|03/03/2023||19:45||West London Veterans Football League||2022-2023|
|Racecourse Ground 3G 11-a-side|
|Sunninghill and Ascot, Ascot, Windsor and Maidenhead, South East, England, United Kingdom|
3 March 2023
Ascot United Vets 2nds 2-3 Old Tiffs 2nds
Football, someone famous once said, is a game of two halves. Well, that wasn’t quite the case at the Racecourse Ground on Friday evening. It was more a game of 40 minutes (where Ascot dominated) and then 50 minutes (where Tiffs fought back resiliently). The end product? A first away win of the season for Tiffs and a head-scratchingly frustrating defeat for Ascot’s second string.
It was only three weeks ago that Ascot welcomed Claygate and won by a double figure margin. After half an hour of the contest against Old Tiffs most of the watching crowd were probably expecting a not dissimilar outcome on 3 March. Ascot launched attack after attack and it was something of a mystery as to how they were only two goals ahead. Dan Hough raced through twice in the first ten minutes – both shots went wide. Stu Flurry curled a left-footer against the bar and the Tiffs defence made what felt like a succession of last gasp tackles to thwart flowing Ascot moves. Andy Gleave and Paul Woodford were dominating in the middle whilst Flurry and Micky Parker were enjoying themselves on the flanks. It really was all Ascot.
Phil White was the man who managed to turn that possession into goals. He ghosted in at the back to nod home a Stu Flurry corner before then jinking exquisitely away from the defence and dinking a shot over the keeper. When Stu Flurry slid intoside foot a cross into the empty net Ascot thought they’d made it 3-0 …. only to see a linesman’s flag raised and the goal be chalked off.
At that point, a Tiffs revival looked anything but likely. They’d spent more or less the whole game on the back foot, their forwards feeding on nothing but scraps. That changed just before half-time when Jed Butcher broke away and scored the first of what was ultimately going to be a very impressive hat-trick.
As the second half dawned gaffer Martin Kay made a few changes and stressed that intensity levels needed to remain high. Nigel Gatehouse came on in the centre of defence and Abbas Hussain made a very welcome return to action on the left. Ascot continued to have a fair amount of the ball, but it was Tiffs who started making an impact. Butcher scored an excellent second from outside the box and then soon after curled in a peach of a finish from 25 yards out. Ascot had gone from cruise control to salvage mode in a worryingly short period of time.
With the clock drifting on Ascot continued to dominate possession. Tiffs sat ever deeper, but somehow Ascot just couldn’t sort their shooting out. The visiting keeper made a host of good saves, but the longer the game went on the more it felt like Ascot could be playing until Christmas and they wouldn’t score.
In football there’s no such thing as ‘deserving to win’. You simply win or you don’t. Ascot can point to bags of possession, to (in the first half at least) having played some really eye-catching football, but ultimately that doesn’t count for much if the opposition put the ball in the onion bag more than you do.
Tiffs were jubilant at the end and who can blame them? They’d got there first away point (let alone win) of the seasonand it was the first time that they had ever taken points off Ascot. Thankfully, Martin Kay’s men won’t have long to wait before they back on the horse. They are at home again next Friday when Latimer Road are the visitors.
Team: Lee Perry, Dan Hough, Darren Lewis, Ed du Bois, Dave Porter, Andy Gleave, Paul Woodford, Micky Parker, Stu Flurry, Phil White and Ben Spence.
Subs: Dave Freer, Nigel Gatehouse, Dave Thompson, Abbas Hussain and Leon Palmer-Wilson.
Scorers: Phil White (2)