Ashford Town (Middlesex) FC make history

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Ashford Town (Middlesex) made history by playing host to a Chinese team on Thursday evening. Tianjin FC, from the world’s 6th most populous city, which is situated in the northern coastal region of mainland China, made the trip as a reward for winning their regional league.

Ashford Town’s league and FA Cup commitments meant that manager, Ben Murray was unable to field his strongest side but this situation enabled  him to play some of his fringe players and to give an opportunity to several younger players.

The hosts took the lead in the 9th minute and added goals regularly until they were 6 nil ahead in the 34th minute. A rare attack by the visitors then enabled them to pull a goal back but Ashford scored again to make the score 7-1 at the interval.

Despite being outplayed, Tianjin did not give up and came more into the game in the second half. The home supporters recognized this and sportingly applauded them from the field at the end of the match. The final score was 10-2.

Ashford Town’s goals were scored by Jabir Laraba (4), Elliott Poley, Max Webb, Nathan Pooley, Joe Brazil, Cameron Richardson and Matt Surmon. Han Lei and Ma Wei (penalty) replied for the visitors.

A very large Chinese meal was consumed during the after match festivities in the clubhouse and a very convivial atmosphere prevailed. Ashford Chairman, Dave Baker made a fitting welcoming speech and presented our visitors with a memento in recognition of a memorable occasion.

Photos from the game are available here, courtesy of Chris Benn.

Jim Taylor

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