Bittersweet night as Bailey and Lock forced off in win
Ten-man Ascot United comfortably beat Burnham 5-0 on Tuesday despite captain Dan Bailey’s dismissal with three quarters of the game remaining. Fellow defender George Lock scored the pick of the goals to make it 4-0, but he would later limp off to join an already crowded treatment room of defenders and leave manager Jamie Tompkins with a mini selection crisis.
Burnham arrived with former Yellamen Carl Dennison and Joey Gritt, and indeed a reasonable crowd turned out despite ongoing fuel supply issues, horrific weather and a big night of Champions League football.
Before kick-off, the players and fans united in a minutes’ silence in support for those at Frimley Green FC, who tragically lost one of their players in a car accident last week.
Once the game started, Ascot wasted little time in taking the lead as, with 55 seconds on the clock, Keaton August raced down the right-wing and squared for Harry Laflin to rifle low first-time past Dennison.
Unlike the weather, it got even better in the tenth minute when livewire Taylor Morgan’s defence-splitting pass allowed Sean McCormack to race through and beat Dennison at his near post (pictured scoring, shooting-stars.co.uk).
Morgan might have added a third only for Dennison’s sprawling save to keep out a deflected header, but Burnham had a lifeline when Ascot’s Bailey was shown a straight red card for his return of handbags to Gritt’s own petulance.
But whilst Ascot were forced into a period of retreat, Burnham’s only clear-cut chance came from an ultimately wasted Ash Watson direct free kick in the 35th minute when well-placed.
And, they were punished again just before half time when birthday boy Jonny Denton’s inch perfect effort from the edge of the area found its way in off the right-hand post; Morgan once-again involved in the build-up just after the biblical thunder and lightning had finally abated.
The second half was a disjointed affair, not helped by the farcical scenes when Burnham midfielder Dan Malloy – already on a yellow card – was sin-binned and shown a second card. Having trudged off and into the dressing room, he would subsequently be summoned back onto the field amid confusion, although Manny Williams would receive his marching orders from Burnham’s bench for reasonably justified remonstrations.
That stoppage in play might have contributed to Lock’s injury after a lengthy hold-up in cold and wet conditions. Either way, the defender had capped a quite sublime move five minutes after the restart when, after Ascot purred out of defence, Denton ultimately threaded Lock in and he clipped a delightful effort past Dennison with the outside of his boot.
After the card-wielding shenanigans, most in attendance probably wanted the final whistle. However, they had to wait some time – and it did at least contain one final moment of magic when Ellis charged out of defence and was crudely brought down, Denton turned provider again with a quickly taken free-kick, and McCormack whacked hid second and Ascot’s fifth late-on.
Burnham never really recovered from going three-nil down and Gray had a comfortable night on his 99th appearance in goal – one late-clattering aside – after Watson had earlier wasted the visitors only chance of the second half with another effort over the bar.
Ascot United: Gray, Lock (Surpanu), Evans, Harper (Hamid), Bailey (sent off, 22’), Ellis, McCormack, Denton, Morgan (Nortey), Laflin, August (Ferguson). Sub unused: Sykes