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Pre-Season Review

The players returned back for pre-season earlier than normal in preparation for the visit of Gillingham.

We have some new faces for the up-coming season so it was a good chance for myself and Paul to have a look at the squad. A good game with both sets of players deserving credit for their performances in hot temperatures playing with a good tempo. Liam whiting with a great strike, but Gillingham winning 2-1.

We followed the Gillingham game with games against Ryman Premier side Margate and Ryman League teams Folkestone Invicta and VCD. Results not really important losing 5-1, winning 1-0 and drawing 0-0. Margate showed their class and clinical finishing with very good movement but the lads put in another good shift building fitness levels and Wes Foord scored his first goal for Ashford.

The Folkestone win gave the players deserved confidence with our ball retention and work rate off the ball and being hard to break down being the highlight.

The VCD game was scrappy but again our shape and not conceding goals against higher opposition and building more match fitness the priority.

First silverware of the season arrived with a win against fellow league opposition Canterbury in the Frank Norris Trophy, our first half performance being full of pace and energy. Tom Scorer with goals highlighting his promise for the up coming season. New signings all getting match time and fitting in nicely.

Hythe and Ramsgate results 4-0 and 1-0. The Hythe game showed the quality of our players and we played the best football of pre-season so far holding possession and creating chances but allowed some soft goals which took the gloss off the performance.

The Ramsgate game we were far stronger defensively and looked solid but lacked a bit of quality in possession and in front of goal, fitness levels being topped up throughout the team being the real target achieved.

Paul and I have been really pleased with the lads attitude in pre-season, they came back already in good shape and have worked hard over the last 5 weeks in preparation for the up-coming season. We have some new faces which provide more quality and competition for places.

We will look to consolidate our status in our first season in the newly named division. We know its a tough league but want to be competitive and are really looking forward to the challenge.

By John Ovard