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Thursday, September 23
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Crows on the Road

Next Up: The Ash Trees Of Ashford Town (Middlesex) FC….NOT KENT!

Crows at Ashford Town (Middlesex) FC, Evo-Stik League Southern Central Division 1

Kick Off: 3:00pm, Saturday 15th December 2012..Only 10 days till Santa comes and yes I still believe! He takes my mince pie and sherry every year and leaves a note for me, he does exist you know.

Robert Parker Stadium

Short Lane
Stanwell
Middlesex
TW19 7BH
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So after Tuesday night's defeat at Rugby Town FC, which really rankles after the earlier abandonment this season, we find ourselves on the road again and this time to the home of the "Ash Trees" and Ashford Town (Middlesex) FC, don't get them confused with that other Ashford of Kent and please don't use my Sat Nav for directions!

What can I tell you about the place? Well the Town is actually predominantly in Surrey with an incy bincy part of it residing in Middlesex. Part of the town borders Feltham Young Offenders Institution, so don't get any naughty ideas younger Crows or you may end up with a prolonged stay! On a more positive note, Ashford is a popular commuter town for London.

Famous folks of Ashford include Bobby Davro, footballers Scott Rendell and Roger Johnson. You would never believe that Russell Grant holds the title of Lord of the Manor of Ashford! Well he does, he purchased this in 1996. Lucky lucky Ashford then!

On a musical note, Ray Dorset from Mungo Jerry is from these parts. You know the songs, "In the Summertime" and "Baby Jump", I have these in my mind now!

Well lets talk about the football club now…………………..


HISTORY

A Fairly modern club, they were formed in 1958 as Ashford Albion and orginally played in that most famous league of all, the Hounslow & District league. They were pretty good and won two consecutive promotions to reach the Premier Division.

In 1964 they adopted their current guise of Ashford Town FC and climbed through the H&D league before joining the Surrey league in 1967. Instant success followed and they were champions in 1975. They then became founder members of the Surrey Premier League in 1983.

In 1990, the year that Glasgow became "City of Culture" (There is hope for Wolverhampton then!) the "Ash Trees" joined the Combined Counties League. After finishing runners up in 1994 the club went on a magnificent run and won this League four years on the bounce. After another Championship was secured in 2000, the club were promoted to Division Three of the Isthmian League. In 2001 the "Ash Trees" were promoted to Division Two after finishing in third place.

2004 saw the club transfer to the Southern League Western Division and secured promotion to the Isthmian League Premier Division in 2006. The following year saw victory in the League Cup.

A difficult period in the clubs history followed. After finishing bottom in 2010 the club were relegated and placed in the Southern League Division One Central. They were given a reprieve when Merthyr Tydfil were liquidated. Unusually the club declined this and took the relegation. In 2011 the club embarked on a fantastic run in the FA Trophy. North Greenford Utd, Bury Town, Bishops Stortford and AFC Hornchurch were beaten by the "Ash Trees" before Dartford squeezed past them with a close fought 1-0 win at the Rob Parker Stadium. The club finished in 16th place that season and led to Jamie Lawrence resigning as manager.

Things have improved steadily at the club and a 9th place finish in the league was secured last year and the club have high hopes on improving this on their latest campaign.


Their Season So Far

Currently sitting in a mid table position so far this season with 9 wins, 2 draws and 7 losses. Current form has seen them record a win at favourites Beaconsfield Syco's (sorry Sycobs) and at home to Daventry Town. They were hammered earlier on this season by Godalming Town by a scoreline of 5-1 at the RP Stadium. They have found the net 40 times this season but have been breached 39 times. What should be noted though,is that they have 4 lads in the top 20 goal scorers in this Division. So they have the ability to bang 'em in from all over the park.


Ones to Watch

As mentioned above they do have the scoring habit, so I shall start with their leading net buster and Daniel Fitzroy-Brown, he of the double barrelled name and double figure goal tally! Oh Danny Boy, Oh Danny Boy has 10 league goals to his name but has not found the net since scoring a hatrick against Guildford City on the 14th November 2012

Partnering Danny up front, we may find Joe Bennett. Young Joe found the net last time out against Beaconsfield and has experience in the Conference with Hampton & Richmond Borough. Highly rated at the "Ash Trees", he was strongly linked with a move to QPR earlier this season.

Another signing from Conny South Hampton & Richmond Borough is Jack Mullan. A quality midfielder with a Lampard panache, Jack has an eye for goal and is quick and tenacious on the ball. Yet another lad with higher league clubs sniffing about, the Crows will need to be alert to snuff this threat out.


The Gaffer

An absolute legend at this club, Paul Burgess lives Ashford Town. First joined the club as a player in 1990, Paul had 683 appearances between the sticks. Loved so much by everyone at the club he was awarded a testimonial in which Spurs came to town. Burgo made the step into management in 2011 after the resignation of Jamie Lawrence. Paul has put together a young side that is making their mark in this league with attractive football, just like our beloved Crows!


Have We Met Before

Simple answer is no. Just for the record, with my rubbish Sat Nav, I've also trawled other records. We have never met that other Ashford Town of Kent either!


How To Get There

Well as you all know, don't rely on Sat Nav a la Jez, so please follow the official club directions:

Take M25 to Junction 13
Leave motorway to join A30 towards London
Stay on A30 through Crooked Billet Roundabout towards Ashford Hospital.
After passing hospital at large crossroads, stay on A30 and take the 3rd left hand turn by a blue footbridge over the road into Short Lane. Ground is signposted from main road.
Ground is about quarter of a mile on the right hand side. (signposted)


Match Day Information

Adults: £8.00
Concessions: £5.00
Programme; £2.00

Food: Excellent from what I hear. I have also been told that the social club ranks as one of the most friendliest in this league. We have been assured of a warm reception and not a smokey one like Slough!

Jez Izod