Ainsworth’s men humbled as Yellamen win on penalties
Ascot United caused a huge upset by beating League One side Wycombe Wanderers in the Berks and Bucks Senior Cup Semi Final on Tuesday evening. In front of a club-record crowd of 1,267, Club captain Louis Bouwers scored the decisive penalty to set up a cup final clash with either Reading or Milton Keynes Dons.
Ascot came into the game off the back of a four-game winless streak; hardly good preparation to face a side six levels above them on the football pyramid. However, having caused two shocks in four matches to reach the last four, manager Jamie Tompkins and his troops harboured hopes of causing an upset to trump all others in the club’s history.
Littered with quality and first team experience, Wanderers were more than matched by their hosts and only had Jess Olukolu’s free-kick over the bar to show for their early endeavours.
At the other end, Ascot caused their visitors problems as Taylor Morgan’s shot deflected wide from Sean McCormack’s excellent cross before creating an almighty goal-mouth scramble which Wanderers somehow survived soon after.
Chris Ellis produced a fantastic block to deny Sullay Kaikai as Wycombe threatened again, although Ascot nearly had the last laugh of an energetic first half when Tom Scott’s freekick squirmed away via a deflection at the near post.
With the home fans behind the goal in the second half Ascot were roared forwards, although there were few chances early-on.
Scott’s shot was easily saved by visiting ‘keeper Adam Pryzbek midway through the half, and his side were soon forced to reshuffled when the excellent Adam Everiss hobbled off, but that would only galvanise Tompkins’ men.
The visitors might have only needed one chance – and so it came and went when Sam Gray’s simply outstanding save kept Ascot in it late-on – before substitute Duarte Surpanu fashioned an even later chance at the other end; before penalties ensued.
Both teams missed their opening spot-kicks – but Gray was the hero and Surpanu, Merrick and then finally Bouwers netted under excruciating tension to send Ascot through to a cup final that they and their fans will be savouring before, during, and after it happens.
What a team. What a club. What a night. Good night…
Ascot United: Gray, Lock , Everiss (Surpanu), Carey (Bouwers), Bailey, Ellis, McCormack, Merrick, Morgan (August), Scott, Masters. Sub unused: Nortey