A Sarah Leonard strike and Hannah Bennett penalty seal the deal for Ascot in a feisty opening game of the season against title favourites Abingdon United.
Abingdon took the first chance of the game with a corner less than a minute into play but it was easily cleared by the Ascot defense and just moments later Amelia Kimble found herself through on goal but Abingdon keeper, Hannah Cox, collected with ease.
Much of the following possession was in the Ascot’s favour as Sarah Davern sent balls into the path of Sarah Leonard to run on to but Abingdon’s defense cleared with ease to deny Ascot the opener. Kimble in with a chance once more as she was able to break into a run from a Hannah Bennett clearance.
But it was Abingdon with the first real chance to score as a ball found Molly Lygo whose shot flew wide of the post. Shortly followed by a scramble in the box as Ascot struggled to clear an Abingdon ball in the box, but Lily Last was there with a last ditch denial.
Twenty minutes played and Ascot looked to have settled in the game more as Bennett was able to play a ball across the field into the path of Dom Carrington who played back to Leonard before fizzing the ball into the box for Carrington to collect on the other side but nothing could be made of the opportunity.
Abingdon looked quicker to the ball in the final fifteen of the first half with a number of corners swinging into the area but chances fell wide of the post. Charlie Deeley’s strike in the 34th minute looked convincing but was easily collected by Lucie White.
Less than ten to the break and Alix Todd set play in motion with a freekick in Abingdon’s half which fell into the path of Hannah Bennett who was able to play a slick path into Sarah Leonard who cut inside with the keeper off out of position.
HT Ascot United 1-0 Abingdon United
Abingdon were quick off the marks in the second half and began their attempts to equalise with a freekick close to the area but White proved her keeping skills with an easy collection of the strike.
Ascot were looking to create more pressure for the second and were able to use Leonard on the left and Carrington on the right to apply it. That pressure made the difference as Leonard found herself in the box and brought down with a late tackle. Bennett stepped up to take and converted with ease.
A strike from nowhere by Abingdon’s, Amy Chivers, saw the visitors pull one back and it was a nervy thirty minutes due for the Yellas who had to show resilience for the remainder of the game. But Ascot weren’t without their chances ahead of the full whistle as Leonard found herself one on one with the keeper but her strike was straight at Cox. Bennett tried to muscle in on the action too with a shot from 20 yards but again it was collected well by the keeper.
Deep into stoppage time and Abingdon found themselves with the chance to equalise and another freekick but the chance was lost at it was hit straight at the wall.
FT Ascot United 2-1 Abingdon United
Squad: White, Last, Luckhurst-McCord, Uppal, Killick-Bird, Bennett, Carrington (Stalley), Todd, Leonard (Cruickshank), Kimble (Bowers), Davern