Yellamen concede early but hit double figures to advance
Ascot United came from behind to win for the sixth time this season with a resounding 10-1 victory against Step six outfit AEK Boco in the FA vase 2nd qualifying round on Saturday. Incredibly, they were deservedly behind against their opposition early-on, but hat-tricks for Harry Grant and Brendan Matthew underpinned a devastating comeback.
The Bristol-based visitors – fifth in the Toolstation Western League Division 1 – were heavy underdogs against a table-topping Ascot side from one tier above in the football pyramid, although there were few signs of what was ahead when they forged a lead inside the opening quarter of an hour.
With home manager Jamie Tompkins overseas, it was Dan Masters who took control of the proceedings, and his starting line-up showed only one change from last weekend’s win at Wembley; George Lock in for Jay Welch.
The visitors settled into the game quickly and were well worth their early lead. Both Josh Jenkins and Nathan Hall had already threated before Jenkins’ delightful glancing header from Fred Taylor-Fox’s right wing cross after he was played in by Drew Thomas found the net via the inside of a post; 15 minutes played.
But Ascot were quicky on terms, and were already threatening to run away with it by half time after a 19-minute goal blitz.
Firstly, Matthew (pictured, shooting-stars.co.uk) ran onto Harry Tucker’s no-look overhead cross to nod past Luke Bond, running onto the bounce, before Grant’s close-range header made it 2-1 three minutes later from Sean McCormack’s right-wing cross; 27 minutes played.
Marcus Mealing then turned provider when he threaded through for Ollie Harris to run onto and coolly roll into the bottom left on the half-hour mark to make it 3-1, before Matthew timed his run perfectly two minutes before the break to beat Bond and make it 4-1 by firing into the right-hand corner; McCormack the provider once again.
The visitors might have nabbed an early goal in the second half when Jenkins fired over when well placed after good link-up between Frank Taylor-Fox and Alfie Andrews in the build-up, but that was as good as it got as Ascot turned the screw.
Grant side-footed home his second and Ascot’s fifth from just inside the area to make it 5-1 after 71 minutes, although remained that way until ten minutes from time; Ashdown also making a decent save to deny Boco a second goal.
But in a ten-minute blitz, Matthew rolled home for his hat-trick in the 80th minute before unselfishly squaring for Usman Lalustani to tickle home number seven in the 85th. Fellow substitute Kai Walters’ exquisite chip after racing through made it eight in the 86th minute, before he lashed home a ninth a minute later, and there was still time for Grant to round Bond and cut the ball back across a covering defender to seal his own treble and a tenth in added time.
The win was just short of Ascot’s record victory, a 10-0 mauling of Abingdon Town in March 2014, but the main point was Ascot’s passage into the first round proper – accompanied by jovial suggestions that Tompkins needn’t rush back from his trip abroad after Saturday’s ‘Masters-Mind’ at the helm.
Ascot United: Ashdown, Lock, Masters, Ajanlekoko, Bailey, Tucker, McCormack (Lalustani 75’), Grant, Mealing (Walters 72’), Matthew, Harris (August 66’). Subs unused: Welch, Docherty, Bouwers, Price