Five on the spin for Yellamen in 2-1 win
Ascot United survived a late scare to win 2-1 at Spelthorne Sports on Saturday. The Yellamen were in control at 2-0 and should have been further out of sight, but Spelthorne stuck a late goal to set up a nervy final eight minutes, which Ascot ultimately saw out for their fifth win on the trot.
Spelly had beaten Ascot at the Racecourse in the reverse fixture in early November, but a disappointing run of form yielding just two wins from 13 outings since then – coupled with the Yellamen’s own run of good form – probably gave the visitors the edge on paper.
With a strong breeze and an uneven, sloping pitch, early chances were at a premium as both sides struggled with the conditions, although after Ascot had started to gain a foothold it was Spelly who almost opened the scoring in the 15th minute. Ellis Pringle spun away from Dan Bailey in the middle, sprayed the ball wide for Kelvin Karanja who in turn found Arjun Jung on the overlap. Jung swung the ball in, Sam Gray’s uneasy interception dropped for Tanaka Gabaza, and he laid the ball off for Pringle who blazed the ball over.
But The Yellamen would dominate the rest of the half and shortly after Harry Laflin almost scored from Sean McCormack’s hanging corner, Laflin would slot home at the second attempt after his initial effort from Chris Ellis’s throw-in had been inadvertently blocked by team-mate Taylor Morgan on the line.
Morgan then saw a shot of his own deflected wide after good work from George Lock who had overlapped McCormack, before Ascot scored a priceless half-time second goal when Duarte Surpanu drifted half the length of the pitch, cut in past two defenders and smashed an unstoppable drive into the bottom right.
That goal would give the Yellamen a cushion heading into the second half when they knew the hosts would look to capitalize on the wind and slope in their advantage – and they duly pressed early-on as substitute Josh Nyero twice went close – first when he shot over the bar and later when his effort was clawed away by Gray.
Lock almost headed past Gray in an anxious moment for the visitors – Gray saving and then claiming the loose ball as his own defender’s back-header had too much pace – but Ascot would then create a glut of chances that should have put them out of sight.
First, Dan Bailey’s header from a tight angle fell into the gleeful hands of Henry Poole, then Morgan’s shot from a tight angle was saved after good work from substitute James Richardson, and Richardson himself showed great strength to skip away from the defence and get his shot away whilst being fouled soon after; cue Laflin who then saw his resultant spot-kick saved.
Incredibly the hosts survived again when McCormack’s cross squirmed off defender Josh Remedios and onto a post with Poole stranded, but Spelthorne rallied and after Gray had saved from Sehani McCalmon, McCalmon would later force a corner which Remedios hammered home from close range; 86 minutes played.
Manager Jamie Tompkins threw on more defensive substitutes to bolster up the barricades through four added minutes, which his side duly saw out for a deserved victory.
Pictured: Crimewatch roll call?! Travelling fans prepare to salute Ascot United off the field.
Ascot United: Gray, Lock (Bouwers), Everiss (Masters), Merrick (Scott), Bailey, Ellis, McCormack, Denton, Morgan, Laflin (August), Surpanu (Richardson).