Yellamen roar loudest in 2-1 victory
Ascot United survived a second-half onslaught to record an eleventh-consecutive victory against a hugely impressive London Lions side on Saturday. Ascot led two-nil at the break before the lively visitors swarmed around Ascot like wasps in the second half and cut the deficit, but ultimately failed to find an equaliser in the face of home ‘keeper Jamie Ashdown.
Despite their mid-table position, the visitors boasted the league’s 2nd and 4th highest scorers in the league – Austin Lipman and Max Kyte – although they were still up against hot-shot Ascot striker Brendan Matthew, (pictured, shooting-stars.co.uk) fresh from his four-goal midweek haul that had taken him to 20 goals for the season)
However, the early 2-0 lead which Ascot carved out owed as much to the visitors’ inability to defend set-pieces into their six-yard box, and they were duly punished.
Harry Tucker ghosted in at the far post to squeeze home Harry Grant’s corner after just five minutes to put the home side one up, and they repeated the trick ten minutes later when another Grant corner was planted home by his brother Alfie after Matthew’s earlier effort was cleared off the line.
Ollie Harris’s shot was then blocked by an increasingly busy Tiernan Parker in Lions’ goal, although he was rooted to his spot when Jordan Ajanlekoko flashed a header wide from another Grant corner.
But the visitors came into the game and only a wonder-save from Ashdown denied them a lifeline with an instinctive save to tip Jack Matley’s first-time thunderbolt onto the crossbar from Lee Goldberg’s delivery; 32 minutes played.
A decent spell for the visitors saw Ashdown save easily from Joe Leslie, but it was Ascot who laid siege before half time as Parker made another decent save to deny Harry Grant, who had initially set Matthew clear down the wing before racing into the box for the return. And, after Parker’s double save to thwart both Matthew and Sean McCormack, he got something on a trio of late corners to ensure his side only trailed 2-0 at the break.
In the second half, Ashdown made a great save early-on as Lions signalled their early intent, but Harris should have made it three-nil moments later only to find the side-netting.
Ashdown then used his body well to block from Kyte in the 49th minute but when another chance came his way in the 65th minute he duly converted with a low shot across Ashdown and into the bottom left-hand corner to reduce the arrears.
In their brightly-coloured shirts, Lions were like a pink swarm in the final quarter of the game – Jamie Tompkins used all five substitutes in an attempt to mix and break it up – but they were indebted to the imperious Tucker and a late, late save from Ashdown to preserved their winning streak.
Lions will surely climb the table, whereas Ascot will now look forward to a midweek off before their FA Vase quest continues next weekend.
Ascot United: Ashdown, Lock (Lalustani 73’), Ellis (Bouwers 73’), Ajanlekoko, A. Grant, Tucker, McCormack, H. Grant, Walters (Thompson 87’), Matthew (Mealing 73’), Harris (Gallimore 54’).