|11/02/2022||19:45||West London Veterans Football League||2021-2022|
|Racecourse Ground 3G 11-a-side|
|Sunninghill and Ascot, Ascot, Windsor and Maidenhead, South East, England, United Kingdom|
Sam’s heat map
This turned out to be an excellent game and was won with a stunning second half performance by Ascot. A great response to being 2-1 down at half time.
In the first half Nottsborough brought their A game to Ascot and dominated early phases of possession with good ball speed and movement. The Nottsborough 10 and 8(?) were very mobile and caused some problems in the gaps between Ascot defence and midfield.
On 12 minutes, Ascot misplaced a 10 yard pass just inside the Nottsborough half. A quick through ball and their striker was in on goal, breaking from the half way line. He rounded the Ascot keeper and finished from a very acute angle 0-1. The Ascot response was quick if somewhat fortunate. It was a good break and the ball fell to Rob whose contact ricocheted off the shin of a defender and cannoned into the net. After having two of these go against us in the last two games it was nice to have one break for you. 1-1 on 15 minutes.
Ascot were not moving the ball well but they did create a few chances and found the Nottsborough keeper in great form. Sam got clear on 20 minutes with a great turn and smashed the ball onto the crossbar. We lost Rocket after 27 minutes with a nasty calf injury but Matt was able to come on and play well. With Nottsborough still dominating, the quality of Ascot’s play fell which allowed the opposition to play. The ball was given away far too easily by Ascot and they could not build sustained pressure. On 36 minutes, Nottsborough took the lead again with a lovely goal. Ball worked forward down their right and then a good switch across to the left side striker. He cut inside, beating two defenders and drilled his shot into the corner. 1-2.
Ascot responded well and created two really good chances, Rob brought a great save from the keeper with a volley on the angle from 10 yards and Sam, who was such a threat, turned his defender again and his drilled shot was heading for the far corner when the keeper pulled off the best save of the match with a low hand just diverting the ball wide.
Half time and a chance for Ascot to regroup and reset.
Ascot came out in the second half and within 10 minutes of the half they were 4-2 up. The first goal came straight from the kick off. Ben to Rob, Rob 10 yard forward pass to Sam. Sam drove past two or three defenders drifting wide and then put in a wonderful deep cross and the on rushing Ben smashed his header into the roof of the net. Less than 10 seconds. Nottsborough kick off and Ascot set about them like rabid dogs and won possession back and swarmed forward. Ben put in a galloping Rob and he finished calmly into the far corner. Understandably, Nottsborough looked a little shellshocked with these 2 goals in less than 3 minutes.
On 55minutes the keeper kicks from his hands and Tim wins a great header just on half way. The ball falls to Rob who sees the keeper not yet fully retreated and he hits an amazing volley from 35 yards into the far corner of the net as the keeper scrambled back a little too late. The next goal was going to be important and Nottsborough were getting back on their feet but Matt, JK and Tommo were proving to be a very solid unit. Sam and Ben were starting every press and really putting the Nottsborough defence under pressure. This encouraged the Ascot midfield to support the press and Nottsborough just could not get out. It was impressive to watch. Ben and Sam harried the centre half to another mistake and the back pass to the keeper looked a little short. Sam showed great acceleration and managed to nick it into the goal with a craft back heel. 5-2 after 74 minutes. An exuberant celebration showed how this turnaround felt to the players.
Andy Gleave and Doug Buchannan provide a wonderful shield for Ascot and kept winning the ball back and snuffing out any threat that had existed in the first half. Rob was magnificent pulling the Nottsborough team around and finding space all over the pitch. Ben gets the 6th Ascot goal as his shot is fumbled over the line by the Nottsborough keeper. A real shame for him as he had made some fantastic saves all game.
Rob capped an excellent performance and finished off the Ascot scoring by getting his 3rd and then his 4th of the game in 83rd and 85th minute. There was still time for a second half consolation for Nottsborough and the game finished 8-3
That second half performance sets a new bar for this Ascot team. No flat track bullies out there. Proper footballers. Well done.
Team : Harrison, Burgess, Keough, Corbett, Tomlinson, T Standing , Simpson, Underwood, Saunders, B Standing, McIntyre, Newall, White, Gleave, Buchannan, Lunn