|Racecourse Ground 3G 11-a-side|
|Sunninghill and Ascot, Ascot, Windsor and Maidenhead, South East, England, United Kingdom|
Ascot United Vets 2-5 Woodley Vets
Another Friday, another pre-season outing for Ascot United’s 1st XI. Woodley Vets ultimately ran out deserved winners, but the Yellamen are getting more miles in the legs and are slowly but surely building up to the start of their 2022-23 West London Vets’ League campaign.
Woodley Vets rolled into town on Friday 26 August and,exactly as expected, they provided a serious test for Dave Good’s side. Indeed, they started off much the brighter and within 25 minutes they were two up and looking set to move into cruise control.
To their credit, the Yellaman rose to the challenge that Woodley presented and as the game moved towards half-time the hosts got themselves back into things. Andy Gleave began to break up play in the middle of the park and that gave Rob Saunders and particularly Adam Moroney the chance to influence the game just a little more.
It was Moroney who made his mark first, spinning impressively on the edge of the box before coolly slotting the ball into the bottom corner. He then went one better, taking on and elegantly beating two defenders before slotting home. The former MMB man was cooking on gas.
Elsewhere, Neil Corbett was in domineering mood at the back, winning plenty in the air and distributing nicely into midfield. Nigel Gatehouse was, for the second week running, looking very solid – although one painful blow to the derriere will probably leave him struggling to get out of bed on Saturday morning. Rob Saunders probably won’t be exchanging Christmas cards with a couple of the Woodley midfielders, but he was certainly engaged in an intriguing ding dong in the middle of the park.
Once half time arrived both sides began to ring the changes. Stuart Tanfield buzzed up and down the left, Phil White and Paul Woodford attempted to put their foot on the ball in the centre of the park and Garyth Brant tried to unpick a few locks. For 20 minutes at least, Ascot were subsequently the better side. Chances weren’t coming thick and fast, but the hosts had enough of the ball to make onlookers think that they’d be the ones to score the fifth goal of the evening.
The script, however, was to pan out differently. Woodley took advantage of a free kick 30 or so yards out to float the ball into the box. Ascot sat deep and Woodley took advantage, a big header finding its way into the back of the net.
From that point on Woodley took the game by the scruff of the neck. As Ascot tired, space seemed to become ever easier to find for the visitors and that enabled them to notch two more goals. 5-2 felt a bit harsh, but no one would dispute that on the night the better side won.
But, if pre-season is about anything then it is most certainly *not* results. 18 players got game time under their belt for Ascot and there were lots of positives to take away from the evening’s efforts. Roll on next weekend when both the 1sts and 2nds are in the final round of pre-season action before the season itself kicks into life.