First half brace enough for The Row

Ascot United were undone by two first half goals as Hartley Wintney triumphed 2-0 at a bitterly cold Racecourse on Tuesday evening. The Yellamen huffed and puffed, but there was more chill than thrill for the freezing home faithful.

Fixture switch beats weather but game still put on ice!

Both sides agreed to switch Tuesday’s match from Hampshire to Berkshire – Ascot now travelling to Hartley Wintney on Saturday instead of hosting the reverse fixture – and as such it was one of a few midweek matches to beat the sub-zero temperatures at kick-off.

Ascot stung at either end of half

The Yellamen were almost ahead inside sixty seconds when Ollie Harris charged down ‘keeper Louis Evans’s lax clearance – fortunately for the latter the ball sailed wide of a post – before the visitors went up the other end and took a tenth minute lead following an overload down Ascot’s left wing; Ik Hill superbly finding the bottom left from distance.

Ascot had to reshuffle when Alfie Grant limped off to be replaced by Dan Bailey, and the hosts enjoyed a decent spell of pressure as Harry Grant’s shot was palmed away by Evans after Ben Harris had hustled possession back from a corner.

Ollie Harris then tested Evans from distance but The Row remained a threat as Momadou Jallo and Mason Obeng saw efforts charged away in quick succession, but they delivered a killer second blow just before the break when Conor Lynch capped a breakaway, beat Bailey in a foot race and clipped an exquisite effort over Hugo Sobte and into the top right; 2-0 as the sides changed ends.

Second half endeavour yields nothing

The home side were full of industry after the break but sadly failed to beat Evans, who continued to ride his luck playing out with his feet.

At the other end, Hill shot straight at Sobte midway through the half, although Ascot went virtually straight up the other end when Sean McCormack sent half of the Harris duo clear down the right; Ben subsequently crossing for Ollie to stab wide at the near post.

The visitors almost added a third three minutes from time when Lynch skipped away from Bailey who found Hill, he in turn evaded Josh Edwards, but Sobte was alert to beat away Hill’s stinging effort.

There would be no further clear chances for either side and the visitors took the points back down the A30.

What’s next for Ascot?

If the weather holds out then the two sides will meet again in the reverse fixture at Hartley Wintney this Saturday. The fixture date for that one has already moved three times, and although the forward forecast is for slightly milder albeit damper weather, one’s chickens should not yet be counted!

Ascot United: Sobte, Lock, Lahtinen-Kalsi (Lalustani 74’), Goulter, A. Grant (Bailey 15’), Edwards, McCormack, H. Grant, B. Harris (Laflin 85’), Tack, O. Harris. Subs unused: Welch, C. Morgan

Entertainment: 2

Reporter’s Star Man: Andriy Demira (Hartley Wintney)

Away fans (estimate): 20




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