|Racecourse Ground 3G 11-a-side|
|Sunninghill and Ascot, Ascot, Windsor and Maidenhead, South East, England, United Kingdom|
Ascot United Vets 2nds 1-3 Farnham Park Mavericks
Ascot United’s second string enjoyed a decent pre-season run out against an impressive Farnham Park side on 18 August. There wasn’t a great deal in it in the first half, but once the Mavericks got their noses in front they took control of proceedings and ultimately ran out deserved winners.
The twos started off the week with a strong squad of 16. By Wednesday evening that had shrunk to 11 as injuries took their toll and five players found themselves forced to take on watching briefs. However, the replacements that Dan Hough was able to bring in brought decent know-how and a bit of worldly-wise-ness with them; the twos entered the fray in positive mood.
For the first 45 minutes there was evidence enough out there on a damp Racecourse evening that the Yellas might get something out of the game. Mike Tomlinson linked things up nicely in the middle, the back three of Ferdinand, Dunkley and Du Bois looked in control of things whilst Karl Small flitted nicely up and down the left. Farnham arguably had the better first half chances (including one effort that thumped off the post), but Ascot, too, did manage to ping a few dangerous crossed in.
Come half-time, however, the score was still goalless. Both sides rang the changes, but once the second 45 were underway Farnham managed to take a real grip on proceedings. Adam Abusweder buzzed around in the middle for Ascot, Abbas Hussain tackled gamely and Chris Ferdinand continued to be an imposing presence at the back but they couldn’t prevent Farnham Park from taking the lead; a decent cross from the left arrowing on to the centre-forward’s head. He made no mistake from six yards out.
Ascot did manage to respond. Garyth Brant broke down the right, put a cross into the box and a visiting defender somehow bundled it into his own net. 1-1.
The goal, however, represented something of a false down. Farnham Park began to dominate possession and try as they might Ascot only rarely managed to get the ball back. Paul Woodford competed doggedly in the middle of the park, but neither he nor anyone else could do anything as the visitors took the lead with a penalty and then swept from one end of the pitch to the other to score a third.
Defeats are never particularly enjoyable, but there were certainly plenty of reasons for Ascot to be positive. Rob Stockford is clearly a decent addition in nets and Karl Small offers plenty of energy up the flanks. Plus, everyone got more miles in the legs and that’ll stand them in good stead for the league campaign. That begins on 9 September. Bring it on.
Team: Rob Stockford, Dan Hough, Karl Small, Chris Ferdinand, Bjorn Dunkley, Ed Du Bois, Mike Tomlinson, Paul Woodford, Doug Buchanan, Ben Spence, Dwayne Bryan.
Subs (all used): Adam Abusweder, Abbas Hussain, Dave Thompson, Garyth Brant and Doug Page
Goals: Own goal.