referee wishes to bring a guest, we receive an email or similar beforehand, and if we do, we are always pleased to welcome the guest.

 

It is not the referee's fault that Middlesex set the fees so high (higher than in any other competition we play in including 1st Team league matches) but it would be nice if some of them were more like the referee we had on Saturday, Mr. Donnellan, who spent time in the bar, spending some of his money and very happy to explain his decisions. That said, although it was not a difficult match to officiate on Tuesday, the referee did have a decent game in my view.

Edited by lazarus

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I have to admit I also expected a higher crowd (three figures or at least close) for a county cup semi-final, especially as we'd never been in the final before.

 

I found myself standing to the ref's dad for the entire second half and extra time (Graham decided to desert me for Gill's company, a far better idea!) and let's just say he was ever so slightly pompous and self-important.

 

Not a dig at Beano, as he doesn't fix the costs for the competiiton, but the ref only came from Harrow, so those expenses are extortionate!

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He said after the game that he lived in Northwood! Claimed 50 miles return!! Ashford to Northwood is 16 miles...... Hmmmmm

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Surely the ref's meant to come from a neutral location? He didn't show any bias on Tuesday, let me get that straight.

 

If he's going to cream us for nearly 20 miles' extra expenses and expect the club to feed his dad as well without prior request, let's hope it's a long time before he comes back, and even longer for the ancient freeloader!

Edited by Swifty

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All set for this and my mate from Penzance is coming to cheer The Tangerines on as well B) Just checking if anyone knows if the bar will be open at Uxbridge?

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All set for this and my mate from Penzance is coming to cheer The Tangerines on as well B) Just checking if anyone knows if the bar will be open at Uxbridge?

 

So your mate lives one road away from our ground - Short Lane, onto the A30, stay on it for 270 miles and you're in Penzance!

 

There's a possibility of a mate of mine travelling up from Eastbourne to cheer us on. As for me, it'll be a mad dash from the south coast as I'm watching Bognor v. Lewes in the afternoon. :wacko: Could be the first ever time I'll use my green and white rattle at an Ash Trees game!

Edited by Swifty

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Any idea of admission prices for the game including students?

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£10 adults, £5 concessions (don't know if that includes students), Under-16s free.

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Does the student concession include (very) mature students, such as those claiming to be students of life?

 

Hope to be there Saturday, but won't be there on Monday as my Doc tells me to stay warm.

 

Not sure if it'll be warmer reading of the latest Saints defeat (or Pompey avoiding one), but good luck lads.

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So your mate lives one road away from our ground - Short Lane, onto the A30, stay on it for 270 miles and you're in Penzance!

 

There's a possibility of a mate of mine travelling up from Eastbourne to cheer us on. As for me, it'll be a mad dash from the south coast as I'm watching Bognor v. Lewes in the afternoon. :wacko: Could be the first ever time I'll use my green and white rattle at an Ash Trees game!

 

Only a 6 hour drive each way!

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Rather belatedly, I think that however may win tonight, the game should be dedicated to two local legends - Messrs Alan Boon and Ernie Britzman.

 

As yet, I am unaware of the score but that is of secondary importance when you think of the two fine gentlemen concerned.

 

The Ashford angels are smiling tonight.

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We lost 2-0. The right outcome, but not the right margin, as we played some great football and were ahead territorially for the first 20 minutes but just didn't get the goal when we needed it, and we gave it a go in the last 15 by which time it was really too late. Staines's keeper (who took a huge amount of flak with great humour for wearing a completely all pink kit, including boots and sock tape!) made three excellent saves and several mundane ones, we had plenty of chances and half-chances at the top and tail of the match, and we weren't helped by a typical 'big club v. small club' referee who quite obviously favoured Staines. The Swans deserved the win for rolling their sleeves up, pressing back our suddenly too deep defence and midfield, scoring after some concerted pressure and making it safe with a second half penalty.

 

I'm afraid we just didn't do enough tonight to deserve the cup. For the middle hour or so of the game we didn't fully gel and we gave our opponents too much time and space. Such a shame Ed Thomas has left, as he and Alex together would have ripped apart the left flank. I was also surprised that an experienced head like Jim Mann, who would have geed the troops up and given it his all, never even got off the sub's bench while some of the younger and more inexperienced lads stayed on the pitch, and I was surprised to see Sammy only join the game as a sub as he had a real spark about him. Tiredness may have been a factor, but a lack of grit and determination was another, maybe as a result.

 

Still, I'll be there on Thursday for the bread and butter stuff. Well done on getting to the final, lads.

Edited by Swifty

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Just to add that the Staines keeper Jack Turners pink kit is in support of breast cancer due to a family members illness...

The last 10 minutes were embarrassing with out songs being more abusive towards the keeper than cheering our team on..

As for the game itself the ref had a stinker giving us our first free kick after 80 minutes and we were by far the better side over the 90mins with more chances, forcing more saves and just lacking that cutting edge... Their opening goal was a nice move from back to front and the second a penalty when we got done for pace... That aside Macca had one save to make... The fact that we are playing 2 tiers below our opponents wasn't at all apparent and I think the were extremely flattered to win at all, let alone by a 2 goal margin...

Edited by kevchenko

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I agree kev on the chanting at Jack the Swans keeper. If you wear an all pink kit you will get some stick but I think it went a bit over the top especially as some of the lads behind the goal would have known the reason why he is wearing it.

That said, I thought our fans completely out sang the swans and I am very proud that a club at our level can create such an atmosphere. The thing is, we need more of these people to turn up each week and give their support both vocally and financially.

On to the game and I thought the man in pink was the man of the match with three 2nd half saves that kept us at bay. The man in black was average at best and did seem to miss lots of shirt pulling etc by the swans back four. The men in tangerine were a credit to our club and on another night with a bit more luck would have been lifting the cup.

Well done to Burge, Batts and the staff for giving us a another chance at some silver. And finally congratulations to Staines in lifting the trophy and entering into the spirit of the final with the mascots and penalty shoot out etc.

Lets hope some of the tangerine fans return on Thursday to cheer our lads on again. We really need it!

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Staines were very nervous in the first fifteen minutes, we really needed to score during that period to stand a chance of winning the game. They started to play with more assurance after that, got their passing game going and scored a goal on the half hour which knocked the wind out of our sails. We had defended really well and so it was disappointing that the provider and scorer were given so much time to cross and head the goal.

 

We battled and played well for the entire match, but unlike other Ashford supporters I couldn't see us winning the game. Yes, their pink shirted keeper made a couple of decent saves at the end but it was all a bit too late. Still we should be proud of our players last night and also our supporters whose vocal efforts provided a proper cup final atmosphere.

 

Others on here have said that we stood off Staines too much but I suspect it wasn't easy playing a team, whose quality of passing was better than we are used to playing against.

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For what it's worth, I utterly loathe *that* song and, pink kit or not, I really wish it had never been sung. That was the only negative point of the night for me, the support was otherwise terrific and was louder than the "Massive".

 

I think we should be proud of the team's performance last night. If we didn't do enough to win last night, that's at least in part because Staines were resolute and well-organised, particularly at 2-0. Ultimately, we were up against a team two levels higher than us and at times that showed - particularly when we had them on the defensive. Their back four were very good.

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Beano, hopefully the big positive for you was meeting the songwriter / guitarist of one of your fave indie bands (if not your actual faves), who was reporting on the game for BBC London. :D

 

Maybe I was a bit harsh on the lads in frustration in my previous comment. What I forgot to say is that the final was played in very good spirit by both teams. I've got no qualms with losing the final to Staines - there are far worse teams in our county and indeed division who I'd hate to lose a final to.

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A post on Staines Town's forum in advance of the final...

 

"If we were defeated I could not think of a better club to lose to. Ashford have worked so very hard, on a very limited budget, to recover from a couple of disastrous seasons and will hopefully climb back up the leagues in the near future.The local derby games in the Ryman were always a good contest and fun to watch."

 

Nice sentiment. Local rivals, with maybe a couple of players we'd rather not see playing for them, but a decent bunch overall. We could have far worse neighbours

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Me again - I need to get a life!

 

I admit to calling the Staines keeper "Blobby" due to his kit colour (and he did laugh at that, thank goodness), but I made sure of getting Jack's attention and shouting "well done" and giving him a thumbs-up on the final whistle for a great performance between the sticks, and the perpetrators of the unsavoury comments near the end of the match and many of the behind-the-goal gang also applauded him. Not making any excuses for the comments by others, I'm just assuming the lack of a goal led to unwarranted frustration.

 

What I will say is, thankfully, our boisterous lads acknowleged what I thought was the man of the match performance by the Swans keeper, and he reacted very gentlemanly. That lad will go far.

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