Mersham Sports lift county T20 title
Don Crosbie says he is staggered and disappointed after Ashford United were fined £750 by the Southern Counties East League for failing to fulfill their opening fixture of the season against Beckenham Town last month.
The Ashford owner appeared before a disciplinary commission last Wednesday to answer the charge but admitted he was unhappy at the outcome, despite £500 being suspended.
The game was called off due to delays with the installation of the multimillion pound 3G pitch and United’s plans to stage the game elsewhere not proving possible.
Mr Crosbie said: “I am disappointed, staggered and horrified that the echelons of football don’t support the grassroots and little non-profitmaking community clubs like ours.
“We should be patted on the back for what we have done at Homelands, providing the sort of facilities that local authorities or the Football Association don’t fund.
“I won’t be appealing and I will pay the fine. I would pay £10,000 if I had to because it is the principle of the thing, there is no support.”
The new surface survived a huge soaking on Tuesday ahead of the Lordswood game, with Mr Crosbie hailing the pitch as “beautiful and absolutely perfect.” He added: “If the game had been played on grass, it would have been off, as would Canterbury’s game against Deal due to take place last night (Wednesday).
“Everybody, visiting players and referee, said how good it was to play and officiate on.”
Meanwhile, United trio, Nathan Paul, Dave Cook and Jamie Collado have left the club this week, with playermanager Danny Lye confirming he has made seven-day approaches for new players.
Paul, who joined the club at the start of the season, has followed former striker Stuart Zanone to Greenwich, while Cook and Collado have rejoined Hythe, following the appointment of Cook’s father as new joint-boss of Hythe. Lye said: “Greenwich put in seven days for Nathan last week, we offered him a good deal to stay but they topped it by a mile.”
were winners of Soccer Club Swap Shop Programme of the Year last season and placed 42nd overall nationally. Geerings, of Ashford, are the new design and print partner for the publication, edited by Dave Reid.
Ashford United’s Jamie Collado drives forward on the new pitch against Erith Town
on Saturday. Match report, page 77