A losing bonus point was all that Charlton Park gleaned from Saturday's defeat against Ashford, despite dominating large parts of the game. In a game that this time around lasted the full 80 minutes, Park found themselves behind to an early penalty from the visitors after 6 minutes, a lead that was extended 10 minutes later through a converted try.
The rest of the half was fairly non-descript, with neither side exciting the post-lunch crowd.
Park's scrum, with the experienced front row to the fore, was dominating their opposite numbers, seemingly unrewarded at times, but after half an hour their dominance told when a mighty shove, provided the easiest of tries for jet-setting scrum half John Costi.
Just before the half came a pivotal moment in the match when Reion went down with a nasty looking ankle injury which may keep him out of the side for some time.
Half Time score 7-10
The second half started slowly but Ashford had the better share of the ball and went close early on, However, 2 tries within 5 minutes, halfway the half extended Ashford's lead and despite continued scrum dominance, Park were finding it hard to get going in a stop start period of the game.
With the crowd getting behind them, Park upped the ante, and after a fine, direct run from Kini, a classically Fijian offload put Ross Sidebottom away for the try, which went unconverted.
Another period of Park dominance ensued, and although frustrated by some curious officiating at scrum time, the home team were finally rewarded with 10 minutes of the game remaining with a penalty try following one of many transgressions by the opponents' scrum half.
Now a player down, Ashford were under the cosh and following another scrum penalty in front of the posts, albeit about 30 metres out, Park chose to go for the win , rather than kick the penalty. Unfortunately , the ball went loose and the chance was lost.
Ashford held on for the win which all but guaranteed their place in Counties 1 Kent next season, and with the 2 sides below them ending the ir games with 0 points the Park's point could prove vital at the end of the season
Final Score: Charlton Park 19 Ashford 22
The game was there to be won, and Park's scrum dominance was not consistently rewarded, but with a bit more composure we could have taken all the points.
This Saturday, Park are away at Bromley in a rearranged fixture. Kick off is 2.30 and all support is welcome.