Depleted Yellamen impress in 2-1 victory
Ascot United beat Burnham 2-1 to leapfrog them at the top of the league on Saturday afternoon. At a rainy Racecourse, The Yellamen dug deep with several key players missing and opened up a two goal lead before Burnham netted an injury time penalty.
With both sides tied on 27 points and Burnham only in top spot by virtue of goal difference, the 5th of November clash promised early fireworks, and the players duly produced a cracker.
Whilst The Yellamen welcomed back Harry Tucker they were missing influential quartet Kai Walters, Sean McCormack, Usman Lalustani and Marcus Mealing, although in Ollie Harris and Keaton August they had more than enough cover.
In a thoroughly entertaining first half, Louis Bouwers almost sliced into his own net from Jamie Mitchell’s early cross, although Ascot went up the other end a forced a strong of corners with both Bouwers and Tucker glancing headers wide. Tucker then had another decent sight of goal midway through the half although the ball wouldn’t drop quickly enough as he scuffed wide a hurried attempt.
As the sides traded chances, Burnham broke quickly on the half-hour mark when Rhys Harper cut in from the left and struck the side-netting with a low drive, although Ascot had chance to score when Ethan Relf needlessly pulled back Ollie Harris in the penalty area as he chased down Ethan Light’s heavy cross-field back-pass; a yellow card the result before Carl Dennison beat Harris’s resultant spot kick away.
The visitors finished the half strongly and Jamie Ashdown got down well to smother Oliver Bishop’s shot through a crowd, Bishop then headed home although an offside flag had already been raised and Light nodded a golden chance wide late-on, but it somehow remained goal-less at the break.
An equally exciting second half started with Harper firing over an early chance for Burnham, although it was Ascot who took the lead when Bouwers flicked on Tucker’s throw-in for Matthew to plant into the bottom left after scuffing his first attempt (pictured, shooting-stars.co.uk).
The Yellamen then went for the jugular and punished slack defending when Jamie Lightfoot failed to live up to his name – a heavy shank of the ball allowed Matthew to nip in – and he cut the ball back for Harris to blast past Dennison.
But Burnham refused to lie down with Harper firing over again, Jamie Mitchell hitting the top of the crossbar from long range and Ashdown producing a reaction save to deny Bishop’s first time thunderbolt all in quick succession.
But Ascot held firm and despite Bouwers and Matthew both hobbling off they carved out further chances to extend their lead when August fired well over and Harris’s audacious lob was tipped over by Dennison.
Bishop thumped home a 92nd minute penalty for Burnham following a trip, although Ascot defended confidently to see out the remaining few minutes of stoppage time.
Ascot United: Ashdown, Lock, Gallimore, Ajanlekoko, Bouwers (Price 76’), Tucker, August (Thompson 88’), Grant, Matthew (Mercadel 70’), Harris, Grant. Subs unused: Welch, Masters