ASCOT SUFFER HEAVY OPENING DAY DEFEAT

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Yellamen thumped 5-0 by Southall

Ascot United were humiliated 5-0 by Southall in the Yellamen’s opening league fixture of their Combined Counties League campaign on Saturday. In an afternoon to forget, the home side put Ascot to the sword to leave the smattering of travelling supporters in disbelief.

In contrast to Ascot, Southall had already three league games under their belt having started their season one week earlier, although one win and two defeats, together with an FA Cup defeat, had made for an uncharacteristically patchy start to their own campaign.

But this was also Southall’s first home game of the season, and eager to impress, they repeatedly exposed and dismembered a frail looking Ascot side with chief tormentor Aaron Mcleish doing most of the damage up front.

Ascot manager Jamie Tompkins made a couple of changes to the side which had confidently beaten Holyport eight days prior – defenders Sam Evans and Josh Masters notable absentees – paving the way for Tom Scott and Keaton August; Harry Laflin dropping back into defence.

Southall went straight at Ascot and ironically went head shortly after Ascot’s best chance of the half – Taylor Morgan unable to control Laflin’s through ball – Southall broke, and Mcleish fired home with the freedom of Ashford.

Darreon Mark then spun himself into space to tee up Anthony O’ Connor who dragged wide, but the hosts eventually doubled their lead when they broke down the left, both Chris Ellis and Dan Bailey were sucked across, and after Mcleish had outmuscled both in a three-man pile-up he had the easiest of tasks to square for Mark to roll in at the far post.

Defender Frankie Taylor almost got in on the act when his cameo brought a good save from Gray at his near post twelve minutes after the restart before Ascot finally threatened when Duarte Surpanu evaded a defender and crossed for half-time substitute Ian Davies, who saw his hooked volley sail over.

But, directly afterwards, Ascot were exposed down the left again, and O’ Connor rolled another effort home to make it three, before Mcleish gleefully nodded home a fourth when Alex Nolan’s deep free kick saw O’Connor find his way around the back of George Lock and deliver an inviting cross to the far post.

At the other end, Davies would force a good save from Berkeley Laurencin in the home goal after Tom Scott – one of the few who stood out for Ascot – had teed him up, but it would get worse for Ascot in the closing moments.

Firstly, defender Romey Eccles was denied by a combination of woodwork and Gray, then defender Chris Ellis went down clutching his hamstring, and the final salt came in the form of Jack Roper’s injury time fifth which had come after Ellis’s replacement, Danny Walden, had been robbed trying to play his way out of defence leaving Roper a clear sight of goal following the recycled possession.

Thankfully, opening day nightmares such as these are few and far between and The Yellamen have four days to plan a response at Tadley Calleva.

Ascot United: Gray, Lock (Andrady), Scott, Laflin, Bailey, Ellis (Walden), McCormack, Denton, Morgan, August (Davies), Surpanu (Price). Sub unused: Sykes

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