|Racecourse Ground 3G 11-a-side
|Sunninghill and Ascot, Ascot, Windsor and Maidenhead, South East, England, United Kingdom
7th January 2022
Ascot United Vets 1st XI 4-1 The FC Folt Vets
Two goals from Rob Saunders (one a penalty) plus strikes from Ben and Tim Standing saw Ascot United’s Vets to what was ultimately a comfortable triumph against FC Folt. But, in the first 45 minutes in particular the visitors certainly posed plenty of questions and at half-time the Yellamen were only 2-1 ahead in what had turned into a tight old contest. The hosts took more of a grip in the second period and but for some profligate finishing the winning margin could and arguably should have been a fair bit bigger.
It’s been over six weeks since Ascot United’s 1st XI took to the field in earnest; their planned opponents have been either involved in cup action or simply all Covided up. The visit of Northolt-based The Folt FC was therefore the perfect opportunity to knock off a bit of rust and get back into the swing of things before league and cup action kicks in again.
The Folt started off positively, pressing high and trying to force Ascot into mistakes. For the most part, Ascot played through the lines well; Toby Underwood and Dave Simpson offered plenty of width, whilst Neal Corbett periodically stepped impressively out from the back. It still took a while for the first goal to come, Rob Saunders pinging in a shot around the 25 minute mark that the Folt keeper seemed to totally mis-read. 1-0 Ascot.
The visitors’ central midfielders nonetheless had decent touches on them and they weren’t averse to pinging decentthrough passes to the lively centre forward. It was, however, a sharp effort from the Folt’s left midfielder that swerved wickedly past Rich Harrison to level the scores up. Ascot responded positively and it wasn’t long before Ben Standing finished tidily from close range. 2-1 at the break with it all to play for.
With gaffer Dave Good suffering an attack of the dreaded lurgy, Matt Newall was tasked with giving the half-time talk. His words of wisdom seemed to do the trick; Ascot were much the better side in the second 45 minutes and in truth they’ll be wondering how they only managed to add two more
goals. Mike Tomlinson and Doug Buchanan took control in the centre of the park whilst Sam Mcintyre posed plenty of awkward questions down the inside left channel.
Some of the missed chances won’t make particularly pleasant viewing on Match of the Day on Saturday evening, and Ascot United’s version of the Kippax Stand wasn’t shy in expressing their disquiet as shot after shot seemed to veer over the bar or wide of the keeper’s left hand post.
There was also a bit of bad luck involved, too; Ben Standing’s acrobatic volley, smashing against the bar following nice work from Underwood and Corbett on the left, would have had those Match of the Day pundits positively purring. When it finally came the third goal was made and finished by Rob Saunders. He skipped past two challenges only to be bundled over by a third ten yards or so from goal. Penalty, which he duly dispatched with a minimum of fuss.
The fourth and final goal came with ten minutes or so to play, Tim Standing nicely picking his spot from the edge of the box. More chances came and went as the clock ticked down, so Newall’s troops ultimately found themselves having to settle for a three goal margin of victory.
“There were more cobwebs out there than you’d find in a Spiderman movie” commented skipper Andy Gleave to Jeff Stelling on Sky Sports News after the game “but better to blow them off now than to have to in next week’s cup game against Nottsborough. Fingers crossed we’ve all thawed out by the time kick off in that game comes around…..”