Teams

Under 16s Park

Manager: Graham Ayton / Emma Cole

Contact: graham.ayton22@gmail.com / thecoles1234@btinternet.com

Under 16s Park

Contact 07747 031231

We have a fantastic group of enthusiastic youngsters who clearly enjoy each others' company, and are supported by an equally enthusiastic and friendly parent group. Our primary aim is to enjoy ourselves both in training and in matches, and we also take pride in playing with sportsmanship and respect. We are always looking to develop all of our players' technical skills and tactical awareness, but we do so in a relaxed environment where love of the game always comes first.

Fixtures

 
 

Standings

News

Latest team news

Oct 05, 2019

Ashridge March On After Strong Finish

Ashridge Park 4 Caversham AFC Stallions 1

Ashridge Scorers: Jack Clayton (59'), Antonio Baciu (68', pen), Harry Evans (75'), Joe Savory (80', pen)
Star Player: Jamie Cole


Another home game as we started our cup campaign for the season. We were finally able to field a full-ish squad as Marcus and Will made their first appearances of the season, whilst Jack C returned after illness; only Tim and long-term absentee Dan missing this week. Our opponents, Caversham AFC Stallions, had transferred over to the EBFA from the Oxfordshire League this season, and have made a decent start in the division below us, with two wins from their opening three games.

Ashridge quickly took control of proceedings, with Jack G stamping his authority on central midfield, with Will alongside him showing a calm authority which we had missed in our first two fixtures; whilst the back four of James, James, Marcus and Alex rapidly mopped up any forward movements from Caversham. Creative quality was missing, however, with too many loose passes, and Antonio tending to drop a little deep from the striker role, leaving Jack C isolated against a four-man back line. There were few scoring opportunities at either end in the opening quarter of the game, and it was only when Ashridge began to ring the changes that excitement levels began to pick up, With Jamie, Felix and Harry introduced to the midfield, Ashridge began to press forward with intent, and chances began to flow. Jack G was first to register a serious effort after good work from Felix on the left, but his shot from the edge of the box was not cleanly hit allowing the keeper to gather comfortably. Ashridge won a series of corners on the left and Felix's delivery caused huge problems in the visitors' defence: one was headed back across goal by Jack C but didn't fall to a blue shirt; then Bertie got a good head to another, only to have it deflected behind again. From the third, the ball fell to Antonio centrally, just outside the six-yard box, and his shot crashed back off the crossbar before falling to safety. As the half drew to a close, James Riley launched a free-kick from 25 yards on the left, the ball swerving towards the top-corner, where the keeper did well to pluck the ball out of the air. Goalless at half-time, and greater quality needed.

With the rare privilege of having extra players available, Ashridge made a few changes at the start of the second half, to give some of the back line a chance to influence things further forward. Initially James Riley was pushed into midfield alongside Jamie, with Jack G taking a rest; Will dropped into the right back role to cover. Caversham rallied initially and enjoyed a rare spell of pressure, but Marcus was a reassuring presence, dealing with threat confidently; and both Will and Alex impressed in the full back areas with some composed defending and good use of the ball out of defence. Ashridge seemed to be reasserting themselves, with Jamie starting to make some dynamic runs, and Harry and Jack C threatening to get in behind the Caversham defence, but the finish was still missing, with Harry poking the best two opportunities wide of goal. Then on 52 minutes disaster struck; a Caversham break saw a player break free on the right of the box, and a rash challenge from James Riley trying to track back from midfield saw the player brought to ground and a penalty rightly awarded. Comfortably dispatched to the right of Joe, and an unlikely 1-0 advantage to the visitors.

Ashridge pressed forward, getting more and more on top of the game. Whilst it seemed like an age in coming, the leveller in fact only took seven minutes. Jamie was beginning to run the game, and it was he who started a dynamic Ashridge move, with a sweeping pass from the centre to find Bertie in space on the left; Bertie found a quick incisive pass forward to Jack on the left of the box; Jack's first touch took him past the keeper, and from a narrow angle and on his wrong foot, he found an excellent finish to steer the ball home just ahead of the retreating defender. Energy levels went up, and with Antonio, Felix and Jack G all rejoining the game, and Marcus stepping up into midfield in place of James Riley, it seemed only a matter of time before Ashridge struck again. In fact, it was Caversham who nearly re-took the lead on 65 minutes as a ball through the centre was slightly misjudged by James Roberts, and the Caversham forward latched onto it, slotting the ball to Joe's right, but also just to the right of the goal. Ashridge responded quickly, and it was Jamie again who unlocked the visitors defence with a surging run through the centre, skilfully evading two challenges and racing past the back line before being brought crashing down as he was about to strike on goal -  a clear penalty. Dispatched high and centrally by Antonio for 2-1. Ashridge completely in command now, and a third followed five minutes from time as Jamie again tricked his way past the covering midfield on the right of the box before squaring into the path of Harry and Antonio; the former dispatching past the keeper. Ashridge kept the ball in the Caversham half for the final minutes, and Antonio tricked his way past a defender on the right side of the box before again being up-ended. With the referee confirming time was up, and after an abortive attempt at a "clever" penalty where Antonio tucked it to his left for Felix to run on to (re-taken because of encroachment by Caversham), Joe stepped forward to slot home to the left of the keeper to make the final score 4-1.

A deserved win as Ashridge always had the upper hand in territory and threat, though it took a while for the team to find the scoring touch and make the possession count. Very good to have Marcus and Will back today, both are good readers of the game and have a good touch that allows them to play with a calmness that the team really needs. Good also to get some more players on the scoresheet, which will hopefully give us more belief in the coming games. Felix continues to impress with his energy, whilst Jack G and Antonio were both influential today. Particular mention again for Alex, who had another excellent game deputising in the back four, this time on the left - he reads the game well, covering when others get out of position, and he is increasing in confidence in his clearances, using the ball well when the opportunity arises. Star player became an easy call in the final 20 minutes, as Jamie stepped up to really make the difference in the game: two assists for our second and third goals, whilst his exceptional cross-field pass to Bertie opened up the space and set the tempo that led to our equaliser. Another fantastic performance from a player who is really beginning to fulfil his potential this season.
 

 

Sep 14, 2019

Clayton Brace Rescues Point for Park

Ashridge Park 2 STB&G FC Royals 2

Ashridge Scorer: Jack Clayton (35', 64' pen)
Star Player: Jamie Cole


A new season, and some significant changes in the Ashridge squad. We have said goodbye to our top goalscorer Reg Ryan (140 goals over 5 seasons) and also to Tayseer Alam, and welcome on-board Felix for his first game today. With Dan also out with a long-term knee injury sustained in the last game of last season, and Antonio, Marcus and Will all away this weekend, this was always going to be a challenging start for us. A blazing hot September morning at St Crispins only added to the challenge - with only 11 available it meant that the boys would need to pace themselves carefully. Our opponents this morning were Sandhurst Town, promoted back to Division 5 after a year away.

A relatively even start to the game, with the away side showing in the first few minutes, but Ashridge gradually began to win the midfield battle, with Jack G showing particularly strongly, breaking through several challenges but not quite managing to link up with Jack C and Felix who started up front for the home side. As Ashridge pushed forward, Sandhurst looked to exploit the space in behind the Ashridge back four with some long balls from the back, and on ten minutes registered the first serious effort on goal, the forward outpacing the two Jameses at the heart of the Ashridge defence to latch on to the ball, and a decent effort was met with a fingertip save from Joe, who managed to turn the ball on to the right-hand post before it broke back across goal to be scrambled behind by Alex, who was filling in at right-back today. The reprieve was brief though, as the same tactic by-passed the Ashridge centre backs on 13 minutes, and the same forward this time buried the chance into the bottom left-hand corner.

Ashridge continued to hold their own in the midfield battle as the half progressed, with Jamie now prospering in the central areas, showing some neat footwork to find space, as well as some surprising strength in the challenge. Clear-cut chances were still hard to find, with the blues' best moments being confined to long shots: Jack G missing to the right of goal, and Jamie dragging a shot wide to the left, before also trying a spectacular lob from half-way after a miscued clearance from the Sandhurst keeper - this one missing just to the right of goal. Sandhurst had good periods of pressure too, but still looked most dangerous on the counter-attack. On the half-hour another ball over the top caught the Ashridge defence out of position once more, the ball was switched quickly to the left flank, where Alex gamely closed down the attacker, but the ball was squared back to the edge of the box where a Sandhurst player in acres of space drilled a first-time effort low to Joe's right to extend the lead. Ashridge responded well, and a good period of play was topped off on 35 minutes when Jamie led a break through the centre before sliding a well-paced pass to his right leaving Jack C to place the ball calmly past the visitors' keeper to reduce the arrears. 2-1 to Sandhurst at the break.

With the half-time talk used in part to sort out the issues in our back-line, Ashridge began to look much more solid in the second period. With Tim and Alex breaking up the majority of attacks down their respective flanks, and the two Jameses clearing the danger through the centre, there were some early forays into Sandhurst territory. Jamie was again to the fore, showing the Sandhurst midfield a clean pair of heels, and Jack C began to feature with some strong possession around the box; there was however a tendemcy to over-elaborate, and clear-cut chances were few. Sandhurst came close to a third when a corner from the right bobbled around the Ashridge box, with James Riley ultimately rescuing the home side with a clearance off the line. Felix, now playing on the left of midfield (with Bertie moving up front), had some good moments in the opposition half, and almost released Jack C with a clever reverse pass, which just eluded everyone. As the heat took its toll, Ashridge dropped back a little and Sandhurst enjoyed a strong ten minute spell in the middle of the half, winning a number of corners, and keeping Ashridge penned in; the defence was sound, however - both Alex and Tim managing solid headed clearances under pressure.

Gradually the game evened up again, and Ashridge levelled the scores on 64 minutes when Jack C held the ball up on the right edge of the penalty area, before trying to lift the ball over the defender, only to be thwarted as the ball struck the raised arm of the Sandhurst player. The new rules kicked in, with the hand raised above shoulder height, and a penalty was awarded, which Jack C converted fairly centrally to the keeper's left. The game remained fairly even to the end, though Sandhurst were denied a potential winner on a rapid break, as the forward rounded Joe to the left of goal and got the shot away on target, only to be thwarted as Alex flung himself full-length just in front of the goal line to scramble the ball behind for a corner. No more incidents of note, and the game finished with honours even at 2-2.

Given the lack of substitutes and the absence of some fairly key players, this was a good effort to recover from two goals down. Credit to the back four for heeding advice and sorting out the problems seen in the first half, and particular credit to the full-backs Tim, and especially Alex, whose spectacular goal line clearance preserved a hard-won point. Behind them, Joe's handling was sound throughout, and his early finger-tip save was another key moment. Good to see Jack C back in action in his old striker's role, and the return of two goals is a promising sign for the season. Felix showed good energy on his debut for us, whilst Jack G was a real engine for us at the heart of the midfield, showing particularly strongly early in the game, and again at the end as others were beginning to flag. Today's star player recognition goes to Jamie, who showed more quality than anyone on the pitch today; some dynamic runs with really good touches of skill, and a key assist for our first goal.

 

Sep 28, 2019

Hurst Sweep Ashridge Aside

Ashridge Park 0 Hurst Twyford Hurricanes 5

Star Player: Alex Ayton

Availability issues continued to dog the side as we went into our second game. With Marcus missing once more, and Dillon away this weekend, we also lost Jack C and Will to illness on the morning of the game. With Harry making his debut, we therefore went into the match with just the bare 11 once more. Our opponents, Hurst and Twyford are amongst the stronger teams in the division, and had beaten us on each of the four occasions we have met previously - albeit the last one courtesy of a last minute penalty save.

Hurst dominated proceedings from the off, pushing forward and looking for openings. Ashridge battled well, with the back line staying in good shape, and Joe confidently claiming any balls within his reach. Jack G set the tone in the midfield areas, snapping into some good challenges, and the energy was quickly picked up by Harry alongside him in the centre and Felix on the left flank, with Antonio also keeping the Hurst defence on their toes. Felix perhaps made the biggest impression in this period, winning some great tackles, showing some tidy footwork, and teeing up one or two promising raids for Harry and Antonio. Hurst, however, were fleet of foot at the back and always had numbers where they were needed, and Ashridge were unable to breach their defences.

Whilst under fairly constant pressure, Ashridge kept Hurst at bay until the mid-point of the half, when the visitors struck with a well-taken goal. The move started with a throw on the right, level with the penalty area; the ball breaking off the head of one attacker across the edge of the penalty area where a first time effort was rifled high into the back of the net leaving Joe with little chance. Ashridge energy levels sagged, and more pressure followed, and on 28 minutes a ball over the back line produced a moment's hesitation, and a Hurst forward muscled his way past to stab in a second just inside the left hand post. More damage could have followed as a scramble from a corner led to the ball being headed narrowly wide; and then Joe pulled off a good save from a fiercely struck cross-shot from the right flank. Ashridge's best moment was a nicely worked interchange between Harry and Antonio on the edge of the Hurst box, leaving Harry breaking in on the keeper, only to be pulled up by the linesman's flag as he had gone a moment too soon. 2-0 at the interval

A bit of reorganisation for the second half, with Jamie moving off the right flank into the centre of midfield to try to give him more chance to influence proceedings, Harry moving up front, and Bertie dropping into right midfield. If the break was the chance to re-group and go again, the start to the half rapidly deflated things. In the opening minute, a Hurst midfielder was given the freedom of the Ashridge right to surge to the edge of the box, and with no midfielders covering across, he was able to jink inside Alex and fire a shot inside the near post to make it three. Three minutes later and almost a repeat performance on the Ashridge left, this time the runner evading Tim's last challenge in the box and squaring past Joe to leave a tap in to an empty net. Ashridge now in danger of a real hammering, but to their credit, they began to look more solid again, and just prior to the hour had a genuine shout for a penalty when Antonio and Harry combined, Harry worked his way past one challenge and into the box on the right hand angle, before appearing to be bundled over from behind by the recovering defender. Nothing given, however, and Hurst resumed their pursuit of more goals.

The last period of the game saw the Ashridge defence battle manfully to restrict the damage. The midfield was tiring badly now, and being by-passed easily by surging runs and by simple balls over the top. James Riley repeatedly pushed up from centre back to try to compensate, but this left gaps which Hurst's runners were quick to exploit, and only some wayward finishing kept the score at four. The defence was having to deal with some quite physical stuff at times, with Alex flattened by a forward who just leant on him rather than trying to play the ball, but to his credit he got on with it, ran off the knock and then proceeded to get some crucial clearances and tackles in. James Roberts was also left in a heap after a late challenge from the same player, and he too continued to do a good job. Ashridge managed the odd raid, and when they kept it simple and passed the ball around, managed to look a bit more of a threat, but the Hurst back line dealt well with it, and a deflected shot from Jamie was the most they had to show for it. Hurst finally breached the Ashridge defences again five minutes from time, another well-timed run through the channel, a well-struck shot was saved by Joe, but the ball broke into the path of another Hurst forward who shinned it into the net, just avoiding Alex's desparate lunge on the line. 

Although a disappointing result, it's hard to criticise the team given the lack of available players; the effort was pretty good against a team who should be amongst the leaders in the division at the end of the season. The back four were sorely tested today, but all did pretty well in the circumstances; they just need to be sure to maintain their shape even when the midfield are caught too far forward, and they need to call each other out if it's not happening. The midfield had a huge workload to do against a powerful team, but they do need to build fitness so that they are able to support both defence and attack, particularly in the wide areas - today it was either one or the other for the most part. Two players in contention for the star award: Felix was the stand-out in the first half with some great energy, some good skills and nice passing; he looked the most likely to set up something of note going forward; he did however fade in the second period. So the award goes to Alex, standing in for the second match in a row at right back, he put in his second solid, disciplined performance; always to be found in the right position, he broke up a number of attacks, and used the ball well; he soldiered on after being hurt in a crude challenge, and in fact almost redoubled his efforts from that point.