Match Report and Pictures - Season 2020-2021    

Pre-Season Friendly - Ashfield 4 Maryhill 2, Peugeot Ashfield Stadium - 12/09/2020 - 2pm

At last Football was back and on a Saturday afternoon at normal time too. Unfortunately the only challenge was that the turnstiles were firmly closed as the Match, due to the current COVID-19 arrangements was played behind closed doors and with strict safety guidelines which were really well adhered to by both Teams and Official.

The Match itself was certainly not played under the normal `tempo`for a friendly as both teams were desperate to continue where they had left off in February. The home side`s last encounter was a 6-3 home victory to Annbank Utd on 29/2/2020. The game was played in a very competitive way as detailed and both teams had early chances to open their account with the `hill Keeper pulling off a great save from Callum Graham which was followed up at the other end by a glancing header coming back off the post, however as the half wore on it was the home side that took control and went ahead on the 15th Minute with a lovely header from one of Ashfield`s trialists. The home side continued to cause one of their local rivals problems and on the 23th Minute Mark McManus whipped in a free-Kick from 22 yards out leaving the  `hill Keeper with no chance. Chances continued to fall for the home side as the visitors struggled and were glad to hear the half time whistle.

HT:- ASHFIELD 2 MARYHILL 0

A few changes were made to the personnel and this game was certainly a game of `two halves` as the visitors backed by a strong wind took the game to the `field and within 10 minutes of the restart were on the scoresheet with a lovely angled drive which found the corner of the net. It was `game on` as both teams threw caution to the wind and the `field had to thank the woodwork on a couple of occasions before going 3-1 ahead courtesy of a lovely goal from a further trialist. Not to be undone, Maryhill reduced the deficit within 60 seconds from a free-kick which caught out the Ashfield Keeper Moore however the home Keeper made amends saving a penalty 15 minutes from time. As the game came to a close, Ashfield scored a fourth following a header across the goalmouth and that was that. Both teams deserve credit for putting on an excellent show as they try and get back to full fitness before the West of Scotland League kicks off.

FT:- ASHFIELD 4 MARYHILL 2

Teams:-

Ashfield FC :- Moore, Barr, D Leverage, Doherty, Trialist (a), C Leverage, Boyce, Crumlish, Graham, McManus and Galloway - Subs:- Hearton, Trialist (b), (c) , (d) and (e)

Maryhill FC :- Black, Crawford, Martin, Etherson, McNeill, Coyle, Naysmith, McGuinness, Skinner, Dobbs and Henderson - Subs:- Ashe, Browne, Easdon, Gray, Kennedy, McEwan, McRoberts, O`Neil, Stevenson and Wallace.

Attendance:- Closed Doors

Man of the Match:- John Barr

Pre-Season Friendly - Ashfield 0 Rossvale 6 , Peugeot Ashfield Stadium - 19/09/2020 - 2pm

This fixture is becoming a regular occurence in both Team`s Calendar`s for Pre-Season friendlies and the matches have been enjoyable and extremely competitive over the years however it has been a while now since Ashfield last tasted victory against the East Dunbartonshire outfit and we have to go back to the 2013-14 Season for a 3-2 win in the Central League Cup at New Petershill Park.

The home side were looking to build on their good victory last weekend however were brought back down to earth by a strong and clinical Rossvale outfit who played some excellent football.

Despite a lively opening from the `field it was the visitors who showed why they are playing in the West of Scotland`s elite League by virtually finishing the game within 15 minutes. A threaded ball through the heart of the `field defence saw ex-Ashfield forward Paul Brennan drill the ball past the advancing Keeper to put the `vale 1-0 up in 12 minutes. Worse was to follow 3 minutes later when Berhas could only parry a well taken free kick into the path of an onrushing `vale forward and it was 2-0. The home side struggled to win enough of the ball in the midfield area to create enough for the lively Hearton and Graham up front against a physically strong visiting team. A further two goals were conceded by the break as Ashfield struggled against Rossvale in all areas of the park and Ashfield Manager Paul Maxwell had a lot to ponder at Half time.

HT:- ASHFIELD 0 ROSSVALE 4

The home side were caught in between trying new things out or holding firm against a rampant Rossvale side and a couple of changes ensured that the game was pretty even for the first 20 minutes of the second half with Ashfield showing promise of  pulling something back. This all went downhill when Ashfield substitute Marcus Boyce became involved in a fracas with the `Vale Centre half and was shown a straight `Red` . As the half wore on and despite the `field working hard, two late goals from the visitors capped off a fine display and David Gormley and his side look to be in excellent shape for the Season ahead with their first League Match at home to Cumnock in October. As for the `field it was a `bad day at the Office` and will dust themselves down this week for a visit to Pollok next Saturday.

FT:- ASHFIELD 0 ROSSVALE 6

Teams:-

Ashfield: Berhas, Barr, D Leverage, Doherty, C Leverage, Crumlish, Trialist, Hepburn, Graham, Galloway and Hearton. Subs:- Boyce, Moore (GK), Cairns, Friel, McManus, McCabe & Giblin

Rossvale:- Stott, Tottance, O`Sullivan, Baird, Buchanan, Urquhart, McCluskey, Welsh, Brennan, Malcolm and Higgins. Subs:- Alexander, Finlay, McDowall, Larkin, McWilliams, McLean (GK) and Gormley.

Attendance:- Closed Doors

Man of the Match:- Graeme Hearton

Pre-Season Friendly - Pollok 2 Ashfield 1 , Newlandsfield Park, Glasgow  - 26/09/2020 - 2pm

Ashfield headed to the South Side of Glasgow yesterday looking to continue their preparation for the opening League game of the Season and as fixtures go could not have picked a more testing challenge. However when Referee brought proceedings to a close at the end of a terrific 90 minutes the `field can be extremely happy with their performance albeit losing out by the narrowest of scorelines. The Team set up was more in lines to what they looked like when COVID-19 put a halt to last Season in March however it was good to see a couple of additions to the squad.

There were many friends on the opposition line up and bench and it was good to see Ex-Ashfield players/Management in Murdie McKinnon, Billy Kerr, Gary McCann and Shaun Fraser however it was the `thorn` in Ashfield`s side from the last game between the teams that made an immediate impact. Adam Forde gave the `field a `hard time` in their last Match and was everywhere in the opening 20-25 minutes linking up well across the park with both wingers and frontman Stuart McCann. It was a frantic start to the game and the `field got an early warning of the pace of Stuart McCann when he `ghosted` in between the Ashfield Central defence to shoot against the top of the bar. Cross balls for some reason were causing the `field difficulty and on the 12th Minute the home side took took the lead courtesy of a bullet header by the smallest man on the park Adam Forde.  Pollok 1 Ashfield 0. Ex-Pollok Derek Moore had no chance and 2 minutes later was picking the ball out of the net again following a corner which found an onrushing Stuart McCann who guided a shot into the corner of the net to put the `lok 2-0 up. Pollok 2 Ashfield 0. The `field knew they had to `weather the storm` and this they did and after 25 minutes began to make inroads up front with Baz Hepburn and Callum Graham making their presence known. Ashfield thought they had pulled a goal back following the `lok keeper failing to hold a shot with Callum Graham nudging the ball away from him and finishing however the Referee `chalked` off the goal for an infringement. The `field did not have long to wait as Callum Graham picked up a loose pass and drove at the `lok goal before finishing with aplomb to reduce the deficit. Pollok 2 Ashfield 1. Both teams were committed to moving the ball quickly to try and score again before HT but it was not to be.

HT:- POLLOK 2 ASHFIELD 1

The home side `freshened` things up at the start of the half making 3 Substitutes and were not as quickly `out the blocks` as they were in the first half and as the half wore on, the `field came more and more into it. Again a couple of cross balls caused problems in the `field defence and Moore had to be alert on a couple of occasions however it was the `field and in particular Callum Graham that were asking questions of the `lok back four and were forced into a couple of last ditch tackles. A controversial moment happened with 20 minutes to go when the pace of Graham got in between the `lok Centre half and the advancing Keeper and as Callum nudged the ball to the side was brought down by the `lok substitute Keeper. The Referee, who had an excellent game throughout, had a call to make and waved play on. As the clock ticked towards the 90 minutes, Ashfield had a succession of three corners in the closing minutes and on the last one, Callum Graham managed to get his foot to the cross and diverted the ball against the underside of the bar. A really good effort from the `field as the Referee brought proceedings to a close in the Glasgow sunshine shortly after. This was a tremendous `workout` for the visitors with all areas being examined and came through the test very well indeed. At this moment the League Matches are due to start on the 10th October 2020 however this will be discussed at a higher level next week. In the meantime Ashfield welcome Vale of Clyde to Saracen Park next Saturday in a Friendly.

FT:- POLLOK 2 ASHFIELD 1

Ashfield`s Team:- Moore, C Leverage, Friel, Barr, Doherty, Crerand, Trialist, Giblin, Graham, Hepburn and Hearton. Subs:- Brown, McManus and Dakhill (GK)

Man of the Match:- Luke Crerand

Attendance:- Closed Doors.

Muirkirk 2 Ashfield 1 - West of Scotland League - Conference A - Burnside Park, Muirkirk -  07/11/2020 - K.O. 2pm

 

This was the first League game of the Season for the `field however it was also Ashfield`s first `Senior` Match in their 134 year history and were greeted with a lovely, but cold day in Ayrshire. It was a shame that supporters were not permitted as this game, as in previous games between the teams was full of entertainment, end to end action and the usual controversy however as the dust settled the home side will be delighted with securing the points and it would have been a long drive home for the Ashfield Team pondering `if only`.

Paul Maxwell had to `tinker` slightly with the starting line up ahead of the Match but for some reason the visitors were `not at the races` for the first 15 minutes before getting into their usual stride and where they may have got away with it against different opposition, Muirkirk are a well organised outfit who started on the front foot and found themselves 2 goals ahead after 10 minutes.

The opening goal after just 5 minutes found impressive striker Gavin Hay power his way into the box from the left before despatching a strong shot which the Ashfield Keeper managed the parry out however the ball broke to Ex-Ashfield striker Gavin Goodall who made space for himself before driving the ball in between defenders on the line to put the home side ahead. Muirkirk 1 Ashfield 0. Worse was to follow 4 minutes later when Ciaran Friel was short with his headed passback and the lively Hay nipped ahead of the `field keeper before tapping the ball into an empty net. Muirkirk 2 Ashfield 0.

The `field knew they had to up their game and gain ground and this they did well. After the 20 minute mark the visitors began to find their feet and began to dictate play, utilising the flanks well and were unlucky in the 20th minute when the `field had a strong claim for a penalty. Shortly after it was the home side that had a strong claim however the Referee waved the home side`s protests away. On the half hour mark after some good play at the edge of the box, Baz Hepburn was upended with the home side appealing that the infringement was outside the box, however Referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Callum Graham stepped up however was thwarted by a tremendous save from the home keeper to the anguish of the `field. The `field continued to press before half time however found the home defence in dogged fashion and chances were at a premium.

 

HT:- MUIRKIRK 2 ASHFIELD 0

It was important for the `field to make a good start to the half and after a succession of corners pulled a goal back in the 48th minute in strange circumstances with Baz Hepburn`s corner kick finding the net to the delight of the players and Ashfield Management Team. It was `game on` now and Ashfield pressed hard throughout the second half however found the Muirkirk keeper in excellent form making some excellent saves from Callum Graham & Baz Hepburn. A couple of changes were also made with Michael Giblin and young Nicholas McLaughlin replacing Mark McManus and Ryan McManus who had put in excellent shifts. As the visitors surged forward at every opportunity the home side in the last 15 minutes began to hit effectively on the break and a couple of last gasp interventions particularly by Sean Doherty and the Keeper ensured the `field stayed in the game. The last 5 minutes plus saw the `field have a number of corners on the bounce and there was certainly a couple of good old `stramashes` in the box but the home side held firm and after 3 minutes of injury time the Referee brought proceedings to a close.

FT:- MUIRKIRK 2 ASHFIELD 1

Man of the Match:- A number of good performances in the Black and White hoops however Colin Leverage kept on pushing the team forward and seemed to be everywhere in the second half.

Attendance:- Closed Doors

Ashfield Team:- Trialist, C Friel, D Leverage, A Cairns, S Doherty, C Leverage, B Hepburn, M McManus, C Graham, L Crerand and R McManus. Subs:- R Dakhill, S Wilson, C Beedham, M Giblin, J Brown, N McLaughlin and M Sideserf

Maybole 1 Ashfield 4, West of Scotland League Conference A - Ladywell Stadium, Maybole - Saturday 14th November 2020 - K.O. 1.45 pm

Both teams were having very good Seasons last year before COVID-19 put a halt to things however one of the highlights were the two games between Maybole and Ashfield which conjured up 21 goals in 2 games. Today`s encounter was expected to be very close again and this is how it turned out to be. The first half was a tremendous advert for, I was going to say Junior Football, but Conference A Football, as both teams battled hard and fairly on a heavy pitch with chances at a premium due to the performance of both defences.

The`field had made 2 changes to the Team narrowly defeated by Muirkirk, with Jonny Howat making his debut in the Midfield and had a terrific game. Maybole looked very dangerous in the opening exchanges especially from set-pieces however the Ashfield Keeper although having to be alert on a number of occasions wasn`t troubled too much. The Ashfield front two were also having it not all of their own way against a well marshalled home defence however as the half more on the `field began to find some more space. On the half hour mark Dean Leverage had an effort which he blasted over the bar from 20 yards out before Callum Graham had a couple of efforts saved by the Maybole Keeper however in the 42nd Minute the deadlock was broken. It was Callum Graham who provided the all important pass as the big Striker broke down the left hand side before delivering a low hard cross into the box which saw Jonny Howat drill the ball past the Maybole Keeper to put the North Glasgow Team ahead. Maybole 0 Ashfield 1. A really well worked goal and 3 minutes later, on the stroke of half time, more joy for the visitors when a poor clearance from the Maybole Keeper found Ryan McManus free on goal. His first effort was brilliantly saved however the Ashfield striker made no mistake with his second effort to the delight of the players and the Ashfield Management Team. Maybole 0 Ashfield 2. A real blow to the home side however as the Referee brought proceedings to a close, the `field knew that there was still a long way to go.

HT:- MAYBOLE 0 ASHFIELD 2

There were no changes at Half time from either side and the `field were keen to add to their lead and in the 46th minute they did just that. A lovely through ball from Baz Hepburn saw Callum Graham break clear of his markers and as the Goalkeeper advanced he drove the ball low and hard into the net to put Ashfield 3-0 up. The joy on the players faces were there to see as they knew this was a vital strike. Maybole 0 Ashfield 3. The home side were shell shocked at this stage however to their credit they rolled up their sleeves and set about trying to get back into the Match and within three minutes of Ashfield`s goal, the home side pulled a goal back. The Referee awarded a free kick on the edge of the `field`s box and after the first effort was cleared the ball broke out to the right hand side and a cross was delivered right onto the head of the Maybole No 11 who guided his header into the top corner of the net leaving the Ashfield Keeper with no chance. Maybole 1 Ashfield 3. It was `game on` again and the Match became stretched for a while with both teams looking for the next goal. The Referee was kept busy during this spell with a number of bookings however he officiated the game very well indeed. With 15 minutes left on the clock, Maybole almost scored a 2nd when a left foot shot took a wicked deflection bringing out a tremendous one handed save from the Ashfield Keeper. Ashfield made a couple of substitutes  with Mark McManus, Michael Giblin and young Nicky McLaughlin coming on during the second half and it was the latter who made an immediate impact winning the ball inside the Maybole half before playing the ball behind the Maybole back two which was instantly seized upon by Callum Graham and the big Ashfield Striker took a couple of strides before drilling home the fourth. Maybole 1 Ashfield 4. A lovely worked goal and this ensured the `field were heading back up the wet A77 with a valuable three points. A really good performance from Ashfield against tough opponents and there will not be many teams who will come away with points here this season.........`mon the `field !

FT:- MAYBOLE 1 ASHFIELD 4

Man of the Match:- Some tremendous performances from the players in black and white hoops with particular mentions to new boys Ryan McManus and Jonny Howatt. The back four were excellent and Callum Graham was a constant menace to the Maybole back four however Baz Hepburn was everywhere today, especially in the first half so wins today`s Website Man of the Match.

Attendance:- Closed Doors

Ashfield Team:- Trialist, C Friel, S Doherty, C Beedham, D Leverage, J Howat, L Crerand, C Leverage, C Graham, R McManus , B Hepburn. Subs:- N McLaughlin, C Sideserf, M McManus, J Brown, M Giblin, J Barr, J Adam.

Ashfield 2 Renfrew 5 , West of Scotland League Conference A, Peugeot Ashfield Stadium, Glasgow - Kick-Off 1.45pm

Ashfield welcomed Renfrew to the Peugeot Ashfield Stadium for the first time in many years. It was in the 2014-15 Season that the `frew last visited and both teams came into this encounter on the back of excellent victories against Maybole (4-1) and Bonnyrigg Rose (3-0) respectively.

As Referee Chris Hughes blew his whistle to start proceedings it was clear that both teams were on the `front foot`in terms of attacking each other and for the first 20 minutes the game ebbed and flowed from one side to another. As early as the 2nd Minute the visitors almost took the lead after a lovely `dinked` cross found the onrushing No 10 for the `frew who glanced a header which cannoned back of the base of the post & into the Ashfield Keeper`s gloves. The visitors surged forward at every opportunity however the `field looked dangerous on the break with Dean Leverage and Luke Crerand getting some joy down the left hand side. Following a corner in the 10th minute Ryan McManus managed to drift away from his marker and his netbound header was blocked on the line by the `frew Centre half. However in the 16th Minute the deadlock was broken when the visitors were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box. The ball was driven through a ruck of players leaving the Ashfield Keeper unsighted and the ball ended up in the corner of the net. Ashfield 0 Renfrew 1. The visitors upped their game for a while after this and the `field had to withstand some pressure albeit the efforts were from outside of the box. Callum Graham, up front for Ashfield, had been well marshalled by the`frew back two and struggled to get any room however on the half hour almost levelled for the `field as the ball was played through to him by Baz Hepburn however as he finished with aplomb the Referee had blown his whistle for offside. The game became scrappy for a while after this with the heavy underfoot conditions not helping and both teams went into the break knowing that it was going to be an interesting Second Half.

HT:- ASHFIELD 0 RENFREW 1

Ashfield started the second half much better, shooting in at the `Possilpark` end of the Ground and began to get some joy down the flanks. On the 50th Minute, after some nice interplay found Colin Leverage on the right he delivered a tremendous cross into the box which was met by the `field Centre Half Sean Doherty and his bullet header was brilliantly turned away by the impressive `frew Keeper. The `field were left to `rue` that miss as within a minute the visitors had increased their lead following a solo effort from the Renfrew Centre who picked the ball up on the edge of the box before weaving himself passed a couple of defenders and driving the ball in at the Keepers near hand post to put the `frew 2-0 ahead. Ashfield 0 Renfrew 2. A blow for Ashfield after a lively start to the half however this did not affect the home side who pulled themselves back into the Match six minutes later following some nice play between Baz Hepburn and Ryan McManus and it was the latter who picked up the ball up on the edge of the box before evading a couple of tackles and lashing the ball passed the `frew keeper. Ashfield 1 Renfrew 2. It was `game on `now and things began to `heat up` on the park with a couple of crunching tackles and the Referee had to utilise his Cards on a number of occasions. On the 61st Minute however the game was turned on its head after a long thrown in from Dean Leverage on the left was cleared out to the edge of the box by a Renfrew defender only to find Dean`s brother Colin steady himself before driving the ball into the far corner of the net to the delights of the Players, Management and Officials of Ashfield. A tremendous effort !  Ashfield 2 Renfrew 2. The game was `up for grabs` now & the home side surged forward at every opportunity with the `frew keeper being called into action on a couple of occasions. However this game changed again when with 19 minutes on the clock left, the visitors were awarded a free kick just inside Ashfield`s half. The ball was won by a `frew defender who headed the ball to the edge of the box finding his colleague who volleyed the ball into the top corner of the net. Ashfield 2 Renfrew 3. A tremendous goal which could have `knocked the stuffing` out of a side however Ashfield came back and after some good play on the edge of the box by Callum Graham, the big Ashfield striker was hauled to the ground and the Renfrew midfielder was shown a 2nd yellow. A great free-kick from Baz Hepburn was brilliantly punched away by the `frew keeper as the home side continued to press. A couple of substitutions from both sides, however with 5 minutes left on the clock, it was `game over`after lovely play on the edge of the box drew a  tackle from Luke Crerand resulting in a penalty to the visitors. The `frew Centre forward drove the Kick into the roof of the net to ensure the three points were heading along the M8 to Renfrew. Ashfield 2 Renfrew 4. To make matters worse for the home side in the last minute, Goalkeeper Berhas in the Ashfield Goals failed to clear a pass back giving the ball straight to the forward who lobbed the ball over the Keepers head to put a sore scoreline on the books for the `field. Ashfield 2 Renfrew 5.

The `field must `dust themselves down` as are back down to Ayrshire next week and a visit to New Pebble Park to take on Annbank United.

FT:- ASHFIELD 2 RENFREW 5

Man of the Match:- Some good performances in the Black and White hoops in a game which at one point could have swung either way however with his crossing coupled with the equalizing goal the award goes to Colin Leverage.

Attendance:- Closed Doors

Ashfield Team:- I Berhas, C Leverage, C Beedham, C Friel, S Doherty, D Leverage, B Hepburn, J Howat, C Graham, L Crerand and R McManus. Subs:- C Sideserf, M McManus, M Boyce, A Cairns, J Adam, G Hearton and J Barr.

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