Ashford back on top? Shu'd Bett-er beliver it!
Ashford 16-0 OMT's
Ashford men’s 1st XI were up against Old Merchant Taylor’s at Short Lane over the weekend, looking to bounce back from the last couple of results.
As Ashford were warming up, they were informed that an opposition’s car had broken down, and that they had only nine players. Ashford showed no mercy and started quickly, winning the ball from the push back and creating an early opportunity that came to nothing. Ashford did not have to wait too much longer to find the opener, Shujah Ur Rehman found Alex Betts at the back post, who drove past two defenders and smashed the ball home from a couple yards out. Two minutes later Betts doubled the lead, with a trademark back post poach. Within the next few minutes, Rehman got his name on the scoresheet, again putting away from close range. OMT’s were sitting very deep and narrow to try and make life difficult for the Red & Blacks, but the added numbers for the home side meant there was always a couple people free, enabling Ashford to dominate the ball and dictate play. After a period of resistance from the visitors, Betts got his third goal and Ashford’s fourth, with a poach on the line. Skipper Luke Cottrell added another to make it five. The OMT’s side were understandably growing more and more despondent, allowing Ashford to add another five goals before half time, with Joe Lewis adding his name to the score sheet, and Rehman and Betts adding another two goals to their tally, meaning Ashford went into the half time break 10-0 up.
Ashford message at half time was to keep going, and try and build on their already superior goal difference over their two promotion rivals Eastcote and Maidenhead. Admirably, OMT’s came out after the break and made life very hard for the boys in Reds, but with their lack of number up front meant the Ashford back line were seldom troubled. Ashford remained patient, dictating play and keeping possession well, and eventually got their breakthrough in the second half through and close range Rehman rebound. More goals from Luke Cottrell (1), Rehman (1) and Betts (3), meant Ashford ran out 16-0 winners, taking their goals for tally to the 100 mark. The round up of goal scorers read; Joe Lewis and Luke Cottrell getting one and two goals respectively, Shujah Ur Rehman with a respectable five goals, and Alex Betts with an incredible eight goals to his name – doubling his tally for the season!
With Eastcote drawing and Maidenhead losing, Ashford regained top spot, due to their vastly superior goal difference. The Red & Blacks now face Oxford 2’s, who drew to Eastcote over the weekend, in what will be a testing away trip.