Yellamen win 4-2 in JDs 200th appearance
Jonny Denton made his 200th appearance for Ascot United as they won 4-2 against local rivals Wokingham and Emmbrook on Monday. The popular midfielder, who has been with the club since the junior ranks, played his part in the three-point haul as Ascot shrugged off their gutsy opponents.
The later than originally planned start time of 1.30pm, together postponements elsewhere and a sizeable travelling away support, helped boost the festive crowd to around 150 despite the expected ‘stay-aways and shielders’.
Ascot had narrowly won the reverse fixture 2-1 thanks to a Harry Laflin brace, and that was the half-time scoreline this time around after the visitors had forced their way back into it after finding themselves two-nil down early-on.
The source of those goals came from the unlikely boot of Mitch Gutteridge. In his second home-coming after a spell in the US, the big defender opened the scoring inside two minutes when his left-footed effort at the far post beat Arron Kanyai after Sean McCormack’s corner had ended in his possession (pictured, shooting-stars.co.uk).
McCormack turned provider again in the sixth minute when his pass cannoned off a defender to Taylor Morgan, whose shot was well beaten away by Kanyai.
But The Yellamen would double their lead in the tenth minute when McCormack’s high, curling cross invited Gutteridge to stab a low right-footed effort home after he had sneaked unmarked around the back to the far post.
Morgan should have done better when clean through as Ascot looked as if they might run away with it – Morgan electing to round Kanyai rather than lob him and ultimately ran out of pitch – but the visitors plugged away and gave themselves hope in the 27th minute. James Clark picked the ball up just inside the Ascot half, spun away from a couple of tackles and slotted a low effort to the centre of the goal with Sam Gray seemingly wrong-footed.
Incredibly, Denton was then sin-binned for dissent in the aftermath of being awarded a free kick for a foul, but Wokingham failed to make their ten-minute numerical advantage count.
Clark did then miss a free header with the goal at his mercy after Gutteridge had slipped, but Ascot had an equally good chance at the other end just before the break when Dan Bailey headed McCormack’s inviting header wide when he should probably have done better.
The second half was a feisty affair, littered with bookings and petulant challenges, although one of the cautions given to Bailey early-on belied belief after he was tripped, then had the ball kicked at him on the floor from behind from a quickly taken free-kick, and was yellow-carded for blocking play.
However, his reaction was perfect, as moments later his looping 57th minute header from McCormack’s cross found its way into the far corner for a 3-1 lead.
Four minutes later and the game was as good as over with the move of the match. Morgan showed great strength to spin away from the defence and drive forwards, before unselfishly checking back and laying the ball off to Tom Scott, who struck a sublime first-time effort over Kanyai and into the top right hand corner.
The Satsumas gave themselves a glimmer of hope when substitute Chris Robson’s long-range effort wrong-footed a rooted Gray for a second time, although their last hope was snuffed out when Gray saved from another substitute – Ollie Noyes – after he had been played in by Josh Harris soon after.
Denton couldn’t find the top corner for a fairy-tale ending with a late free-kick, but 4-2 was a fair reflection of a keenly-contested affair.
Ascot United: Gray, Gutteridge, Everiss (Ellis), Scott, Bouwers (Lock), Bailey, McCormack, Denton, Morgan (Davies), Laflin (Nortey), August (Surpanu).