Ashley Cole narrowly avoided an awkward meeting with ex-wife Cheryl Cole's Girls Aloud bandmates on Saturday night (04.08.12).

The soccer star was partying in London's Rose Club with a group of his friends when Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh arrived at the venue, but fortunately for the Chelsea footballer, Cheryl had opted to stay in and watch the London Olympics coverage.

A source told The Sun newspaper: ''Ashley and his group were already settled in when the girls arrived.

''One of his friends saw them coming through the door and headed over straight away to warn him. He knows that Nicola and Kimberley are two of Cheryl's closest friends and that it would not be a good idea for them to cross paths.

''Fortunately, the girls' group was very tipsy and just concentrating on having a good time.''

The singers - who were out celebrating Kimberley's sister Sally's birthday - sat in booths just three tables away from where Ashley was partying, but the two groups are not thought to have interacted.

The source added: ''Nicola and Kimberley both have long-term boyfriends. That means they weren't heading off round the club trying to find boys to chat to so they didn't realise he was there for a while.''