After a couple of disappointing defeats it was important for us to return to winning ways with a trip to Whitegrove Pythons, a team we had not encountered since our memorable Semi Final victory some 6 years ago. The game was moved to Bracknell as the Whitegrove home pitch has been taken over by the local travelling community.
So, onto the main event. The pitch was bumpy but had dealt well with the week’s precipitation. Ashridge took control of the match from the off, and on 8 minutes, neat work by Ted set up Sid to open his account for the day. 3 minutes later the advantage was doubled with Ted finishing off a move by Dan.
The home team came back into the game and fought hard, and on half an hour, won a penalty, which was duly converted. After a flurry of corners, Ben C’s corner was converted by James, to put the visitors 3-1 ahead on 35 minutes.
The half time team talk emphasised the need to seize the initiative as the 2 goal margin felt fragile.
It took the home team only 3 minutes to reduce the arrears, with an unimpeded header into the goal straight from a corner.
However,the following minute came the move of the match, when a busy Owen threaded a ball towards an onrushing Dan on the left wing, whose inch perfect first time cross was headed in to the roof of the net by Sid rising majestically above the Whitegrove defence. A simply glorious goal, evoking memories of Nat Lofthouse, Andy Gray or Alan Shearer, depending on how old you are!
Whitegrove continued to attack with purpose and broke clear on 55 minutes, with Peter spreading himself to his right to prevent a certain goal, only for George to head the rebound back toward the top left of his goal. Peter clawed it away a 2nd time only for the Whitegrove attacker to slide in with a third attempt, which the Ashridge keeper smothered. A collection of saves described post match as ‘defying the laws of gravity’ (by the modest custodian).
Neat work on the hour by Callum set Ted free, and his lob eluded the goal by inches. However on 64 minutes, good combination play by Sid and Ted enabled Ted to break free and complete the scoring against the advancing keeper.
Overall this was a pleasing win against a good Whitegrove team, maintaining our 100% away record and this keeps the pressure on against our adversaries in the upper reaches of Division 6.