A Benham header, Neufville Brace and Isaacs volley secured a 4-1 against London & South East Regional Opponents Denham United Ladies FC in the extra preliminary round of the Women's FA Cup. This game also saw us play our first home game at the Robert Parker Stadium since the refurbishment of the pitch which started at the back end of last season. The surface was in immaculate condition which is thanks to the work of Groundsman Steve Honey, Liam Balmer and volunteers who made this happen.
Back to the events on the pitch and Denham United made the brighter start to the game creating more of the chances in the first 20 minutes of the game. However, after 20 minutes Ashford started to get a foothold in the game creating more with the best chance falling to new recruit Johnson which was expertly saved by Denham keeper Lizzie Rose. After a succession of corners, after a succession of corners Ashford found the breakthrough when an precise corner from Down was attacked with power from Benham whot put a bullet header past Rose to give Ashford the lead (31). There were few chances after the goal with the most notable coming from a long range effort by Huse which hit the roof of the net.
Half-time saw changes by both teams with Ashford bring on Pearson to replace Huse and Denham bringing on Howes and Torr.
Ashford start the stronger in the second half and they soon made their dominance pay when Benham played an expertly timed pass to release Neufville in a one-on-one with Rose who calmly finished to double the tangerines lead (53). Shortly after Neufville doubled her goalscoring tally when another pass from Benham saw Neufville shoot first time across Rose to treble Ashford's Lead (59).
The next 10 minutes saw was eventful with Isaacs bring introduced into the play, chances falling to both teams as well as Denham reduced to 10 men after Hewitt was sent off after receiving a second yellow card. Denham must take huge credit for not capitulating after this and got a goal, which over the 90m minutes was deserved leaving Perkis, who had a solid game, with no chance (70).
Afterwards, Ashford created more chances to increase the scoreline but with a mix of poor finishes and great goalkeeping/defending the scoreline threatened to say the same until Isaacs restored their 3 goal advantage with a precise volley into the bottom right corner to wrap up an impressive first day victory for the tangerines (89).
Overall, this game was played with a large amount of good spirit shown by both teams, A special mention must go to Johnson, Lawrence, Potter & Symons who all made their competitive debuts in the famous tangerine and white strip and all look to be shrewd signings for the new season.
Ashford Town (Middx): Perkis, Peters, Huse (Pearson), Lawrence, Potter, Symons, Down, Benham (C), Johnson, Neufville, Head (Isaacs)