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Town 6 Ash Trees 4...after extra time


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An excellent effort by our lads to come back from 3-1 and 4-3 down to take a team two divisions higher (and apparently close to full strength) to extra time on their patch.


The 'semi' kicked off at 8.00 – our lads were all there on time but some home players were delayed by a tragic accident. Through injuries, suspensions and possibly other logistical reasons we were missing three key players which did for us in the end. There was a debut for a tall defender called Addison Garnett who, apparently, Carlisle United had been checking out recently. Let’s be kind and say it took him 45 minutes to settle into the side, because he had a very good second half.


We started brightly but, unfortunately, our whole defence had an off night, gifting Enfield Town at least four of their goals, the first two either side of the quarter hour mark. Bayley got us back into it with a rasping finish from the edge of the box on the half hour, but three minutes later another defensive gaffe left Tyler exposed to a deft lob. Poor Tyler couldn’t be faulted for any of the goals. Dan and Bayley went close with really good efforts just before the break, and we settled down at the interval half thinking ‘if only we’d made it 3-2 at the break’ and half expecting a rout.


Instead, the lads dug in and gave an imperial display after the break. Dan was fouled inside the box fifteen seconds after the restart and Bitz placed the penalty into the corner. Seven minutes later we were level with easily the best goal of the game – a clearance from a home corner, a midfield splitting pass down the wing from Addison, a low curling first time cross splitting the defence, and an exemplary finish from Dan charging into the box. As Tom’s dad Jamie said, had that goal been scored by a Premiership side it would be played over and over again on “Match of the Day”.


When Enfield scored their best goal of the evening in the 70th, our lads puffed their chests out and built again. Six minutes from the end, Enfield Town’s defender Samir Bihmoutine was sent off for a last man ‘professional foul’ just outside the box, and Bitz curled a pearler of a direct free kick into the far corner. A draw after 90 minutes was the least the lads deserved for showing such spirit and tenacity and never giving up.


We had a good chance to take the lead in the first minute of extra time but the one-on-one was saved and, sadly, after that Enfield Town ran the show - by that stage some of our lads were running on fumes after all the previous effort. A goal five minutes into each half of extra time settled it for the homesters.


In the end, there were four aspects which did for us. Firstly, Enfield Town had a really strong bench and were able to bring on three subs whose fresh legs and ideas won the game in extra time, whereas we had a depleted bench and, no disrespect meant at all, most of our subs were replacements rather than game changers. Secondly, fitness told at the end, though that was partly due to the intensity of the first 90 minutes. Thirdly, Enfield Town showed plenty of higher division nous and looked more like the side with 11 men in extra time. Fourthly, it was noticeable that, well taken though they were, most of Enfield Town’s goals were gifts, whereas we had to graft for and craft our goals, of which one was a cool spot kick, two were really good, and one was worth the admission money alone.


Some real positives can be taken from this game. If Ashford can come back twice against a team from two divisions higher and on their own ground, our lads should gain pride and self esteem from their efforts. Plenty of characters, plenty of character shown. Still two cups to play for and a real say in the ‘promotion game’.


Huge thanks to Chairman Dave for the lift back to the “Parker” and to Alan for the drop-off close to home. Much appreciated. Also thanks to Jamie and Chad for the real ale after the game.


Finally, let’s put things in perspective. The game was delayed due to an horrendous accident on the A10 adjacent to the ground involving a car and two motorbikes. Two died, one of whom was apparently dismembered. At the end of the day, we only lost a football match.

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