August strikes late as Yellamen close-in on glory
Keaton August struck a late winner once again as Ascot United Beat Broadfields United to move eleven points clear at the top of the league on Tuesday evening. With the game seemingly destined for deadlock, August popped up in the 95th minute to win it for Ascot as he had done late-on one week earlier, leaving their travelling fans once again celebrating their side’s depth; eight changes being made since Saturday’s heroics.
In terms of statistics – seven points from their last six league games had ensured the home side had retained daylight between them and their relegation rivals – but they would surely still need points to guarantee safety in a congested bottom-six.
Meanwhile, Ascot’s phenomenal record of just one defeat in 35 made them strong favourites, the only question would be whether it would suffer from a case of ‘after the Lord Mayor’s show’.
It looked for all the world as if it would be just that until August’s late goal, only for George Lock to turn provider on his 205th appearance for the club, taking him joint-third on the all-time Ascot rankings.
Before all that the first half was pretty-much all-Ascot as a much-changed side forged enough chances but failed to find a breakthrough in a largely one-sided affair.
Usman Lalustani had two chances in the opening couple of minutes – one flashing agonisingly wide – and then he forced home ‘keeper Vitor de Oliveira Marques to beat his shot away after Jordan Ajanlekoko had played him in.
Despite their dominance, Ascot conceded the best chance of the half to the opposition, which rattled the crossbar in the eleventh minute courtesy of a Sandro Costa Dias Fernandes thunderbolt that bounced down and up off the goal-line.
But Ascot were otherwise untroubled and continued to press, although August could only lob wide from Lock’s assist before Louis Bouwers saw a header cleared off the line by home defender Harry Gallagher.
In between those chances home defender Rahim Jude-Boyd was dismissed for an unwelcome meeting of his hands with Mealing’s face, leaving Ascot with a man advantage from the 38th minute.
In the second half, Laflin and August linked up for the latter to shoot – well saved by Vitor de Oliveira Marques – 50 minutes played.
In the move of the half, Lock, Walters, August and, Laflin were all involved, although intricate footwork ended with Mealing dragging wide.
The home side never looked liked winning and Ascot never looked like losing – a draw therefore most likely as the game ebbed away, but as The Yellamen mounted one final attack it was their stalwart Lock who made the telling contribution.
This time, he whipped in a low cross that home ‘keeper Vitor de Oliveira Marques could only turn into the path of August, who smashed home for the winner – 95 minutes on the clock and little time for a response – and 1-0 it remained.
Meanwhile, title rivals Reading City dropped more points in a 4-4 draw with Windsor, leaving Ascot realistically needing a couple of wins and some scraps from their final seven matches.
Ascot United: Forster, Lock, Ajanlekoko, A. Grant, Bouwers, Mealing (Gerrard 61’), Lalustani (Balogun 74’), Welch (Tucker 74’) Walters (H. Grant 61’), August, Laflin (Matthew 61’).