Spelthorne win in 2-0 smash-and-grab victory
Ascot United missed a penalty as Spelthorne Sports spoiled home captain Louis Bouwers’ 150th game for the club. The visitors rarely threatened but took both of their chances, extending Ascot’s winless run to four.
The two sides came into the game with patchy form – the hosts winless in three and the visitors winless in five – and with games between these sides traditionally close the neutral might have predicted a draw.
But it looked anything like it would be a draw after a desperately poor opening for the hosts, who allowed Harrison Livingstone the freedom of The Racecourse to dance in from the left and plant a low shot into the bottom right hand corner after just four minutes.
Cameron Shawyor continued to signal the warning signs when he had the ball in the net midway through the half only to be denied by an offside flag, but Ellis Pringle would double the advantage in the 27th minute when he cut in from the right and unleashed an unstoppable left-footed effort that sailed over Sam Gray and in off the underside of the bar.
A disjointed Ascot side failed to trouble visiting ‘keeper Henry Poole and his shaky-looking rearguard; Taylor Morgan fired well over early-on, Harry Laflin was caught offside with a decent chance that Poole saved, and Denis Nortey (pictured, shooting-stars.co.uk) tried an audacious overhead lob from a tight angle – but in reality they never looked like scoring.
In the second half, the hosts had more about them and it was substitute Duarte Surpanu who provided much of the spark. He forced a low save from Poole in the 67th minute as Ascot finally registered a shot on target and soon afterwards Laflin’s overhead kick was easily saved.
Rashid Hamid fluffed his lines from another Surpanu cross – missing two bites of the cherry at the far post with head and feet – but it was Jonny Denton’s 83rd minute penalty miss that rubbed salt into the wounds after substitute Keaton August was fouled; Poole guessing right to palm the spot-kick away. Bouwers then somehow missed an easy header from Denton’s delivery in the ensuing play, before the referee ended a miserable afternoon for the home faithful.
Ascot United: Gray, Lock (Amate), Everiss, Hamid, Bouwers, Bailey, McCormack, Denton, Morgan, Laflin (August), Nortey (Surpanu). Subs unused:, Ferguson, Frank