CHERTSEY LATE-SHOW BREAKS ASCOT’S HEARTS

#WeAreAscot.


Curfews score 95th minute winner despite Ellis’s heroics

Makeshift goalkeeper Chris Ellis came off the bench and delivered a superb goalkeeping display but Ascot United succumbed to a stoppage time defeat against title challenging Chertsey Town on Saturday. In their final home game before Christmas, regular ‘keeper Hugo Sobte was forced off with concussion at half time and Ellis’s heroics almost preserved a point until the visitors struck at the death.

Life after B as Yellamen start trio of fiendish festive fixtures

The Yellamen were facing up to life without striker Brendan Matthew after his transfer to Southall earlier in the week. Matthew had scored exactly half of the goals scored by Ascot players this season – 21 of 42 – leaving both an expectation and an opportunity for those stepping into rather large shooting shoes. However, Ascot had only beaten one side in the top half of the table heading into the game and the 2nd-placed Curfews’ visit would precede dates with fellow challengers Uxbridge and Leatherhead; this was therefore as good a time as ever for The Yellamen to ask Santa to throw three early points down their chimney.

Honours even in feisty first half

After a fairly even opening, the visitors stunned Ascot with a ninth minute opener. Defender Alex Fisher found ex-Yellamen Ollie McCoy in space, and he made no mistake with a cool left-footed effort low down into the bottom right.

Fisher then produced the goods at the other end with exceptional defending to take the ball off George Lock’s boot as he looked odds-on to convert Harry Grant’s wicked cross, but the latter would successfully turn provider for Ascot’s fifteenth minute equaliser; delivering a corner to the far post that brother Alfie Grant nodded home.

Chertsey boss possession but chances for both sides

Ascot found themselves working hard off the ball for long spells, although the Curfews couldn’t find a way through and when they did they were thwarted by the inside of a post; Sam Omperon clattering the woodwork on the half-hour mark.

A groggy Sobte got down well to save Wayne Ridgley’s free-kick moments after receiving lengthy treatment following a clash with Omperon, but The Yellamen had the last chance of the half when Ollie Lahtinen-Kalsi drew a flying save out of Nicky Jupp in the first of five added minutes; 1-1 at the break.

Hugo off but Chris delivers presence

Sobte failed to re-appear for the second half and with no recognized replacement ‘keeper on the bench, defender Ellis (pictured, shooting-stars.co.uk) came on to don the gloves.

And, Ellis looked for all the world like he would keep a clean sheet, firstly tipping Ridgley’s effort away in the 65th minute and then producing a stunning save to tip defender Luke Robertson’s thunderbolt over in the final ten minutes.

Ellis then showed great agility to get down and palm Ridgley’s 85th minute effort around a post, but with the home supporters roaring every desperate clearance, their hearts were broken when Scott Rees thumped home a deflected effort from distance – nothing Ellis could have done about that – five minutes into added time.

However, their spirit certainly wasn’t broken, and both sets of supporters in a 332-strong crowd rightly applauded the teams off the pitch.

What’s next for Ascot?

Once the sherry is drunk and turkey dished up, the Yellamen will head to Uxbridge on Tuesday for a Boxing Day match-up ahead of a trip to Fetcham Grove and Leatherhead four days later; both games 3pm kick-offs.

Ascot United: Sobte (Ellis 46’), Lock, Lahtinen-Kalsi, A. Grant, Edwards, Bailey, McCormack, T. Morgan, H. Grant, Welch (Balogun 76’), Goulter. Subs unused: Harris, C. Morgan, Laflin

Entertainment: 4

Reporter’s Star Man: Chris Ellis (Ascot)  

Away fans (estimate): 80

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