Ashford travelled to top of the table Beccehamians on Saturday and for the first time this season had glorious sunshine which would hopefully allow some free flowing rugby. The crowd were indeed treated to lots of good rugby which unfortunately for the away supporters was all provided by the home side.
The game started with Ashford playing down the slope and from the first whistle Ashford were off the pace, with a lazy kick chase resulting in easy yards gained by Beccs. The home side used their large strike runners to make holes in the Ashford defence but were equally adept at using playing behind their backs to unleash their backline. This smart decision making and clear plan was a constant throughout and Ashford never got to grips with how to defend against it.
After 25 minutes Ashford were 20 plus points down and all at sea with Beccs playing some great but simple rugby and Ashford looking hopelessly lost. The introduction of Tom Perkins making his debut from the bench provided a brief ray of light as he came on and immediately brought energy and physicality which was so badly missing, he was a credit to himself and the club and clearly has a bright future.
The final 10 minutes of the first half saw Ashford enjoy their best spell of the game and eventually Danny Bushell went over to score the solitary away try of the afternoon and Tanner converted.
The 2nd half saw Beccehamians continue to stretch Ashford and it seemed like Ashford spent the whole 40 minutes defending, by the end of 80 minutes had conceded 54 points, lost 2 players to yellow cards and had completely capitulated. Beccs rightfully enjoyed their win and based on this will be major contenders for promotion come the end of the season. For Ashford this was hugely embarrassing and a real low for all concerned, the way they rolled over so easily when the pressure came was unprecedented, the whole team lacked character, fight, looked hopelessly unfit in many cases and were guilty of making one poor decision after another.
There is plenty of playing potential in this squad and in the Ashford senior set up as a whole, but too many players seem to think they’re entitled to their shirt and need to stand up and put the work in to stop the rot.
Ashford face Sittingbourne this coming weekend at home and in front of the first Vice Presidents lunch of the season, they will need to be collectively far better than they have been the last 2 weeks to stand a chance.