September player of the month: Aaron Ashley
In what turned out to be the closest run race we’ve yet had, we can now announce our September player of the month as Aaron Ashley. Beating the likes of Tom Bailey, Joshua Tinker and the now departed Nic Evangelinos, goalkeeper Ashley had a stellar month that has rightly been recognised by fans with an award befitting of his performances.
Perhaps strangely for a goalkeeper picking up such a gong, West didn’t keep a clean sheet over the course of September and, in fact, conceded 13 goals. However, that is to overlook how crucial Ashley is to West’s overall game, and his telling contributions when it mattered most to keep the team in games that would have otherwise been lost. In particular, the last-gasp 4 – 3 win against Stockport Town was only possible thanks to a series of saves made at 3 – 3 to keep scores level. His player of the match performance against Barnton is another example of how vital Ashley is in a season that has already been littered with them; with momentum going against West, Aaron repeatedly kept the opposition at bay, giving his side the chance to turn a 2 – 0 halftime deficit into a crucial 2 – 4 away win.
One of the main facets of the side’s style is of fluid attacking football, which can often leave the defensive aspects looking vulnerable. Without Ashley in goal – a player who has repeatedly stepped up when required, and made saves that he had no right to get near – the side wouldn’t be able to play with such confidence, and would be much poorer for that.