Ascot United 2nd X1 Veterans v Croxley Green 2nd XI Veterans



03/02/202300:00West London Veterans Football League2022-2023


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


3 February 2023

Ascot United 2nd XI 2-1 Croxley Green Vets 2nd XI


The second strings of Ascot United and Croxley Green served up an entertaining encounter at the Racecourse Ground on Friday 3rd February. Ascot started off like a train and gaffer Martin Kay couldn’t quite fathom out how they were only one up at half-time. Phil White scored his second of the evening with an hour gone, but from then on in Croxley rallied and came back impressively. 2-1 it nonetheless ended as Ascot snaffled the three points and closed the gap on leaders Hersham Southside – for 24 hours at least – to just the one point.


“We started off like a team possessed” mused gaffer Martin Kay to the world’s media afterwards. “For 45 minutes we passed and moved like Arsenal. It was great to watch. Ourfinishing, however, had more in common with Gillingham than it did the premier league leaders. Think barn doors and banjos”.


Ascot did nonetheless go into the break one up, Phil White continuing his fine run of goalscoring form. The goal was a decent one, too; good play down the left plus an audacious back heel from Stu Flurry left White in space to coolly slot the ball home. White was also involved in much else that the hosts did well, linking up play impressively.


The side as a whole was clicking nicely. Stu Flurry and Micky Parker offered width and quality into the box, Ben Spenceheld the ball up impressively and Garyth Brant was tricky in possession. Ed Du Bois and Nigel Gatehouse held the defensive fort nicely, although Gatehouse was definitely moreRussell Osman than Paul Mariner when the ball twice dropped nicely to him following a couple of corners. He wasn’t alone though; missed chances became ten-a-penny for a good half hour or so.


As the game moved into the second half Ascot soon doubled their lead. Garyth Brant got the ball across the box nicely and Phil White lashed it into the roof of the net. 2-0 and you’d think things were set up for Ascot to stretch away.


That’s not quite how it panned out. Erik Nawala, who was very impressive on his return, made a number of excellent saves and blocks as Croxley pushed an extra player into the centre of the park and indeed went three up top for the last 20 minutes. Gatehouse made not one but two magnificent blocks to help stem the tide, but neither he nor anyone else could do anything as a looping header found its way in off the post. 2-1 and Croxley were very much in it.


The goalscoring was, however, done for the evening. That didn’t stop Ascot from having a Geoff Hurst moment when they thought they’d scored as the ball bounced down off the bar. Nothing doing said the referee. Croxley subsequently kept surging forward and putting the hosts’ goal under pressure. The game became way too open for gaffer Martin Kay’s liking; forget needing to recover from his cruciate ligament operation, he was in danger of giving himself a hernia on the sidelines. Thankfully, that was avoided as Ascot ultimately hung on and secured the three points.


“If we ever make a DVD of that game then we need to give parts of it an XXX rating” mused Kay after everything was done and dusted. “Watching some of finishing would do psychological damage to the young and impressionable. Mind you, I did get my highest step count for quite some time. That’s what happens when you need to keep retrieving balls from far flung parts of the racecourse”.


Ascot’s 2nd XI have a week off next week, but they are back in action on Saturday 18th February. They travel to Clapham Xaverians for what will no doubt be another intriguing encounter.


Team; Eryk Nawala, Dan Hough, Darren Lewis, Ed Du Bois, Nigel Gatehouse, Paul Woodhouse, Phil White, Stu Flurry, Micky Parker, Ben Spence, Garyth Brant. Subs; Jez Myhan, Rob Burton, Jad Sidhu and Leon Palmer-Wilson.

Goals; Phil White (2).

Ascot United 2nd X1 Veterans2

Croxley Green 2nd XI Veterans1


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