Rangers edge out Yellamen 1-0 in key encounter
Ascot United suffered a damaging defeat at Abbey Rangers on Tuesday evening, losing ground in their promotion chase after a 1-0 defeat and ending their ten-match unbeaten run.
This was a hugely significant match for both sides in their quest for a play off spot, although points were more important to Ascot lying two points below their hosts and having played a game more.
Sean McCormack was serving the second of his two-game ban – McCormack’s box-to-box workrate was a big miss when Virginia Water put the brakes in The Yellamen’s winning run last weekend – and his side would need to work their socks off early on to thwart an eager home side.
However, despite being camped in Ascot’s half, Rangers’ only real chance came when they struck a post in the tenth minute, and after that the visitors who enjoyed the best chances only to be thwarted by impressive home ‘keeper Dease Kerrison.
Firstly, he somehow got down to palm Keaton August’s first-time volley away from Adam Everiss’s cross moments after the hosts had hit the woodwork, before stretching every sinew to tip Dan Bailey’s powerful header over the bar from Tom Scott’s 24th minute free kick.
In between those chances Louis Bouwers’ brilliant interception denied Marcus Williams a clear run at goal as Rangers briefly threatened, but heading into half-time The Yellamen were incensed when Taylor Morgan’s legs were dragged away in the penalty area; play was allowed to continue but with no advantage to his side.
The second half was equally frustrating for Ascot who pushed and probed, but lacked the killer instinct against a side who were there for the taking.
Morgan volleyed wide early-on when he probably should have done better – albeit from a tight angle – before the key moment came in the 57th minute when Williams wriggled into space for a shot that Gray almost kept out; the ball striking the left-hand post and trickling across the goal line.
Williams flashed another deflected shot wide when clear on the overlap whereas Ascot continued to be irritated in a disjointed half where Tom Scott’s flashing header from substitute Elliot Carey’s late cross was as close as they came to nicking a point.
Ascot United: Gray, Lock (Carey), Everiss (Surpanu), Merrick, Bouwers, Bailey, Richardson (Walters), Scott, Morgan, August, Masters. Subs unused: Sykes, Nice