|22/09/2023||19:45||West London Veterans Football League||2023-2024|
|Racecourse Ground 3G 11-a-side|
|Sunninghill and Ascot, Ascot, Windsor and Maidenhead, South East, England, United Kingdom|
22 September 2023
Ascot United Vets’ IIs 7-2 Bank of England Vets IIs
The twos made it two league wins from two on 22 September, overcoming an ever-willing Bank of England 2nd XI 7-2 at the Racecourse Ground. Ben Spence scored the goal of the night, firing the ball top bins following a flowing move down the left. Paul Woodford’s ping from outside the box and Jez Myhan’s cool-as-you-like slot past the keeper were also decent efforts, all on a night when Ascot played some decidedly pleasing football.
Last Saturday the Supervets played in sweltering conditions over at Windlesham. On Wednesday, meanwhile, training on the 3G was abandoned as biblical rains swept in off the racecourse. Welcome to England in September. Thankfully the weather on Friday evening was somewhere inbetween; there’d been a bit of rain in the day but by the time the evening came it had moved on. No wind, nice and mild. In short, it was a perfect night for football.
Bank of England didn’t play in Week 1 of the season. They were therefore making their 2023-24 league debuts. Maybe the inevitable ring-rustiness that comes with that explains why Ascot started out of the blocks at a speed that the visitorsfound hard to deal with.
With barely five minutes on the clock Karl Small broke down the left, only to see his shot drift narrowly wide. It was an indicator of the front-foot attitude with which Ascot were approaching the game. The deadlock was soon broken as Small’s fellow full back, Dan Hough, latched on to a lovely pass from Phil White before bundling the ball home.
White, causing mayhem with his sharp passing and eye for a decent run, took it upon himself to double the advantage soon after, before Carl Collins notched his first league goal for the Yellas. 3-0 and Ascot were threatening all out carnage; Andy Gleave, Paul Woodford, Stuart Birkett and White dominated proceedings in the middle, the full backs offered plenty of width and both Ben Spence and Carl Collins went hunting for goals. With no evidence of the Windlesham sniper being around, Nigel Gatehouse also looked confident on the ball as the Yellas took their time, passed it around and generally looked pretty good.
The Bank, however, had a bit of a re-org and opted to sit back just a little more. And, for a time at least, the tactic worked. For a quarter of an hour or so, Ascot struggled to get through an ever-more congested middle and the Bank began breaking with intent. Indeed, it didn’t come as a massive surprise when a booming header from the edge of the box saw them pull things back to 3-1.
That did nonetheless jolt the hosts back into life, and a delightful move down the left involving Small, Woodford, Gleave and ultimately a calm-as-you-like Ben Spence saw the Yellas regain their three goal lead.
Half-time came and went, and with it a number of Ascot changes. Darren Lewis slotted impressively into the back four, as did the ever-reliable Micky Parker. Adam Abusweder came on and buzzed infectiously through the middle, whilst GarythBrant and Jez Myhan entered the fray up top.
It was nonetheless skipper Woodford who stepped up to add a fifth goal, striding through the middle before pinging a shot nicely into the bottom left hand corner.
Up front, Jez Myhan also began catching the eye. The big man’s touch was generally excellent and rumour has it even he showed a turn of pace to run through and slot Ascot’s sixth goal of the evening away. All with a minimum of fuss. With Karl Small careering down the wing with intent there’s a case to be made that Ascot’s version of Erling Haaland could well have had a couple more, too; great crossed head in, headers marginally wide.
The Bank nonetheless showed that they were still up for the fight, another long-range header finding its way over EyrkNawala and into the roof of the net. Respect due, the visitors kept at it all the way through.
The Yellas did still continue to dominate possession. Indeed, the chances kept on coming for the hosts; Garyth Brant, Adam Abusweder, Phil White and Carl Collins all got into great positions only to see shots saved, be blocked or fly wide. Indeed, it began to look like the scoring might be done for the evening. Ben Spence had other ideas, moving nicely on to a well-weighted through ball to fire through the keeper and into the net. 7-2 and the scoring was now well and truly done.
If one were being picky, there’s a case to be made that Ascot United could and perhaps should have scored a few more goals. But, as Andy Gleave was heard to quote afterwards, “at times it was Brazil, with a smattering of Boreham Wood in the middle there, too”. Seems a fair enough way of summarising things.
The twos now have a week off before travelling to Latimer Road Vets on 7 October.
Team: Eryk Nawala, Dan Hough, Karl Small, Ed Du Bois, Nigel Gatehouse, Paul Woodford (c), Andy Gleave, Stuart Birkett, Phil White, Ben Spence, Carl Collins
Subs: Jez Myhan, Adam Abusweder, Micky Parker, GarythBrant, Darren Lewis
Goals: Ben Spence (2), Dan Hough, Phil White, Paul Woodford, Jez Myhan and Carl Collins