Ascot United 2nd X1 Veterans v Clapham Old Xavierians Veterans



04/11/202219:45West London Veterans Football League2022-2023


Racecourse Ground 3G 11-a-side
Sunninghill and Ascot, Ascot, Windsor and Maidenhead, South East, England, United Kingdom


4 November 2022

Ascot United 2nds 4-3 Clapham Old Xaverians


Ascot United’s second string and Clapham Old Xaveriansserved up a veritable ding, dong doo of a Friday night encounter at the Racecourse on 4 November. Ascot ultimately came out on top, scoring four magnificent goals along the way …. although Clapham will make the journey home wondering how on earth they didn’t take all three points with them.


Xaverians are newcomers to the West London Vets’ League, entering Division 3 for the start of the 2022-23 campaign. And, even though they came off second best against Ascot, they provided plenty of evidence to suggest that they won’t be in Division 3 come 2023-24.


The visitors had two players in the middle of the park who made the game look pretty easy. One of those in particular appeared to have a pair of snakehips that wouldn’t go amiss on Strictly Come Dancing; he jinked and weaved past tackles all night, and proved to be a real thorn in the hosts’ side.


It subsequently didn’t come as a massive surprise when the Xaverians took an early lead. Ascot, however, were certainly not going to sit back and accept their fate, Paul Woodford responding quickly by pinging a shot into the bottom left-hand corner from well outside the box. 1-1 and game on.


Clapham continued to have more of the ball but for the rest of the first half Ascot did still create chances of their own. The best example of that came half an hour in when Jez Myhan and Ben Spence contrived to set Garyth Brant away through the middle. The keeper came out to meet him so Brant elegantly chipped the ball over him and into an empty net; 2-1 Ascot.


The Yellamen’s lead didn’t last long. Barely two minutes in fact, as an awkward cross from the Xaverians’ left ricocheted off Micky Parker and beyond a stranded Lee Perry. Again, Ascot responded, this time through an unlikely source. Ed Du Bois found himself faced with a bouncing ball 30 or so yards from the Clapham goal. Rather than trap it and move it wide he opted to whack the thing on the bounce …. and it flew into the top corner like an Exocet missile. If Du Bois has ever scored a better goal than that then I’d be surprised.


3-2 at half-time and skipper Martin Kay rang a few changes. The aim was to keep the side fresh and where possible catch Xaverians on the break. Easier said than done.


The visitors proceeded to dominate possession in the second half. Chances kept on coming, but a number of good saves from Perry, a magnificent block from Gatehouse as a Clapham player had the goal at his mercy and a plethora of great tackles on the edge of the box saw Ascot hold on to their lead.


Until the dam was finally broken with around ten minutes left. A ball came in from Ascot’s left and the visiting centre forward neatly powered a header beyond Perry and into the net. 3-3 and Xaverians sensed three points for the taking.


Ascot, for their part, continued to defend like Trojans. The watching masses in the Kippax nonetheless felt that Ascot could also find a way to manufacture one last chance. And, sure enough, in the 88th minute the Xaverians conceded a free kick 25 or so yards out.


Many a footballing soul would have shot from there, but Garyth Brant opted to curl a delicious ball into the box. Jez Myhan got free from his marker and bombasted a header into the roof of the net. 4-3 and only seconds left to play.


Xaverians tried to rouse themselves for one more surge forward but Ascot ultimately held strong. 4-3 it ended as the 2s moved into second place with nine points from their three games played. Xaverians will quite rightly ask themselves how they lost that game, but Ascot will point to the solid defending and four truly superb goals. An all round decent doo, respect due to both sides for producing such a pulsating encounter.


Team; Lee Perry, Dave Porter, Darren Lewis, Rob Burton, Ed Du Bois, Nigel Gatehouse, Micky Parker, Ben Spence, Paul Woodford, Garyth Brant, Jez Myhan.

Subs; Adam Abuswedder, John Heard, Jad Sidhu, Jon Gavin, Stu Flurry

Ascot United 2nd X1 Veterans4

Clapham Old Xavierians Veterans3


Racecourse Ground 3G 11-a-side
Sunninghill and Ascot, Ascot, Windsor and Maidenhead, South East, England, United Kingdom
Referee to be confirmed