The inaugural Ascot United Coaches vs Royal Ascot Golf Club football match on the Friday the 24th of February at the Racecourse Ground couldn’t have been more entertaining. It was a perfect night for football which brought out a large crowd who were witness to a six-goal extravaganza!
The game started very evenly poised for the opening ten minutes before a lovely break and a delightfully weighted cross from Josh Paul into the box for Alex Sykes to head home to put Ascot Coaches one up.
It was not long though, before Royal Ascot Golf Club hit back with a goal from Paul Stillwell midway through the first half. After the leveller, the visitors took control of the game and started to put the home side under pressure with several shots from the edge of the area forcing Simon Gregory between the posts for Ascot to pull off some fine saves.
The pressure soon got to the home side and a penalty kick was awarded to the visitors. Craig Ayton stepped up and struck a sweet ball from the spot past Simon Gregory to give the visitors the lead, which they held onto until half time.
After the break, Matt Cooke, the home team manager, made some changes to the line-up and the Ascot Coaches turned up the heat and put the away team under immediate pressure.
It was not long into the second half when Ian Robinson from left back, also named Player of the Match, hit the perfect strike which sailed in from 35yards.
With spells of good football from both sides it was hard to know which way the game was going to go. In the end it came down to two world class strikes that gave the game to Ascot Coaches.
The third goal for the home team, another wonder strike, came midway through the second half from former Ascot United First Team manager, Jeff Lamb.
Soon after the re-start Ascot Coaches hit their fourth and final goal, a 30-yard bullet from central midfielder, Les Sykes, who was also a contender for POTM.
The home side held on to their two-goal lead until the final whilst and although they ended up 4-2 the victors, it was an evenly matched and entertaining game of football and could have gone either way.
Well done to both sides!
A rematch is currently in the process of being organised so please do come down and support both teams…..dates to be confirmed in due course.
Match report written by Matt Cooke.