In April 1930, Sir Charles Iggleden (then the Editor of the Kentish Express) presided over a meeting to form
a senior football club in Ashford and subsequently applied to compete in the Kent League, FA Cup and Kent
Ashford Town was elected into the Kent League in 1930 and finished their first season in an impressive 6th
position. It was around then that the club acquired its nickname of ‘The Nuts & Bolts’ as many of the
members were drawn from the ranks of skilled engineers in the railway works.
The following year, the club moved to Essella park. It was the sale of this ground in the mid 1980’s that
enabled the purchase and development of the present ground at The Homelands, named after the farm that
originally occupied the site, 4 miles south of the town centre and with easy access to the M20 Motorway.
Despite being Champions of the Kent League in the 1948-49 season, it was cup football that was to provide
the greatest success. Town reached the first round proper of the FA Cup as a Kent League side in 1959-59,
losing 1-0 to Crystal Palace in front of a ground record crowd of 6,525. In the 1960’s, Town reached the first
round of the FA Cup on 4 occasions, falling to league opposition each time. Further honours arrived with
success in the Kent Senior Cup in 1959 and 1963.
In 1972-73, Town reached the semi finals of the FA Trophy, losing to Scarborough by a penalty goal. The
following year they finished third in the League when Alan Morton set the club scoring record of 46 goals
from 69 games, a record which still stands today and will be extremely difficult to beat.
The club earned promotion to the Premier Division of the Southern League in the 1986-87 season, at a time
when the new ground at The Homelands was being constructed. The final game played at Essella Park was a
draw with Dorchester, which ensured that both teams were promoted.
The next season saw ground sharing at Folkestone whilst the new Homelands ground was being constructed.
Sadly, the first season at The Homelands ended in disappointment when the club was relegated.
During the 1990’s, the manager Neil Cugley produced an entertaining and successful side which gained
promotion back to the Premier Division in 1995-96 and, as a highlight, drew a first round FA Cup match with
Fulham captained by Micky Adams. A capacity crowd of 3,300 packed into The Homelands and Sky TV showed
highlights of the game. The result was a creditable 2-2 draw, with a replay at Craven Cottage. Again they
impressed their league host and took the game into extra time, eventually losing 5-3.
The following year, Ashford defeated Dagenham & Redbridge in the first round and then drew Watford away in
the second round, losing 5-0. The season ended poorly with a finishing position of 18th, with the club only
saved from relegation by the resignation of Sudbury from the league.
Several managers then came and went, with varying degrees of success until Don Crosbie and Tony Betteridge
took over as owners. Their first appointment as manager was Clive Walker, who was replaced during the
season by Steve Lovell.
Following a major falling out at Boardroom level, the club’s future was in the balance in the 2009-10 season.
This resulted in several players departing, and manager Steve Lovell was just able to put together a side to
keep the club from relegation. This valiant effort was to be in vain, since the Boardroom conflict had reach the
courts, which ultimately resulted in the club going into administration and Tony Betteridge purchasing the
club from the Administrator.
With a new name of Ashford United, the club now looks to the future with sole owner Tony Betteridge and a
Board comprising local football enthusiasts.