On a perfect morning for football, we welcomed Caversham AFC Hurricanes to St Crispins, 3 weeks after the original fixture had been postponed.
Ashridge immediately found themselves on the ascendancy, attacking imaginatively down both flanks, and moving the ball around intelligently. The visiting keeper had excellent handling skills, plucking dangerous looking corners out of the sky at will. It was therefore somewhat ironic that the opening goal should come after the keeper spilt a fairly soft cross from Owen which bounced for Peter who converted from 2 yards on 17 minutes. Callum came close after good work on 35 minutes and then Peter had a goal disallowed on 36 minutes after a lofted pass from Alex.
Although Ashridge were comfortably on top in the half, there was some concern at half time as the visitors had looked strong on the break. The importance of scoring another goal was stressed during the interval.
As we have seen so often over the years, the opponents were a team transformed at the start of the half, attacking with verve and skill. They had threatened on occasions in the first 15 minutes of the half, and then seemed to have equalised with a header from a freekick, which was disallowed for offside. On 60 minutes they came close again, with a shot hitting the top of the far post.
After a period of pressure by the visitors, the game became more even, with brave performances by Ben C, George and Owen very prominent. On 70 minutes an attack was partially cleared for Luke to shoot from 20 yards to see his effort tipped over the bar. The resultant corner led to mayhem with 3 attempts on goal by Charlie (against the post), Sid and Ted.
On 80 minutes, Ted set up Alex who was unlucky to see his shot go wide of the post.
The final 10 minutes caused great anxiety to the Ashridge Park bench, which grew concerned and frustrated about the team’s inability to maintain possession and close the game down. After a nerve shredding few minutes, Alex collected the ball on the left before cutting inside and unleashing an unstoppable drive into the bottom corner of the Caversham goal, to seal victory for the home team.
This was a well fought and sporting encounter between 2 well matched teams that was played in an excellent spirit. Next up- Laurel Park at a a later kick off time of 9:30 before we take our mid-winter break.