Yellamen come from behind to beat Spelthorne 2-1
Ascot United came from behind to win for the eighth time this season in a scrappy encounter with Spelthorne Sports. The visitors led midway through the half until Ascot levelled just before the break, before captain Dan Bailey won it with a late header from a tight angle.
With both sides playing catch-up on their early games in hand it was an opportunity for both; games between them typically close.
As it was, it was indeed typically close in a first half where both sides could have played better and deservedly went into the break all-square.
Ascot might have taken an early lead when Brendan Matthew fired over from Usman Lalustani’s cross but Jamie Ashdown was soon in action at the other end with a low save to deny Jamie Fuller’s low shot.
As the sides exchanged chances, Marcus Mealing’s cross was well defended when Matthew threatened once again, but Spelly forged ahead in the nineteenth minute when Jack DeCosta raced clear and rounded the advancing Ashdown to slot home.
Bailey’s header found the net but was chalked off for a push as Ascot sought an equalizer, although Spelthorne continued to threaten and Cameron Gray’s excellent defensive header plucked Dan Lewis’s cross off Tanaka Gabaza’s head when he looked well-placed at the far post.
But Ascot had the last word of the half when Harry Grant’s cross was well controlled by Mealing, who outmuscled his marker before firing a shot which Henry Poole could only parry to Sean McCormack, who poked home an equaliser moments after Spelly’s Gabaza had limped off injured.
In the second half, Poole made a fine save to palm Mealing’s free kick wide – awarded for a foul on Harry Grant – although Ashdown was equally agile at the other end to deny DeCosta again with another low save.
The visitors then hit the post although Bailey’s deflection onto the woodwork in the melee probably saved a goal – 71 minutes played – before Ascot ground out an 87th minute winner when Bailey rose highest at the far post to head into the opposite corner from Grant’s delivery.
Keaton August, a surprisingly late introduction after his match-winning introduction last time out almost bagged another in late cameo, but Bailey’s strike was enough to send the Yellamen joint top on 21 points.
Ascot United: Ashdown, Gray, Masters (Lock 70’), Ajanlekoko, Bailey, Tucker, McCormack (Bouwers 92’), Grant, Mealing (Walters 70’), Matthew (August 87’), Lalustani. Sub unused: Price