Holyport beaten 3-0 as FA Cup fever grips Racecourse
Ascot United cruised past local rivals Holyport 3-0 on Friday evening as the Emirates FA Cup kickstarted the 2021-22 league season. In front of a bumper crowd, it was Duarte Surpanu who illuminated proceedings with a delicious goal to wrap up the tie, after Ascot had already opened up a two-nil half-time lead.
The tie – one of four Extra-Preliminary round ties matches on Friday evening – posed a mouth-watering prospect for the watching crowd of 450 as it boasted the delicious mix of local rivalry, personnel with connections to the opposition, and FA Cup magic under the lights.
Holyport, promoted to the same league as Ascot for the current campaign, would start as underdogs and indeed they spent most of the half chasing a totally dominant Ascot, who enjoyed at least 80% – possibly 90% – of possession.
The Yellamen would knock the ball around almost effortlessly and it took just ten minutes before ace marksman Harry Laflin opened his account – deftly flicking home after Taylor Morgan had driven into the box and whipped an inviting cross from the left.
Laflin almost doubled the lead with a bullet header from another Morgan cross in the 20th minute before defender Sam Evans played himself out of defence with three successive one-twos before being denied what would have been a wonder goal as defender Adam Sharp threw himself in front of Evans in the penalty area.
But, just when it looked as if they would escape with only a one-goal deficit, Holyport conceded again on the stoke of half time when Surpanu released Josh Masters on the left, and he drilled a dangerous cross to the far post where George Lock slid in to make it 2-0.
The second half included more of the same, with Surpanu igniting the half with a wonder-goal five minutes after the restart. In possession on the left wing, he twisted one way, then the other, before firing a stringing effort in off the near post from an unforgiving angle.
Laflin and McCormack then linked up for the latter to force Jake Quelch into a smart save, before Ascot’s trio of substitutions added another injection of pace midway through the half.
However, the visitors thwarted any further attacks, and Ascot booked their place in the Preliminary Round in two weeks’ time.
Ascot United: Gray, Lock, Masters, Evans, D. Bailey, Ellis, McCormack (Davies 60′), Denton, Morgan (August 70′), Laflin (Price 60′), Surpanu. Subs unused: Merrick, Sykes, Ferguson, Walden