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Jan 28, 2017

28 January Ashridge Park Royals U18 0 Basingstoke Colts 2

After the Semi Final had been postponed the previous weekend, everyone was raring to go, in the biggest home match in the team's 11 year history.

On a boggy, but eminently playable pitch, Ashridhge sprung immediately into action and within 30 seconds the first corner of the game was headed agonisingly over the bar by Ben C.  Ashridge looked strong throughout the first half, dominating possession and territory, but without generating many chances against strong opponents.  Dom and Alex both came close when breaking into the penalty area with speed, but the breakthrough was eventually made by the visitors on 42 minutes, who won a naively conceded free kick 22 yards out.  The shot was well struck, and excellently saved by Sam only for the striker to be alert to the opportunity brought by the rebound and put the visitors ahead.

There was no panic at half time and the game continued to be closely fought.  Unfortunately the visitors doubled their lead within 15 minutes, with a well worked goal down their right flank.

The well drilled opponents managed the game well, conceding no space to the home team and forcing Ashridge into optimistic long balls.  Some free kicks came close, Peter had a scruffy goal disallowed, and there were several occasions when the final ball was not quite as good as it should have been.  Overall, it did not feel as though the elusive goal would come, and the dream of a Friday night under the floodlights as our swansong withered away.

We must remember that we did well to reach the semi final, and there is no shame in a narrow defeat to the League's stongest team.