100-point mark in sight after 5-1 Oxhey win
Goal-machine Brendan Matthew continues to re-write League Champions Ascot United’s record books after taking his season’s tally to 44 in a 5-1 win at relegation-haunted Oxhey Jets on Tuesday evening. Matthew, who had already surpassed Jon Bennett’s record of 40 goals in a season for Ascot, notched a hat-trick as his side moved onto 96 points with two games remaining.
The game had a similar backdrop to last Saturday when The Yellamen faced another side in danger of the drop, but with little to play for themselves other than maintaining their standards and sharpness.
Jets, one point from safety but with a game in hand, would need points from a difficult run-in, but despite Ascot only rarely being out of first gear it was all over by half time.
Four minutes in, Brendan Matthew raced onto Sean McCormack’s flick and hammered home after checking back onto his right foot, despite the best efforts of home ‘keeper Lewis Lavin.
At the other end there were virtually no chances for the home side, although when David Levy led a 29th minute breakaway and fed Sean Giordmaina, the latter tripped as he shot and their chance was gone.
Matthew might have added a second when he raced onto in-form Chris Ellis’s fine through-ball but failed to round Lavin who gathered well, but when Matthew played-in Duarte Surpanu in the 37th minute the lead was doubled; the lively Portuguese winger slotting past the onrushing Lavin and into the bottom right hand corner.
Matthew then had a header cleared off the line, but soon scored his second and Ascot’s third a minute before the break after Harry Laflin had played him in to round Lavin and slot home with his left foot.
Shortly after the break, Matthew was at it again with a deliciously-weighted clip over the advancing Lavin that dipped under the crossbar to make it 4-0.
Manager Jamie Tompkins once again used all sixteen players to good effect, but it was one of them on from the start – Dan Bailey – who kept Jets out.
Firstly, his fantastic block deflected substitute Remell Stirling’s left-footed effort over the bar in the 61st minute before placing himself well to block Jack James’s cross-shot seven minutes later.
But when Levy was wrestled to the ground the hosts eventually grabbed a consolation from the spot via Ethan Goulding’s confident penalty, although the last laugh lay with Harry Laflin who converted livewire Surpanu’s 78th’s minute cross via a deflection to make it 5-1 on his 150th appearance for The Yellamen.
The Yellamen now head to Spelthorne Sports on Thursday after extending their run to just one defeat in 41 matches.
But in the moment tonight, credit Jets for their Guard of Honour afforded to Ascot before kick-off, Matthew for his hat-trick, Ellis for a superb display all over the pitch, and a team that rumbles purposely forward with a Wembley Arch on the horizon.
Ascot United: Forster, Lock, Bailey, Tucker (Bouwers 46’), McCormack (Walters 54’), Matthew (Mealing 58’), Surpanu, Welch (H. Grant 54’), Balogun (Ajanlekoko 46’), Ellis, Laflin.