Yellamen recover from conceding early to win 3-2
Ascot United recovered from conceding in the opening minute to win by the odd goal in five against top-six hopefuls Edgware and Kingsbury on Saturday. After the early setback, a brace from Brendan Matthew turned the match on its head before half time, although they were pegged back again before Usman Lalustani lobbed home the winner.
After their midweek defeat at Hilltop – ending their 26-hame winning streak – Ascot were behind again although this time it was just 41 seconds before Niko Popov hammered home from close range following a long throw-in.
Ascot were in a slumber for twenty minutes before the proverbial alarm clock went off, and by the time it had stopped ringing they were two-one up – and it could possibly have been four.
Sean McCormack was first to threaten when he stung the palms of Donnaghan Green after racing onto Matthew’s flick-on, before defender Yannick Bitsindou’s brilliant challenge on Lalustani denied him a clear shot on goal after he had sprung onto Jordan Ajanlekoko’s pass.
But the Yellamen finally made the breakthrough in the 34th minute when Rob Gerrard superbly won back possession in the opposition half, sprayed wide for Lalustani, and his inviting cross teed up Matthew to clip home at the far post.
Matthew then added a second from the penalty spot after Lalustani was sandwiched and fouled barely a minute later, and only the hands of Green denied him a five-minute hat-trick after he spun into space and rifled a shot that Green beat away in the 38th minute.
There was still time for Harry Grant to hit the foot of a post and Matthew to glance a header onto the crossbar as The Yellamen looked for a third before the interval, but The Wares somehow escaped the half only a goal in arrears.
After the break, Ascot almost repeated Edgware’s early-trick, only for Matthew to side-foot wide from McCormack’s cross after just 32 seconds.
But after Matthew saw another shot clawed away by Green, the visitors went up the other end and tapped home an equaliser in the 53rd minute when Rhys Forster spilled Craige Tomkins’ innocuous-looking free kick.
However, when Harry Grant hooked on for Lalustani on the overlap in the 59th minute there was only one thing on his mind as he lobbed home for what turned out to be the winner (pictured, shooting-stars.co.uk); a fine response from the hosts.
The visitors continued to press and might have had a penalty of their own in a case of ball-to-hand when home captain Dan Bailey misjudged an attempted headed clearance, and after the impressive George Lock had thwarted a couple of later chances for The Wares it was a case of as-you-were at the top with each of Ascot’s title rivals also winning.
Ascot United: Forster, Lock, Gerrard, Ajanlekoko, A. Grant, Bailey, McCormack, H. Grant, Matthew (Mealing 80’), Lalustani (August 72’), Welch (Walters 76’). Subs unused: Gray, Bouwers