Naughty rules are not nice as Yellamen lose 3-1
Ascot United Under 18s’ lost 3-1 against Camberley Town in Tuesday evening’s Allied Counties League title decider. On an eerily quiet evening, the visitors finally got the better of Josh Nice’s side to win the league in unusual circumstances.
The match was a somewhat strange arrangement; the Allied Counties League decreeing that teams tied on points at the top needed a play-off to decide the destiny of the title, much to the frustration of Ascot who had finished above Camberley on goal difference and won the head-to-head encounters between them.
The Yellamen should have been ahead inside the opening minute amidst an almighty goalmouth scramble, but visiting ‘keeper Josh Lepkowski’s goal somehow remained intact.
Camberley then stunned the home side when they took a tenth minute lead – Morgan Bushell glanced home from a corner – before Ascot almost levelled with a glancing header of their own only for Luke Phillips to head agonisingly wide of the right hand post from Sam Whitehead’s free-kick.
But Camberley looked lively on the counter-attack and Luis Hamblin fed Jones who fired wide, before home ‘keeper James Docherty did well to get fingers on Jones’s low shot after Alfie Edmonds had played him in five minutes before the interval.
Ascot finished the half strongly but couldn’t fashion an equaliser, their best chance coming from Docherty’s long clearance which Alex Hall couldn’t get under control to trouble Lepkowski.
Ascot emerged after the break with similar energy and levelled when Jake Pandhor fired home a deflected effort from Laith Maghari’s 50th minute cut-back.
But their lead lasted just five minutes when – as in the first period – the visitors headed themselves ahead from a corner ten minutes into the half, this time courtesy of Mackenzie Clayton.
Stan Jones then rifled past Docherty to make it 3-1 and all but put the game out of sight in the 77th minute, before Docherty limited further damage when he stood up well to deny the same player when clean through six minutes later.
Ascot’s Bryan Edwards almost set up a grandstand finale only to see his 88th minute rocket beaten away by Lepkowski, but Camberley would hold on to take the title.
It was close, but this year there was no cigar for Ascot. In place of that, the league’s rules can be burnt instead.
Ascot United: Docherty, Edwards, Phillips, Whitehead (Saith 68’), Thompson, McMenemy, Hall, Pandhor, Newell (Ogbode 71’), Tomkins, Maghari (Kashid 77’).